eLearning Design and Development

eLearning Localization Benefits and Tips

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In this article, I'll go over the benefits of eLearning localization. I'll also share some eLearning localizations tips that you can use when you're developing eLearning courses for audiences around the world, in order to make the eLearning localization process less stressful, more effective, and more profitable.

Localization is used to describe the process by which you translate your eLearning course’s content into the language of your new target audience. But is it really just that? Well, you wish it was that simple! If you want to localize your eLearning courses and offer a true valuable eLearning experience to your audience, then you have to take into serious consideration the different cultural “norms” and to devote time and resources.

4 Benefits of eLearning Localization

  1. Reach a broader eLearning audience.
    By eLearning localization, you have the opportunity to educate and inform online learners who thrive for certain learning concepts and are looking for well-designed eLearning courses in their native language. Consequently, you can significantly increase your eLearning profit, given that you can have access to a much broader eLearning market. Rather than just being able to capitalize on the English-speaking corner of the eLearning market, you can now reach out to countless other lucrative regions in order to increase your revenue. While there may be upfront costs involved such as translator fees and converting your eLearning content, it can be well worth the investment.
  2. Position your brand as a global eLearning company.
    When you take the time and make the effort to localize your eLearning deliverables, you position your brand as a global eLearning company with international presence. This builds credibility, respect, and even enhances your brand image. It also displays that you place a high priority on cultural diversity, and that you are willing to go that extra mile to reach learners in other regions of the world by creating eLearning courses that reflect their values.
  3. Offers consistent and reliable results for your client.
    If you are working for an international company, you can propose your client to translate the content of the online training courses, into the local dialects where its subsidiaries are located, so as to ensure that all employees can effectively absorb company’s standards, such as policies and procedures. This helps to boost company efficiency, employee performance, and quality assurance all across the board. Learners in China will have the same opportunity to learn effectively about company culture and necessary job tasks as those in the United States.
  4. Boosts knowledge acquisition and retention rates.
    Through eLearning localization, you can boost the effectiveness of your eLearning courses due to the fact that learners are able to learn in their native language. Even employees who may be based in the United States but originate from other parts of the globe can get the most benefit from their training, given that they have the opportunity to comprehend the subject matter.

3 eLearning Localization Tips

  1. Research the cultural background of your target audience before creating content.
    There are probably going to be some cultural differences between learners in different regions. A humorous real world example may be offensive in another part of the world, for example. As such, you'll want to research the cultural background of your target audience before translating and customizing the eLearning content for your new learners. Creating a survey, asking the advice of a subject matter/cultural expert, or even visiting the location itself can help you to get a better idea of the cultural norms in order to create effective and appropriate eLearning courses.
  2. Pay attention to cultural relevancy of images, graphics and colors.
    Culturally appropriate text is all important. However, you should also pay close attention to the colors, images and graphics you are using. For example, a compelling image that you've integrated into the English version of your eLearning course may help to boost learner engagement, but it may do the exact opposite for learners in another eLearning market. eLearning localization requires that you take a step further, by selecting graphics that are realistic and relevant for the given locale. For instance, you should not use images featuring a typical American country side home if you are designing an eLearning course for Japanese learners.
  3. Make sure that scenarios and real world examples are still relatable and relevant.
    Go over the real world scenarios, simulations, stories, and examples you've included in your current eLearning course content and ensure that they are still relatable and relevant. For example, if you are localizing a scenario that deals with the checkout process, be sure to include the local currency and the point of sale system they commonly use. You will also want to ensure that the cash register or sales terminal is one that you might find in that area of the world, and that the scenario demonstrates appropriate customer service etiquette. There are all elements that can make a big difference in regards the effectiveness of your eLearning localization efforts.

eLearning localization can offer you the opportunity to reach out to millions of new online learners, who can now reap the many rewards that your eLearning course has to offer. With this eLearning localization tips on-hand, you can create meaningful and highly effective eLearning experience for learners around the globe.

If you would like to learn more about how to design corporate online training deliverables for global learners, the article Corporate Training Tips: Designing for Global Audiences highlights a variety of best practice tips for creating training experiences for worldwide audiences.

If you are concerned about the best way to have your program reach non-English speakers, I highly encourage you to read the article 7 Sure Fire Translation Tips for e-Learning where you will find tips on how to reach your audiences effectively in culturally appropriate ways.

Last but not least, if you are wondering whether to use voiceover or subtitling for the localization of your eLearning course, read the article eLearning Localization: Voiceover vs Subtitling to find the right eLearning localization solution for you!