E-learning offers a cost-effective, time-saving solution for businesses and organizations when it comes to training employees or educating customers. Whether you would like to provide new employees with the latest knowledge and policies of the business or simply create tutorials, e-learning is an efficient way of doing that.
What about if you are an international company with multilingual training needs or would like to deliver a training program in multiple languages? E-learning localization makes your content accessible and relevant to different global audiences, eliminating language barriers.
In this guide, we’ll discuss the relevance of e-learning, why localization is crucial, and some best practices for successful localization approaches.
What is e-learning localization?
E-learning localization is the process of adapting training or educational content to a target audience by translating text, images, media, and other digital assets. It is about understanding the cultural and regional nuances of foreign countries and involves the customization of text, tone, colour palette, setting currencies, and much more.
The end goal of localization is to make sure the training is understandable and culturally appropriate for the learners. By localizing e-learning content, organizations can provide a better learning experience for international users and ensure their messages have the desired effect.
Paola Manca – Founder & Senior Consultant at Ampere Translations
Your roadmap to e-learning localization
Now that we’ve grasped what e-learning localization is all about, let’s take a look at some best practices.
Think globally from the start
If you’re looking to go global, it’s important to develop e-learning modules with an international audience in mind. Here’s how: talk to your audience and assess their needs, review feedback, and adjust your e-learning modules to fit the topics, skills, and language that best fits the intended audience.
Doing so will increase the chances of long-term success and help your organization or business expand beyond your initial geographic reach.
Understand the target audience and its culture
Localization of e-learning content requires more than just translating the language, but also tailoring it to the culture. Beyond using appropriate measurement units, currencies and date formats, a localization expert will be able to advise you about the more likely and accepted behaviours in each region.
For instance, driving on the left side of the road in the United Kingdom is commonplace, but if you are localizing a GPS car tutorial to any European country, it will be more natural and acceptable to see the cars on the other side of the road.
Engage with a localization service provider
Selecting a provider with proven expertise in e-learning is essential for ensuring an effective and successful project. It is also important to note that you may require additional services such as multilingual subtitling or the translation of EdTech resources, so it is important to choose a language service provider that can meet all your needs.
Choose one with a tested track record as well as appropriate resources to guarantee the quality and timely delivery of your e-learning content.
Planning the elements you need to localize
This involves making subtle adjustments such as using localized terms and expressions that reflect the language and culture of the target audience. Appropriately translating terms, combined with thoughtful formatting decisions such as paragraph breaks and capitalization rules, can go a long way towards making sure your content is accessible to those in other countries.
Localizing images is another essential step in this process as it can help avoid causing offence or misunderstanding. In order to localize images, it is important to understand the cultural context of the people you are targeting, their language and any special customs they may practice.
For example, in Thailand, purple connotes death and mourning, so if you use symbols or icons in this colour scheme, you may want to adapt it to provide a better user experience and have greater acceptance.
Multimedia and video localization
Properly localized video and multimedia elements create stronger connections between learner and material due to the understanding that comes from hearing certain words or phrases paired with recognizable settings or scenarios.
At Ampere Translations, we can help you understand the habits and traditions of a specific culture so that you can incorporate them into the process of selecting, editing or adapting the images and multimedia content used in your e-learning materials. Contact us today to find out more.
Subtitles ensure that all learners have equal access to your e-learning materials regardless of their unique linguistic needs or their disabilities. Also, many people prefer to watch a video with the sound off and choose subtitles because they understand the message better when they are able to read it. Learn more about the reasons why subtitles are important.
Benefits of E-learning Localization
With e-learning localization, learners in any corner of the world can tap into your educational resources without barriers. By translating and localizing e-learning material, you can tailor it to specific regions or languages. Accessibility for all is made possible, contributing to an increased global reach for your e-learning content.
Greater engagement of students
Would you like to increase the engagement of your employees or students? E-learning localization enhances the accessibility and relevance of educational materials, improving engagement among employees and students. It helps bridge the gap between language and culture, making it easier for people to comprehend and participate in educational material that has been translated or adapted to their native tongue.
Better acquisition and retention
Companies and organizations can create a more enjoyable and informative learning experience for their target audience by providing locally relevant content. E-learning localization helps ensure that all educational modules are tailored to users’ cultural sensibilities, making the content and messages more relatable and informative.
Furthermore, it reduces frustration and makes e-learning more accessible to groups that may otherwise have difficulty understanding foreign content. It ultimately leads to greater success when it comes to learning outcomes and overall customer satisfaction.
Optimal use of your resources
Last but by no means least, e-learning localization optimizes the use of resources by adapting your e-learning courses and materials for individuals who may not speak the same language as the creators.
Businesses and organizations can engage better with their audience by making sure their e-learning materials are accessible, relevant and understandable, expanding their reach and shaping a more inclusive world.
At Ampere Translations, our e-learning translation and localization experts connect your online training assets with learners everywhere, and provide you with the help you need to kick-start your localization journey. Get in touch with us to find out more.