5 Tips for Effective e-Learning Localization
e-Learning localization has become an indispensable part of distance learning as this industry continues to grow quickly, predicted to generate $325 billion by 2025 (according to a forecast from Research and Markets). Learners from all over the world can study anything remotely now due to a variety of distance courses from top-tier universities and online instructors in any areas – science, art, economics, engineering, acting, etc. One key to gain more foreign audiences is to localize your e-learning courses.
Below is our list of 5 effective tips to help you develop a successful e-Learning localization project.
Table of Contents
Elements that Need E-Learning Localization
Written content accounts for the largest proportion of an e-Learning localization project but it might not be the only thing that needs localizing in your courses. You should pay attention to the following features and elements that all need taking care of:
- Written content
- Images and graphics
- Format of date, measure, etc.
- Function buttons
1. Plan Ahead & Optimize Your Content
e-Learning localization is not a separate step that you only need to pay attention to when your course is completed. The localization process should start immediately when you build the structure of the course and run through the whole implementation, production, and post-production stages. That means a detailed plan should be made ahead and the following factors should be taken into consideration:
– When preparing the lesson plan, you should bear in mind that some slangs and idiomatic languages you use might cause confusion to target audiences as they might not be culturally-suitable or acceptable in the target markets. Including such elements makes your courses sound unrelatable while causing slower turn-around time for your project. Also, mentioning relevant topics and various examples of different countries, making your courses more diverse come highly recommended.
– What’s more, you need to decide what factors of the courses you want to be localized. For example, the course titles, your brand slogan, illustrated images, examples, etc. For example, if you plan to localize a Branding course into Chinese, should the brands mentioned during the course be changed into their Chinese names (e.g. 肯德基 – Kěndéjī instead of KFC or 金拱门 – Jingongmen instead of McDonald’s).
2. Graphics and Other Visuals
Localizing graphics and other visuals are a must in an e-Learning localization project to guarantee cultural suitability. The colours and images included in the videos should be received extra attention to make sure they are positively perceived in the target language’s culture.
One important element that many courses forget to localize is the navigation buttons such as the next button, progress bars or speech bubbles tooltip. The size of the button is normally fixed, thus, translators must choose the words that are not too long to expand outside the button or box while remaining the same messages. This is not an easy task that needs taking care of by a professional translator.
3. Text Length and Expansion
The length of the translated words can be different significantly compared to the source text. It can be either shorter or longer. For example, words in Italian can expand 3 times longer than the source word in English. In contrast, the text length is reduced by 20% when you translate English words into Chinese characters. While it is quite easy to deal with shorter texts, translations that expand too much might cause headache to translators and video editors since there is no space for the expansion.
The first solution is that during the preparation process, you should be aware of the possibilities of word expansion and give extra blank space for the text to grow. The second solution is preparing some extra footage in case your new script or the narration is longer.
4. Technical Considerations
Besides sending the final version of the source video to your translators or translation agency, to make sure the e-Learning localization process goes smoothly, you should prepare an editable or design file. For example, instead of sending PNG or JPG files that are challenging to make changes or in many cases, cannot be edited, you should provide them with a Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, etc. file to save time and effort for both sides.
Additionally, to avoid making the video from scratch, your linguists can edit directly on the editable files provided, especially when extra footage is needed to accommodate for longer narration.
5. Choose The Right Partner
Another tip to help you produce high-quality e-Learning localization is by working with professional translators and agencies. Your projects can benefit from advanced technologies that your professional partner offers. It includes the use of Translation Memories in CAT Tools which boost consistency while reducing time for your localization projects. They also have resources to handle technical factors such as designing, editing, or voice-over your videos. Additionally, well-trained and experienced linguists guarantee that your e-learning courses are socially suitable for audiences in your target market.