Top 10 Tips to Translate Your E-Learning Courses


In this fast-paced life, E-learning is the contemporary way of learning. With e-learning courses, people learn at their comfort, accessibility, pace, and their own time. It has great importance in the field of education and training of the company employees. The IT boom and the internet have opened the door to e-learning to access knowledge, high-quality education, and training. E-Learning courses would have never been possible without the backend support of technology and the web. Nowadays e-learning is adopted by students and organizations who want to enhance employees’ knowledge skills and attitude and who want to gain economic benefit. This is why online learning has become a vital factor for both education and business.  

 If you are planning to target foreign audiences for your e-learning courses, effective translation is the key. You may take professional e-learning translation services in order to get an accurate translation of your content.

Are you new to e-learning translation? We can help you out. Here are 10 helpful tips using which you can get flawlessly translated content to reach multiple foreign markets.  

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1)Ensure Localized and Translation-friendly Content

When you start creating e-learning content, you need to take care of certain aspects. It would be better if you refrain from using idioms, references, and symbols which are culturally sensitive. Moreover, avoid lengthy paragraphs, break content into bullet points and don’t use acronyms. 

Visual content is an effective way of communicating your message but while creating visual content, make sure you don’t use culture-specific signs, gestures, and colors. You should also not use written content in visuals because it will create hurdles in the translation of content. In short, your e-learning content should be localized and translation friendly.

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2)Don’t Use Audio and Video Elements

When you use audio and video elements in your e-learning content, the translation will definitely cost more. If the course contains audio and visual elements, the content needs to be translated first, and then it is sent for recording. After recording, audio is integrated into the video. Too many videos and audio will make the translation process tedious. You can use interactive elements instead of audio and video elements.

3)Use New Authoring Technology

The translation of e-learning content has become easier with the invention of authoring technology. It is a matter of a few clicks. Tools like the articulate storyline, adobe captivate and Lectora inspire will assist you in exporting the course content into an MS-Word XML document in just one click. After this, you can send these documents to the translator and when the translation is done, you can import them in the e-learning course with another click.

4)Select the Language Carefully

Some languages have multiple dialects. For instance, two widely used dialects of the Chinese language are Simplified Chinese and Traditional Chinese. Similarly, many languages have different dialects, some of which are quite popular while some are nearly extinct now. Therefore, you need to choose the dialect along with the language carefully. Many global organizations don’t translate their e-learning content into languages that are not popular. You should carefully select the language in which you want to translate your content. 

5)Leave Space for the Translated Text

Translated content usually takes more space than the original version. For instance, if you are translating from English to French or German or Spanish, the text is 20 percent longer. On the contrary, character-based languages such as Chinese or Japanese take up about 15 percent space. Therefore, you need to maintain a text and space balance so that you don’t have to worry about adjusting space when translating the content. 

If you are translating your eLearning course into French and you feel you don’t have much space on the screen to adjust the text, you need to use other resources for formatting which makes the translation process more tedious.    

6)Appropriate Use of Subtitles and Voice-overs

Here comes a critical aspect that determines the impact and effectiveness of your course. It is always difficult to decide whether to go for voice-over or subtitle for your course. Adding subtitles is an economical choice, whereas voiceovers are more effective. Confused? Don’t be! Take into account the requirements of global learners, your training design approach, and your budget, and then decide accordingly.

7)Take the Assistance of Subject Matter Experts

If you are translating your content in any foreign language, you need to take the assistance of subject matter experts. They will help you in the pronunciation of problematic words and advice on important points. For instance, if you are working on compliance online training then you need to consider the rules and regulations of that country. Therefore, it is essential to seek the help of industry-specific personnel. 

8)Acronyms and Jargon

While translating e-learning content you may come across some doubts about whether the translated content is accurate or not. You can ask subject matter experts to clarify your doubts. For instance, if you are translating a content which contains acronyms or technical jargon, you need to know that these terms have different terminologies in the local language. You will have to translate them appropriately to make them understandable for your audience. If it is not possible then you need to speak with the locals who are well aware of the topic to get some idea about the term which is used. Some words may be in the dictionary or google translate but they are not popular and widely used. Therefore, it is always better to go for professional e-learning translation services.

9)Keep the Graphics and Text separately

If you are using graphics in e-learning content, keep text separately and on the screen. This will save your time and resources as you won’t have to add the translated text yourself and reload into the system during localization. You also need to check cultural sensitivities while selecting free stock images. For example, a handshake is acceptable in most parts of the world and there are some places where professional greetings are different. Try to avoid graphics and images that are region-specific like street signs.

10)Selecting the Right Font

It is recommended to use a global font that can easily be changed to the local languages. For instance, if Arial and another type of Unicode font are used then the text will be shown accurately. They are not accurately shown if they use the Latin alphabet such as Chinese or Russian. Refrain from using elegant fonts, they will distract the learners and will hamper overall e-learning experience.

 Choosing the Right E-learning Translation Partner

When you are in quest of the service provider that can accurately translate your e-learning material, the first thing you need to see is whether they have prior experience and competency in translating online courses or not. Some vendors are good at translating marketing material but you must be clear that e-learning translation is different. The experience and competency in dealing with e-learning will have a strong impact on the quality of the translation of your online course. Therefore, you need to select the E-learning Translation Services carefully that can fulfill all your translation requirements. 

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