3 tips for collaborating with global teams on translating training content

Posted: 11 Sep 2023

Collaborating with international team members on training translation doesn’t have to be a headache. Here are our tips for coordinating worldwide teamwork.

After weeks spent developing and translating quality multilingual L&D content, you’re finally ready to launch across the international offices. You heave a sigh of relief as you hit ‘send’ on your email to the local market.

However, within days, you’re caught in a storm of feedback, multiple revisions and back and forth with the local market teams. The Spanish team don’t agree with the title, and the Italian office doesn’t like the tone of voice. Now, you need to wade through the responses and make sense of revisions.

Sounds familiar? Don’t worry – we’ve heard this story from several clients over the years.

Getting feedback from multiple parties can escalate, let alone when you add sensitivities around different languages and cultures. Numerous revisions are not only time-consuming and costly, but demoralising for everyone involved. There are ways to make the process a lot less painful, though.

To help you out, here are three tips on managing the process of working with international teams.

Tip 1: There’s no I in team (except in French – “équipe”)

Getting your local market counterpart involved in your eLearning translation project sooner rather than later can save time further down the line.

By working together from the start, both teams benefit from each other’s knowledge. It also sets the foundation for collaboration, making everyone feel involved and accountable.

Once the English version of your L&D programme is finalised, share it with an English-speaking local market team member. By sharing the content that they will be reviewing the translations of upfront, your markets are already invested in the project. They can also highlight any potential content in the original English version that won’t translate or needs localising in the translated versions.

You can also ask your in-market colleagues for everything your translation partner needs to get your translations on the right track. Your international colleagues will have pre-approved translations, glossaries, brand guidelines, style guides and all sorts of other reference material available to steer your translation partner in exactly the right direction when it comes to those tricky brand-specific preferences.

Tip 2: Agree on review guidelines

Get the feedback you need by agreeing on what exactly “feedback” means early on. For example, when it comes to eLearning translation, you might want to look at key terminology, cultural differences, style, tone and imagery.

This is an important step, especially when colleagues work in a different language. Agreeing on the feedback guidelines beforehand provides a framework for the review team to work to and can save a lot of time (and a lot of headaches!). It’s especially helpful when you have multiple team members working on one project or a series of different translation projects being edited simultaneously.

We suggest making the guidelines another point of collaboration; that way, you can agree on terminology and style from the off.

Tip 3: Speak to your eLearning translation partner

An experienced training translation team can liaise between the local market colleagues and the central team to ensure the needs of both teams are heard and resolved.

Your eLearning translation partner will listen to any considerations the local market team has from the start to align these objectives. They’ll take the local market feedback on board and keep them in the loop throughout the translation and localisation process.

By promoting good communications with all parties and taking a collaborative approach in translating your learning and training content, you’ll build trust and get the multilingual versions of your programmes signed off with minimal stress.

And finally… A little gift from us

We’ve created a free-to-download guide to support your next steps in L&D translations. It’s packed with tips and advice collected over years of working with global training teams and learning best practices.

How Comtec can help

Over 40 years in business, we’ve developed a reputation for being the industry leader in eLearning translation and localisation. We’ve built a whole range of localisation services, especially for L&D, from eLearning module translation to video localisation, including synthetic voiceover. Our team comprises a network of more than 4,000 professional linguists, as well as an in-house team dedicated to getting the best results for our clients.

The global training industry is one of our areas of specialism, and we even have a team of project managers who are dedicated solely to supporting our L&D and eLearning clients. In terms of technology, we have an expert understanding of authoring tools and how they work, both in terms of how we handle export files and also the technical quality of our rebuild services.

If you have any questions, no matter how specific or general, or just for a chat about how we can help you with your translation queries or requirements, please call our friendly team onat +44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email info@comtectranslations.com. Or, if you prefer, get in touch with us here.

We’re always happy to talk translation!