As an e-learning company, we come across various requests from our clients asking us if we can deliver translated versions of e-learning courses that we have developed. Most of our Fortune 500 clients ask us to translate e-learning courses into Chinese, Spanish, and German. Languages like French, Arabic, and Japanese follow next in the preferred language list. So why do organizations face this need to translate e-learning courses into various languages? Is it just a fad? Going by the volume of e-learning translations that we have done over the years, it certainly does not appear like it. Read on to know more about why organizations need to invest in e-learning course translations.
Train a Global Workforce
Most organizations today have a global presence and are faced with the challenge of training a geographically-dispersed workforce. Giving learners an option to take the online training program in the language of their choice improves training effectiveness. While organizations expect employees to be proficient in Basic English speaking and writing skills, it is unfair to expect them to comprehend training content that’s delivered in English, especially in countries where English is not the primary language for communication.
Imagine traveling to a country where English is not used for communication. If every signboard on the streets, or the display boards on buses, and trains reads in the native language, you certainly would feel lost. Now imagine if the signboards had the translation in English displayed along with the native language, it would make life much easier. That is the power of translation.
As training managers, if you feel that existing e-learning courses in English have not been received well by learners in non-English speaking countries, then it’s high time you considered e-learning course translations. Training managers involved in training a global audience often face situations where learners are not motivated to complete online training programs. This may not always relate to their aptitude, it could simply be because they don’t understand the language. A good e-learning vendor with experience in developing e-learning course translations can give you the right advice.
Understand that English is NOT the Only Language
English is the most widely spoken language across the globe, but that doesn’t mean that it is the only preferred language for communication. If you have travelled to the countryside of Asia or Europe, you would know what I mean.
There are organizations where a major part of the workforce is remote workers, and there are organizations with a strong presence in the Asian and European markets who are e doing an exemplary job at contributing to their growth. The general assumption is that English is the language used in workplaces across the globe. But there are many countries in the world where the proficiency of English is very low. So, rolling out e-learning courses only in English, does not pay off in such countries.
When you invest in e-learning course translations and deliver training in their native language, it boosts productivity and contributes to the return on investment (ROI) from training.
Strike the Right Note with Employees
Opportunities for training and development can improve job satisfaction for employees. The culture and language play a strong role in bonding with employees. An online training program that’s translated in the learners’ native language and localized, is more likely to be successful.
Remember that along with translation, you also need to pay attention to localization. Icons normally used in e-learning courses, are interpreted differently in some countries. For example, the thumbs up sign used in the feedback of formative or summative assessments in e-learning courses is considered offensive in the Middle East. Designing e-learning courses that are localized and delivered in the native language of learners helps with information retention.
Improve Business Opportunities
If learners across the globe are not interested in taking the online training program, then it could mean that either the training content is not good, or that the learners haven’t been able to make much sense of the training program. For example, a comprehensive sales training program would be such a waste if your learners aren’t able to use it effectively to improve conversions.
When you are offering products and services to an international market, educating customers in their native language proves to be advantageous. Get ready to offer multilingual training, and there is no doubt you will be able to overtake organizations that reach out to their customers in just one language.
How are you training your global workforce? Do you have e-learning course translations in place? Let us know through the Comments section.