7 Tips To Prepare For Globalized eLearning
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How To Prepare For Globalized eLearning In 2018

The global economy grows and eLearning keeps expanding its reach. Even beyond borders. A lot of companies grow their employee base beyond their country of operation. Once they do, if they use internal training it would be a good idea to get their training modules localized by a human translator. For inWhatLanguage, a translation and localization agency, a lot of their clients are eLearning authors that get requests from their clients to have their modules translated and formatted so they can use them for people that speak another language.

No matter what the situation is, there has been a growing global demand for eLearning translation in recent years. Before we get into the tips, here are some terms you should know.

Localization: Localization is when a product or content is adapted and changed to fit a specific region and culture. This goes beyond just word-for-word translation, but rather makes sure that messaging is changed based on cultural differences.

Transcreation: Transcreation is when new content is created for specific global markets. Think of it as content creation and localization combined. Translation and localization are common terms used when changing content from one language to another. The terms have different meaning depending on their context.

Now, let's look at some tips you can apply when producing eLearning modules so that they can be ready for human translation and more accurately serve their target audience. These tips are to help you create eLearning courses if you know they will be translated. If you are not authoring eLearning for a global audience, they won't apply.

0 (!). Ask If The eLearning Courses Will Be Used For International Markets

Before you get started, you need to know if the eLearning courses you're developing will be used in global markets or not. If not, then you don't have to worry about it. But if they will be used for other languages, you should create them so they are ready to get translated.

1. Make Sure The English Content Is Properly Internationalized

The message you are communicating should be designed to apply to a broader audience rather than just the U.S. or country of origin. For example, workplace safety regulations are very country-specific. There is no OSHA in France, but there are other similar organizations. Make sure your communication will be excepted in a broad and global world.

2. Fewer Words On A Screen

Fewer words on a screen are better for translation, so use graphics... But when using graphic elements make sure they are internationally recognizable.

3. Don't Use People On Screen

Narrating a voice is cheaper and easier to produce than dubbing a person on screen. Not having a person on screen makes it much easier to switch voices for areas sensitive to gender.

4. Be Mindful Of Color Usage

In finance, a number in green represents positive growth in the U.S. In Japan, it's the opposite – red displays positive growth.

5. Language Space Differences

Plan on the translation taking up more or less room. What this means is that you need to leave more white space, in general. Make text boxes longer so that they can fit more text than that in the original language. For example, if you fit the English text inside a text box and the Russian is longer, the text boxes will have to be changed. Which wouldn't need to happen if you had planned for that.

6. Avoid Using Colloquialisms Or Edit Your Source Before Translating

Not all colloquialisms make sense translated into another language. Alternatively, edit the source text to be more universal before you translate it.

7. Pick Your Subject Matter Expert Carefully

If you have someone to review the translation, make sure they know that their feedback should focus on whether the translated text matches the English one. Some SMEs start to do word editing that actually changes the meaning from the source, which translators are not allowed to do. Alternatively, if you do want it changes per market, then invest in transcreation, not translation. Transcreation specialists can change the content to match a specific market while still being true to the source. However, it does cost more and takes longer.

I hope these tips were helpful and that you can go on to create awesome eLearning courses that get are ready to serve global audiences.

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