8 Factors To Consider When Choosing eLearning Translators
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How To Choose eLearning Translators: 8 Factors To Consider

Geographically dispersed employees have different backgrounds and experience levels. They also have their own language preferences that your L&D team must take into account. Even those who are fluent in other dialects may be more comfortable with online training resources in their native tongue. Given that it’s virtually impossible to hire a full-time linguist who’s mastered every language, a good translator is usually your best bet. These are 8 factors that you should keep in mind when selecting eLearning translators for your eLearning course.

1. Online Portfolio

The first thing to consider is their online portfolio, which should give you a clear indication of their experience, skills, and area of expertise, as well as showcase examples that help you determine whether the eLearning translator is ideally suited for your eLearning project. Many eLearning translators now host their portfolios online and tie it into social media. For example, you can access links to their Facebook or LinkedIn profiles to learn more about their service.

2. eLearning Experience

The eLearning translator might have worked on numerous projects in the past, but are they knowledgeable about the eLearning industry? Ideally, the eLearning translator should have experience with online training materials and the overall eLearning course design process. This will help them mesh more effectively with your eLearning team and fully understand their work responsibilities. For example, they know that they can consult with the Subject Matter Expert to clarify terms that are more advanced or industry-specific.

3. References And Reviews

If the translator has been in this line of work for some time they are bound to have a variety of online reviews and ratings. They should be able to provide you with a list of references on request. When in doubt, contact a few people they’ve worked with in the past to learn more about their experiences with the eLearning translator. You can also search their name to see if they appear in any social media posts or more obscure review sites.

4. Level Of Fluency

There are two distinct categories that you must consider when hiring an eLearning translator. The first is native speakers who were brought up with the language. The second is eLearning translators who learned the language via extensive training, but it is not their mother tongue. Many organizations opt for native speakers due to the fact that they’ve usually mastered the nuances of the dialect. However, there are some trained eLearning translators who have a high degree of fluency and are familiar with conversational and formal vocabulary.

5. Subject Matter Knowledge

It’s wise to choose an eLearning translator who has some basic knowledge of the Subject Matter. They don’t necessarily have to be Subject Matter Experts, but that is a major plus. If the portfolio doesn’t give an indication of their experience with the topic, ask them to translate a test project. For example, a real-world example from your eLearning course that features technical terms or jargon. Essentially, words or phrases that only those who are familiar with the topic would understand. If they aren’t well-versed on the topic, you may want to set up a meeting with your Subject Matter Expert and eLearning translator. The SME can offer insight on the topic and highlight the most important ideas and concepts.

6. Brand Awareness

Every aspect of your eLearning course should reflect your brand image. That includes translated online training content. During the interviewing process, ask the top candidates to sum up your brand in one sentence. You should also ensure that they are aware of your mission statement and your products or services. They don’t have to sit through an entire orientation course. Simply provide them with enough info to get a feel for your brand and the image you want to portray via the online training materials. This also helps them clearly identify your target audience, which is essential when translating online training content.

7. Associated Fees

Cost is one of the most important factors to consider. The eLearning translator may be top notch, but can you fit them into your budget? Or is there another service provider who may be a better candidate? Request an estimate from the eLearning translator, preferably an itemized breakdown of all associated fees. For example, their hourly rate or additional tools they need to complete the job. In some cases, the eLearning translator may review the online training materials, and then quote you a price for the entire project, rather than charging on ongoing hourly rate. If so, carefully consider what’s included in the package and ensure there are no additional fees. For instance, do they charge extra for revisions if necessary? Will you have to pay for them to attend team or client meetings?

8. Work Process

As is the case with any profession, many eLearning translators have a certain approach to handling work-related tasks. It’s important to ask about their work process, so that you can determine if it aligns with your needs. This can also help to ensure that the eLearning translator will mesh well with your team and its typical work flow. Lastly, ask about the resources and tools they need to tackle their respective tasks. Keep in mind that you have to import their translated content to your existing eLearning course design. Thus, the formatting must be correct in order to avoid time-consuming revisions or re-structuring.

eLearning translators give you the ability to deploy your eLearning course on a global scale and ensure that everyone absorbs the key takeaways. Even your worldwide workforce speaks a multitude of languages. Use this article as a guide to hire the best person for the job without having to endure costly trial-and-error.

Want to find the ideal eLearning translator for your next eLearning course? Search our free directory of eLearning Translation Providers to find, choose and compare the best in the field.

Are you ready to consider outsourcing for your next eLearning course? Read the article Outsourcing eLearning: 6 Facts And Stats eLearning Pros Should Know to discover 6 facts and stats that you should know before embarking on outsourcing  your eLearning course.

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