On the other hand, texts in your learning materials should have a suitable tone of voice. Before getting started, you should answer the following questions:
A deeper understanding of your audience will allow you to bypass the cultural barrier. You will speak the language of your students, which will improve their learning experience.
When you are sure you can avoid language and cultural barriers when translating learning materials, you need to choose the appropriate approach to working with them: e-learning translation or localization. Let’s discuss what they are and what you should consider when choosing between them.
Working with content begins with translation. In this case, we mean literal translation: you have several texts in one language that needs to be translated into another. You are engaged only in the translation of the text itself, without going into stylistic details and thinking about its audience. Here are some of the types of content to translate:
This is where the fun begins: you need to work with every detail of the text to make it close to what a target language native speaker would write. There are different levels of e-learning localization, which vary depending on the client’s goals and objectives:
This is the cheapest localization method. Its main purpose is to translate a set of materials sufficient for online training. In this case, text in images and videos is not localized. Instead, the translation is given in the body text or as external subtitles.
This is the optimal localization method chosen by most e-learning companies. Its main purpose is to localize all the e-learning content: text in images, audio tracks, and other elements.
In this case, the materials will look as if they were originally created in the target language for a specific market. In addition to localization of materials, new multimedia content and rewriting of scripts may be required. In this case, graphic elements and texts that don’t correspond to the target market are replaced. These are people, flags, currency, architecture, and others.
We have collected the main elements of educational materials that are worth paying attention to:
To make the content as native as possible, study the national dishes of the target country if this topic is covered in the material. This way, students will see something close and will focus on online learning rather than looking at food that is new to them.
On the contrary, if you have a language course, it’s better to show students some cultural aspects: for example, in lessons about food in the Chinese language course.
We approach the localization of any type of content professionally and pay attention to every detail. Our work with e-learning materials is divided into several stages so that the result is clear.
During the preparation of the product, different opinions may arise on its content and approach to it. We’ll discuss key details so that the result satisfies the customer and meets the requirements of the market at the same time.
At first, we translate a small part of the text and make sure that our vision matches the vision of the client. If the client is satisfied with the quality of the localization at this stage, we take on the rest of the materials.
When everything is done, we share the result with the client. Thus, we can discuss inaccuracies and, if necessary, make corrections. This stage is another opportunity to ensure that the result meets the client’s expectations and, at the same time, the needs of the target market.
At this stage, we perform final spelling and styling checks using our tool Verifika. We also check glossary compliance, file formatting, and perform other final touches. Besides, a native speaker conducts an in-context review to ensure the quality of the translation is at its best. Thanks to this, the text fully corresponds to the customer’s requirements and cultural features of the target audience.
Some features of the materials can take a huge amount of time and effort. No one is to blame: these are the characteristics of different languages, texts, and content. We’ve collected several types of content that can be challenging. Before starting your e-learning product localization, you should know about these features. In some cases, the localization company will have to remove or change these parts of content, and if not, you’ll have to allocate more time for them.
Cutting text out of an image and inserting a new one can be tricky, especially if you have a detailed background picture and lots of text. In this situation, it’s better to create an image from scratch or move on without it, if possible. Otherwise, you will need to set aside enough time and find a specialist who can process the images.
Before submitting materials for localization, make sure that all materials are clear. If a contractor can’t understand the words in the audio or video, then it will be impossible to translate them, and you will have to replace or cut out some information. This will negatively affect the quality of the localized content.Take a look at the company’s clients and their feedback. While it is not so important for a company to work with big names like Pfizer, if a company has testimonials and reviews from companies in the same field as yours, they might be a good fit for you.
Now you know that the e-learning localization process is not just translation of educational materials. This is a large-scale and complex work that would be difficult to do well without the help of professionals. Experienced linguists can help you avoid common mistakes. Consequently, native speakers of your target language won’t distinguish your e-learning course or platform from one made in their country.
Palex is a professional language services company. We have been on the market for 20 years and work with over 80 languages. Our clients value our attention to detail, timeliness, and localization quality. To get started localizing your existing content, email us at [email protected]. We will be glad to help you reach a global audience with your educational product.