The benefits and process of translating eLearning

elearning translation

Online learning is crucial to every organisation’s education and training initiatives. That’s especially true in today’s fast-paced corporate environment. With the convenience of eLearning, employees can take courses at their own pace and schedule.

However, for global organisations, language barriers can pose a serious challenge. Current estimates reveal that at least 43% of people worldwide are bilingual, and 17% are multilingual. This means that nearly half of your workforce is likely bilingual.

To improve understanding and comprehension of online material it’s important to make sure it’s accessible and provided in the language that’s easiest for the learner to understand. Translating online resources into different languages can improve your company’s reach and accessibility.

While this seems obvious, it often isn’t done largely because translations used to be costly and difficult to procure. But this is no longer the case. eLearning translations have become more seamless and cost-effective than ever before. Here’s what to know about how to localise your online learning materials.

What is content localisation?

What is content localisation, and why is it important? Content localisation means adjusting digital content to suit the audience. The goal is to meet different learners’ linguistic, cultural, and regional needs.

For instance, a company might create an online training program. However, the language, cultural references, and examples used in the course may not be relevant to learners in a different country. Content localisation helps to bridge that gap. Online training programs become more effective when you:

  • Translate the course content
  • Adjust the tone
  • Modify cultural references
  • Modify the examples used in the course

Content localisation in corporate environments can help companies reach a wider audience. Sometimes, it can also help them improve their global brand recognition. It’s a win-win for learners and companies. The content is more sensitive to the audience and therefore makes knowledge and training more accessible and effective.

Benefits of eLearning translation

With the rise of globalisation and the effects post COVID-19, more and more companies are opting for eLearning as their preferred training mode. However, delivering eLearning content in different languages is essential to reach a diverse audience. Here are a few more benefits of translating content and how it can help a business grow and prosper.

Improves performance – Translating eLearning content into different languages can improve performance. While this is obvious it’s often not done. It does so by providing learners with a better understanding of the materials – learners who understand the instructions are more likely to complete the course successfully. This leads to better performance and higher productivity in the workplace.

Increases employee satisfaction – Translating materials can also increase employee satisfaction. Employees feel valued and appreciated when they have access to training relevant to their needs. After all, it’s much easier to learn when it’s in your preferred language. This can lead to higher employee engagement, retention, and job satisfaction.

Creates a multicultural workspace – Appreciating diverse cultures and languages is key to creating a more inclusive environment. By translating eLearning content, you empower learners from various backgrounds to fully engage and participate. This promotes better teamwork, collaboration, and understanding, even in virtual settings. The result? Enhanced communication, cultural appreciation, and improved business outcomes.

Attracts global talent – Companies with a global reach recognise the value of bilingual or multilingual employees. By offering training in multiple languages, you not only cater to the diverse needs of your workforce but also attract top talent from around the world. Language barriers should never hinder access to exceptional professionals. When you localise your eLearning content, you demonstrate a commitment to inclusivity and create a welcoming environment for global talent. Translating your content can open doors to the best talent worldwide.

Improves retention – Finally, by providing eLearning courses in different languages, businesses can improve the retention of these courses. Learners are more likely to remember and apply what they have learned when the course is in their native language. By translating your eLearning content, you create a personalised learning experience that resonates with diverse learners. Breaking language barriers enhances comprehension, engagement, and knowledge retention, leading to better learning outcomes.

How eLearning translation works

There are a few factors to consider when choosing an eLearning translation service. They include:

  • Cost
  • Turnaround time
  • Quality of service

But how exactly does it work when you want to get content translated or localised? Well, it varies from platform to platform and agency to agency.

If using a translation agency, they will look at the original course content, then translate it into the target language. This usually involves working with a team of native-speaking translators who are experts in the subject matter. Once translated they’ll then check for errors or omissions, to ensure accuracy. The goal is to maintain the original intent of the course material. On top of that, they’ll adapt the translated content to the target audience’s cultural context. For example, images and symbols in a course may have a different meaning in another culture, so translators will need to make adjustments.

Using Articulate apps for translating

With authoring apps like Articulate Rise and Storyline, you can easily create and localise engaging online courses. These apps offer built-in features that streamline the translation process, making it efficient and cost-effective. From exporting content for translation to managing multiple language versions, Articulate apps can help you reach a global audience and deliver impactful learning experiences.

B Online Learning has been working with Heat and Control, a global engineering and manufacturing solutions company, to translate several existing Articulate Storyline training modules from English to Chinese.

By using the following steps we’ve streamlined the translation process:

Step 1

Finalise the English version and place the audio narration in the notes section of each Storyline screen.

Step 2

Export the Storyline translation document. The translation service will determine if you export to Word or XLIFF.  We use Word so we can easily get a word count for the translation.

Step 3

Translate the “Translation” column in the document.

Note: check any images that have text on them that also need translating and updating.

Step 4

The client conducts a review of the translated document using these statements as a guide:

  • Are special characters in the target language, are characters or symbols, correct?
  • Are dates, times, measurements, etc., written in the correct format?
  • Is terminology used consistently?
  • Does the translated text make sense (do you understand what is written)?
  • Does the translated text sound natural (is it something a native speaker would say)?
  • Does the translated text mean the same thing as the original text?
  • Any changes are made directly in the Word document (in the translation column only)

Step 5 

Import the translated document into Storyline.

Change the language in the player text labels.

Check each screen to ensure that the conversion to the new language has kept the layout and design intact.

Step 6

Publish a Word document from Storyline with notes. Send the audio narration to be recorded by a professional voice artist. Import and replace the audio files with the new language.

Step 7

Publish the module to Articulate Review for the client to review, provide feedback and sign off.

Here is a screenshot of one of the Heat and Control Articulate Storyline modules translated from English to Chinese.

How we can help

The benefits of eLearning translations extend beyond just breaking down language barriers. Translating your eLearning materials allows for an inclusive learning environment. It also promotes cultural understanding and increases engagement and retention.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how Articulate apps can help, get in touch with us today. As the exclusive Certified Articulate Australia & New Zealand Training partner, you may be interested in learning more about the apps and participate in one of our workshops.

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