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eLearning Localization Process: How to Find a Localization Services Provider?

eLearning Localization Process: How to Find a Localization Services Provider?

May 13, 2022
Reading time is 9 minutes
Engineering Team Leader
Vladimir Lysyk
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Imagine that you are taking a foreign economics course. The lecturer mentions companies you don't know, all the amounts in these examples are in foreign currency, and some terms remain a mystery to you. What's the problem with such a learning process? That educational content is not localized for your country.

Now imagine that you are creating eLearning content yourself. You understand how important localization is for entering a new market and how it improves learning experience. You appreciate the quality of the product and try to please your customers. Let's take a closer look at the eLearning localization process and its value for customers.
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eLearning content is educational materials in an online format. This includes dozens of types of content: lectures, courses, platforms, simulators, checklists, ebooks, and other materials. They can be applied in various fields: from finance and beauty to music and sports. Business Wire experts claim that the corporate eLearning industry is expected to grow by over 250% between 2017 to 2026. The global market of eLearning is growing fast, and it's projected to be worth $325 bn in 2025, according to Forbes. Thus, now is a great time to conquer a worthy niche in this market and benefit those who want and love to learn.

What is eLearning, and Why Does it Need Localization?

However, it's not enough to just translate your eLearning course or landing page into a target language. All content needs to be adapted to the new specific culture and mentality, and this is precisely what localization provides. It includes music, images, videos, and other details that make up the complete educational product.

With quality localization, the client is more likely to choose your product, and here's why:
  • Comfort. It is much easier for global learners to use an online platform than to spend time driving to an educational center. They can complete the online course at a convenient time and in a comfortable environment.
  • Speed. People learn at different paces, which sometimes makes the group learning experience worse. eLearning allows students to learn at their own pace: they can speed up videos or, on the contrary, repeat the material several times.
  • Quality. Access to international training materials is a great benefit of our time. Students often not only search among the courses available in their country but want to adopt the best global experience.
  • Price. Online learning, especially if it's pre-recorded material, usually costs less than offline courses with a teacher. This can also be a big push towards choosing eLearning.
A localization strategy will help you interact more effectively with a new target market. Strategy is the first thing to prepare because without it, your actions can become chaotic and cause mistakes. Therefore, it's necessary to go through several stages of preparation and clearly define the details of future work.

First, define the targeted culture and demography: country, age, gender, and other characteristics. This will help you localize the product well to meet customer expectations.

Second, set goals that you want to achieve using localization. Increase revenue? Build brand awareness? Become an international company? Each goal is individual and plays a vital role in the localization strategy.

Third, it's necessary to outline the range of issues that you may encounter: for example, cultural differences, language barriers, purchasing power, and others. Being prepared for them will help you work more efficiently.

Fourth, prepare the online training content that you will localize. It might be worth starting with small materials and testing their performance in a new market. If this stage is successful, you will continue expansion more confidently.

eLearning Localization Begins with Strategy

The localization process is something that is best left to professionals. Most likely, you will not be able to consider all the features of the culture of the new targeted audience and correctly translate each sentence. However, the choice of a translation company must be approached responsibly and checked for compliance with key criteria.

How to Find Translators for your Educational Content?

Whatever you are about to pay for, you most likely look at reviews first. Much the same with localization, check the ratings of the company on different websites and find out what other people say about it before you collaborate with someone. In addition, perhaps someone you know has already contacted a localization company and can recommend a reliable contractor — be sure to find out.

Feedback

From the first minutes of communication with a company representative, you can draw a conclusion about customer service: how politely they communicate with you, whether they describe the services in detail, whether they quickly respond to requests. Of course, this is a rather subjective question, but you must be comfortable interacting with the company in order for the entire localization journey to be effective.

Customer service

Find out if the localization company employs a native speaker of the targeted language. Undoubtedly, there are many excellent translators in the world who can localize your online training programs well. However, some specific aspects are best left to those who can accurately translate them. These details include but are not limited to:

    Native speakers

    If your educational content is related to a specific field (such as law or medicine), ask if the localization company has a specialist in this area. An inexperienced translator may mistranslate important details, which will significantly reduce the quality of the material.

    Subject-matter experts

    During the first contact with the company, ask for a detailed estimate of translation services. First, this way you will find out how much and for what you have to pay. Second, this is an opportunity to understand how well the processes in the company are built: if they're not ready to share information about prices and describe in detail the costs of localization, think twice.

