The recent global popularity of eLearning means it has to adapt to different cultures. Therefore, an efficient localization workflow is necessary for easier deployment.
Many eLearning programs are available today, for professionals, students to businesses large and small. The first mention of eLearning was in 1999 and since then, it has become a very viable resource to study or train online. eLearning allows millions of people to remotely obtain a new skill set.
People can access and earn certification or degree through eLearning. It also helps many corporations with offshore headquarters and offices worldwide to train their multiethnic employees.
eLearning is now a huge global industry. It was worth over $190 billion in 2018. Within the next six years, the eLearning industry is forecast to grow between 7% and 13%. In the corporate world, eLearning is projected to grow by more than $30 billion.
It is not surprising that more companies are investing in eLearning and why the industry is growing larger. eLearning is convenient and accessible via electronic devices at any place and any time. It is cheaper than traditional methods of learning.
Since the number of eLearning users is increasing, it is necessary to localize the eLearning platforms to fit the needs of different languages and cultures.
Advantages of eLearning
Changes in life and work environments are inevitable and lifelong learning is one of the ways to effectively address these changes. In the corporate world, training is no longer offered to a select few. Training is now part of the duties of the workforce.
Corporations have accepted eLearning as the most efficient way to train their employees. The programs offer a mix of interactive technologies, animation and video, which provides learners with a more meaningful and engaging learning experience.
Moreover, eLearning allows employees to train at their own pace, at home or at work. Since they are not required to leave their desks to attend training sessions elsewhere, they
become more productive. Employees can be trained at the same time while the company realizes enormous savings from the transportation, training fees, board and lodging, allowances and employee downtime.
The eLearning Localization Workflow
It has already been established that multinational organizations benefit significantly from eLearning. Since the target consumers of eLearning for global companies are from different cultures that speak different languages, translating the lessons is essential.
Localization provides the owners of the eLearning course a good opportunity to reach their target audience and provide a product that is easy to understand.
However, it is more relevant to discuss eLearning localization. Localizing an eLearning program requires more than just translation. There should be planning as well as understanding of the course’s cultural context according to the target audience. Localization focuses on the non-verbal features of the eLearning programs, such as cultural elements, colors, formatting, semantics and layout. It should also reflect the mission and values of the company.
The eLearning localization workflow begins with the design of the main learning course. The following are the eLearning localization workflow.
1. Establish the scope of localization
In this step, you define how many languages you want to target for the eLearning program. Moreover, you’ll choose the content needing translation, since the content of eLearning modules today have different formats.
It may have video presentations, the show graphics, interviews or conversations. It could have animation and audio that likewise contribute to user engagement, keep the user’s attention longer, as well as provide the user with a better experience.
Your inventory of the types and amount of content that need localization will help you plan the process, establish your required resources and determine your budget. Moreover, the list allows you to have an idea of the word count and the timelines of the project. You can also prepare the audio or video scripts at this stage, if there are any and form the required localization project team members.
2. Work only with professional localization experts
The most important part of the eLearning localization workflow is finding the right professional localization experts. Several specialists are needed to localize an eLearning
program, from translators to language engineers to voice talents. They should be experts in localization and have the right tools to deliver the project efficiently, accurately and successfully.
3. Ensure the content’s adaptability
The main localization work is in this step. The extracted content will be translated carefully into the target languages. The designers of the eLearning modules should see to it that the content is suitable to the target cultures. This means using the right visuals and color schemes and giving enough space to accommodate text expansion during translation into other languages. Original text in English may be shorter when translated into French, Dutch or German. However, when translating into Japanese, Korean or Finnish, expect the text to be longer. Consider the graphics and user interface, such as the navigation buttons as well. The localization team should follow the glossary and style guide the client provides.
4. Be careful of cultural references
The original authors of the eLearning program may have used language-specific humor, expressions and other cultural references that might be applicable to different cultures and languages. The content for multilingual audiences should be carefully chosen, to ensure that the original message remains intact without disrespecting or offending other users. You should give priority to cultural sensitivities by ensuring that the translation uses neutral language.
5. Editing and proofreading
As soon as the translation is done, a senior reviewer will check the entire work for the editing and proofreading phase. He or she will be checking for any mistakes and errors. In this phase, the content is polished. The reviewer gives suggestions if more improvements are necessary.
6. Integration of all the parts
After the localization passes the editing and proofreading phase, all of the parts are integrated by the project manager into the right platform. This includes the text, animation, video and audio. The team tests the integrated content to ensure that it functions correctly and the user will be able to experience the same seamless performance as the original. The content style and format should be similar to the original
7. Technical validation and testing
The eLearning platform is tested to ensure that it functions properly after content integration. Validating and testing the platform is an additional step applied by professional localization specialists to check how the platform performs in the new languages before submitting the project for client’s review.
8. Project review by the client
The localized eLearning content is sent to the client for review. It is better if the client reviews the localized version with a subject matter expert (SME). In this way, the SME can immediately make the comments and suggestions for improvement or correction. The client and SME feedback is sent to the localization team. This will help them re-check the localized content for additional errors such as omissions, additions, edits on the meanings, grammar and typos.
9. Quality control
In the quality control phase, the localization team applies the feedback and comments made by the client to ensure the quality of the localization. Everything will be verified against the project instructions. All the comments will again be reviewed to ensure that nothing is amiss. The quality control manager sees to it that the client’s style guide and glossary were followed. The quality controller includes the necessary updates to the style guide and glossary. At this stage, any additional formatting is applied to make sure that the final product mirrors the original.
10. Final inspection
Any additional formatting is applied to make sure that the final product mirrors the original. The quality controller sees to it that all the deliverables are finished and included in the final product and the eLearning program functions smoothly in the chosen platform.
11. Project delivery
After a final round of testing to ensure that all the standards set at the beginning of the localization project are met, the product is ready for delivery to the client. It will be sent to the client in the agreed format and convention. At the same time, the localization team prepares an archive of all the deliverables for the client.
This is a typical eLearning localization workflow and these are the broad steps. More detailed work is involved in each stage of eLearning localization. To ensure that your eLearning localization is accurate, see to it that you hire linguists who are experts in eLearning translation and localization.
On a final note, the client should do their own testing of the localized version of the eLearning program before they launch it.
Partner with eLearning Localization Experts
Localization is expensive but it is worth it because you will have a wider range of users. The best way to ensure that you realize your ROI is to partner with an eLearning localization company with the right experience and a roster of professional translators and subject matter experts. You do not have to search for individual companies because Day Translations, Inc. is fully equipped to handle any type of eLearning localization project. Our experienced professional translators are native speakers and live in-country. They understand the nuances of different cultures and languages, ensuring you that they are capable of adapting your eLearning content to your target audiences. Give us a call today at 1-800-969-6853 or send us an email at Contact us. We are always ready to discuss your requirements, as we are open 24/7, 365 days of the year.