5 Timely Tips To Make The Most Of Your eLearning Translation Budget
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How To Make The Most Of Your eLearning Translation Budget

On a global scale, eLearning and mobile learning courses delivered in employees’ native languages are increasing in popularity. There is a charm in learning in one’s native language that cannot be discounted. The human brain is structured to retain information in the native language. This is the reason employees have the tendency to learn quickly when a training program is delivered in their native language.

The most important criterion to evaluate an eLearning translation vendor is the quality of translations. But along with it, comes the requirement from stakeholders to stick to a cost-effective translation process. As training managers and L&D professionals involved in delivering effective eLearning translations, there are certain steps you can take, to make the most of your eLearning translation budget.

1. Take The Effort To Develop Translation-Friendly Content

Before you go ahead with developing an eLearning course in English, keep in mind the global expansion strategy of your organization. Will there be a requirement to create eLearning translations later on? In that case, make the eLearning course translation-friendly.

Developing translation-friendly eLearning courses has the following advantages:

  • Translation quality improves
  • Translation becomes quick and cost-effective

What can you do to make eLearning courses translation-friendly?

When we write about a subject that’s technical in nature, there is a tendency to write long-winded sentences. Avoid this. Instead, use crisp, clear sentences. If a sentence is ambiguous, the meaning will be lost in translation. Avoid cultural references, slang, jargon, and idioms. These may not translate well and sometimes change the meaning altogether when translated to a different language.

2. Avoid Making Changes To Source Files After eLearning Translation

Before you hand eLearning course source files over to the translation vendor, ensure that your source material is error-free. This means all the edits to the text, additions to graphics, and course reviews are complete. If you feel there is additional content that needs to be added for learners in a particular country, do so before proceeding with eLearning translation. Suggestions for changes after the course is translated will only result in additional expenditure.

List all the elements in the eLearning course that need to be translated. Some of the elements are audio, audio narration script, onscreen text, text on graphics, and labels on the interface. If all the elements that need translated text are not identified, it can lead to missed translations which add to the cost of eLearning translations.

3. Include A Roadmap For eLearning Translations

When you know that eLearning translations are included in the online training strategy, it is better to plan well in advance. List the languages in which you will need eLearning translations. If you partner with an eLearning vendor who can also aid with translations, then depend on the volume of work you assign the vendor, and the long-term relationship you share, you can expect discounts. On the other hand, if your decision to translate a course is sudden, and you need to meet a tight deadline, the cost of eLearning translation will significantly go up.

Also, if adequate time is not provided for translation, the quality of the translated eLearning course may be affected. A roadmap aids in timeline projections, and predicting the approximate time and cost involved in quality translation projects.

4. Use Translation Memory

A translation memory tool stores segments of translated text. These segments can refer to sentences, paragraphs, titles, headings, or a list of elements. Over time, the tool acts as a repository of the translated text. So, when a source file is reviewed using the translation memory if it encounters text for which translation is already available, it flags off that segment. So, that segment of text need not be translated again.

For example, let’s say you have a standard screen on navigation instructions included in your eLearning course. If the translation for this is already available in the translation memory, there is no need to translate this again. This saves time and brings down the cost of eLearning translations.

5. Use Audio And Video Wisely

If you have an eLearning course that includes lots of videos and podcasts, remember it involves an additional cost of eLearning translation. If you have a podcast in the eLearning course, then the translated version will at least require a translated script of the podcast. If you have a video clip that needs to be dubbed into different languages; let’s say 4 audio clips in the course that is to be translated into 10 different languages. That means 40 dubbings will be needed.

Similarly, complex interactivities will require detailed instructions, which again leads to additions in the text that needs to be translated. Also, pay attention to the visual strategy. If there are a lot of graphics that contain embedded text, translations will be required for that text too. It is always better to use graphics and icons that are self-explanatory, instead of adding text as labels over the image.

Engaging in a long-term partnership with an eLearning vendor is an assured way of guaranteeing an optimized budget for eLearning translations, without compromising on the quality of the translation.

The boundaries that divide us are fast fading, making it mandatory for organizations to take appropriate measures to ensure their global workforce is given every opportunity to perform at its best. Work with a reliable vendor, plan ahead, simplify, and ensure your eLearning translations are successful.

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