eLearning content localization is the process of improving a training program to suit the local needs and cultural sensitivities of a particular region. eLearning localization is in fact the next step to the regular training program, as it not only converts the content of the training from one language to another, but also adapts the factors of cultural references to suit the content. The basic idea behind eLearning localization is to ensure that the training content is conveyed in the right context and with the right emotions.
Why is eLearning content localization needed?
Today’s businesses operate globally, which means that their workforce is multicultural and multilingual. Business owners understand that, though English is an international language, people in many regions of the world are not proficient with English and still prefer their native language as a medium for learning and communication.
Business operations must provide employees with appropriate training, and employees in response must update their knowledge on a regular basis. In this context, eLearning courses for the employees come in several forms. These training courses are used to learn or refresh their understanding of the operations of various departments in the organization. These training courses, which are designed either for beginners or advanced learners, can be in the form of academic lessons or refresher courses or lessons that are meant to teach how to use some new equipment.
So, when such significant training courses are offered to employees in their preferred language to suit their convenience and cultural nuances, the purpose of the training gets fulfilled. As language and cultural factors have a significant effect on a person’s ability to learn new things, the content should be localized to suit their culture. Hence, many organizations prefer to localize the training content.
What exactly happens in localizing eLearning content?
Localizing a training program involves translating and adapting its content to the target culture. This involves modifying the;
- measurement units,
- narration tone and
Localizing content means adapting the information that includes local ideas, concepts, knowledge, and preferences.
Localization also refers to the adaptation of the content according to the linguistic, cultural, technical, and legal standards of a given country or region. This applies to your website content, branding, and everything that you offer in the form of products and services.
Thus, localization of e-learning courses is the adaptation of training resources for professionals or users in different areas of the world. The localization of these materials is quite significant as learning materials must meet high standards by being engaging, highly practical, and of interest to the learner. In many countries, eLearning platform tools, the company’s practices and policies are applied to its regional subsidiaries. The localization of e-learning courses will make them fully effective.
Let us now look at the 8 tips on eLearning Content Localization for an online training program
- Ensure that there are no linguistic errors:
Language plays a prominent role in conveying the meaning, and when it comes to effective training, it is important to ensure that there are no linguistic errors. It may be wise to use your own bilingual online translation teams to reduce costs. However, they should be proficient regarding the subtle nuances of the language the content is translated into. Because, sometimes the same message may be understood differently in different languages and it may leave the learners confused or distracted due to linguistic errors.
- Content of different forms:
We have seen that the modification of material as per the target audience is known as content localization. It is also the process of modifying and shaping your material to cater to the specific needs of your target audience. The resultant material must appear as if it were written specifically for the target audience. The localized content should not lose its originality after it is translated. When localizing your content for training programs, ensure that the message reaches out to the target audience in proper form.
- Accurate visualization:
Ensure that you use high quality Images and graphics that genuinely connect with the target audience. Also, it is essential to translate and localize any text contained inside a picture. Graphical representations should be keenly reviewed before sending it to the client for presentation as in some countries, signs and symbols are a taboo.
- Develop a language-specific environment:
As a designer, creating a language-specific environment is sometimes tricky. It is important to select appropriate themes, fonts, text size to suit the purpose. When presenting the material into the slide, the text area needs to be adjusted with the images respectively so that the slide balance is intact. For instance, Japanese characters acquire lesser space compared to other languages.
- Cross-language cultural awareness:
In localization, there is always a lurking danger in the form of creating offense while translating information from one culture to another. So, it is pivotal to hire a translation agency or localization firm that has proven social and cultural awareness not to offend your target audience. As major translation companies have an extensive network of translators, your eLearning training programs will not get affected by your employees and clients.
- Keep simple and relevant:
Make sure your audience can relate to the narratives you’re presenting if you include real-world events and examples in your training. ELearning courses must be quick to understand with simple sentences that are easier to be translated and adaptable to a local language.
- Use single language before localizing:
Adapting this technique of localizing a single language is one of the best practices for an error-free course (prototype). It saves the time and effort of the designers, preventing them from reworking courses in other languages and thus increasing productive.
- GUI Alteration:
To meet the needs of your multilingual users, the Graphical User Interface must be customized. Note that languages such as Hebrew and Arabic are read from right to left (RTL), as English is read from left to right. GUI should be designed and planned accordingly for better performance of your learners during the training sessions.
With this, we come to the concluding part of the blog. These eight important points on eLearning content localization will:
- Help your training program reach a wider audience, irrespective of cultures and backgrounds
- Create and sustain favourable results for your business
- Uphold your organization’s status