    Estimate

    Now that you know the details, it's time to dive into the most important process: the localization of the eLearning content itself. Let's break down each step you need to go through to succeed. Each type of content has some particular characteristics, but generally, your roadmap can be described as follows:

    8 Steps of eLearning Localization Process

    We have already described the development of a strategy above, but you can find more details of this process in our article. The main thing to remember is that a strategy is essential for successful eLearning localization. Without it, the process can turn into chaos and, in the worst case, take too many resources from you to continue development.

    Strategy

    Choose what exactly you are going to translate. Answer the questions:
    • What do global clients need right now?
    • What content resonates with your current audience the most?
    • What materials are not necessarily needed at the moment?
    • Which of your products are in greater demand?

    This way you can determine what to translate. After that, adapt the content for localization and get rid of most of the potential difficulties, which are:
    • Recording new audio files. Text translation is not an easy task, but dubbing and voice acting is several times more difficult. This requires large investments and the participation of specialists. Think about how to replace audio or sounds in videos to make localization easier without losing quality.
    • Replacing texts and objects in images. Let's say your educational course has cards with inscriptions and specific pictures. In some cases, you will have to completely recreate them or at least replace all objects, which is not always possible.
    • Replacing specific elements. If the original language contains the elements that we wrote about above (currency, idioms, dates), try to minimize their presence to simplify the work.
    • Replacing fonts. The target language may not support the font you're using on the site or in presentations. Pick a popular font that won't have to be changed every time the material changes.

    Content

    If your message has a lot of specific terminologies, you need to create a glossary, which is a dictionary that contains the correct translation of all important words. These can be names of medicines, legal terms, plant names, and other key content elements. Without their correct translation, all material will be practically useless, so pay special attention to these details.

    Glossary

    At this point, you need to discuss all the details of localization with the translators who will be involved in the project. This stage requires close communication between the localization company and the customer, and employees of professional service providers will need detailed information about specifics of your company and your requirements to the final product to accurately complete the task.

    Requirements

    This is where the actual translation of the content begins. This work may require consultations and corrections. At this stage, it's essential to maintain harmony: on the one hand, take a responsible approach to your project, and on the other — trust localization professionals. Together you can achieve the best result.

    Translation

    When all the texts are ready, the localization company continues to work: for example, it integrates the localized texts in your courses (test modules, multimedia content) to create a better user experience. Depending on the amount and type of content, the timeframe can vary, so be sure to discuss the terms of the content development process and revisions with the contractor in advance.

    Localization

    At this stage, eLearning materials are checked by native speakers of the target language. How accurately are all terms translated? Are the jokes funny? Does the text sound native? If there are any shortcomings in the materials, they can still be improved to bring the content to a perfect state.

    QA

    Congratulations: you're ready to conquer a new market! All your marketing campaigns, landing pages, and course texts are ready. If you have worked with professionals, you can be sure that the global audience will be interested in your product.

    Delivery

    It's impossible to take into account each of them before reviewing your eLearning content, so we advise you to carefully work with the material in the source language to avoid issues in the future. Here's what you might encounter:

    • Videos. Do you use voiceover or subtitles? Each option requires a lot of work and the participation of specialists: for example, video editors and speakers.
    • Audios. Should the music be replaced with something more authentic? Is the source material accompanied by audio explanations in the original language? You may replace the audio with text to make things easier and faster.
    • Animations. Does the animation contain specific graphic elements? Is this animation necessary? Are the images familiar to the specific market that you are targeting?
    • Written content. Can you remove some of your text materials? Is their content suitable for a new audience?
    • Maps, instructions. Do these materials meet the standards of the target country? Do you know the terminology that will help you correctly localize them?
    • Websites and apps. Do they look familiar to the new audience? Does the source content fit the cultural norms of the new audience? Is the privacy policy section correct?

      Other Things to Consider in Localizing eLearning Content

      Knowledge is one of the key values of our time. Palex translation agency has been working with content localization for more than 20 years, and we know how to present your eLearning material in a way that will win over customers. We work with more than 80 different languages, and provide a customized approach to our projects considering specific features of different cultures. If you want to put your localization project in safe hands, we'll be happy to help you! Drop us a line at sales@palexgroup.com. We will be glad to become your reliable localization partner.

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