eLearning Course Translation Best Practices
Elearning Courses are becoming increasingly popular. Thanks to the Internet and new technologies, education has never been more available to everyone. Ironically, now the only barrier that many find to study new fascinating subjects is the language. Generally speaking, eLearning Courses are available worldwide, as they are located in the worldwide web. But the world is full of different languages and cultural contexts. That is why eLearning Course Translation is nowadays one of the most demanded, successful fields in any translation company that is up to date.
Elearning Course Translation is, however, a very special service that requires specific subject-matter expertise and high technical skills from all of the parties involved. From the translation company’s standpoint, there are certain practices that must be followed for a smooth completion of any eLearning Course translation service.
From the onset, there is one thing that must be crystal-clear about effective eLearning Course Translation: it is a time-consuming process. It takes many different steps, and it cannot be rushed. Not unless you are willing to settle for a mediocre final result. It takes vast amounts of time to make sure that a final deliverable up to the client’s desires and expectations is produced - especially when the translation is done in many different languages.
It usually entails compression and expansion issues as well – for instance, a 100-word eLearning Course in English usually ends up with a word count of 125 when translated to Spanish or any other Romance language.
It is thus important to remember that the original content in English will not have the same length as the resulting translation. This has to be factored into the final result in online displays, as well as the voiceover services that tend to go with these courses. If there is dubbing services included in the translation service, the audios must be adapted to the videos (or vice versa) in order to achieve exact synchronization between image and sound.
Overall, it is quite a long and tricky path that must be trodden carefully and methodically.
That is why an iterative, agile approach is the best option for this kind of translation. Here are some excellent guidelines for organizations to follow...
- Gather Linguists & Test.
Start with a testing phase to round up a pool of capable linguists for the project. Text samples must be sent to the client for their consideration.
- Organize Translation Memory.
It is also important to gather any translation memory files from past translations that the client may have, as well as glossaries, style guides and terminology specifically related to the current project.
- Initiate a Pilot.
The real translation begins with a “pilot” segment –or a “proof of content”-, send it to the client and wait for feedback.
- Begin Course Translation.
Once this initial step is done, the translation can proceed with a second segment based on the comments and suggestions from the client. This process will continue until the whole course is translated.
- Review with Client.
Once the translation is completed, the client must sign it off before moving on to the recording phase.
- Voice Talent Audio Samples.
Start the next stage of the project with a testing phase to round up a pool of capable, fit voice talents for the project. Audio samples must be sent to the client for their consideration.
- Approval & Audio Recording.
Get approval from the client on a specific number of voice artists, and record all the audio bits step by step, taking the feedback from the client as a guide at all times.
- Audio Publishing.
Insert the audio on the videos / presentations, adapting them for perfect synchronization.
- Full Testing & DTP.
If the client asks for it, the translation company can also take charge of the insertion of the translated and recorded material right into their online platform for a perfect, all-encompassing service. This involves text editing and formatting to achieve best online-viewing results, as well as other adjustments to make sure that audio and videos are in the right places and play when they are supposed to.
- Final Sign-off & Delivery.
Once approved by your team and the translation company team you are ready for delivery to your client.
As you can see careful organization and an understanding of the overall translation process can dramatically help prepare you for any unknowns along the way. If companies will take the time to review the process and invest the time upfront they will see much better results and less overall errors. The adage "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" holds true here. The prevention of course is organization and time upfront. We hope this simple guide helps alleviate any potential problems you may run into. Good luck!