How do I know I’ll get ROI from translating L&D programmes?

Posted: 11 Sep 2023

When you’re new to translating your organisation’s learning and training programmes, knowing whether you’ll get a return on investment (ROI) from eLearning translations can be challenging.

Your gut instinct might be that you will, having researched the benefits of multilingual translation on blogs or webinars like this one.

However, if a budget holder asks you for reassurance that this investment is money well spent, how can you convince them?

Read on to get some tips on how to justify the expense of L&D programme translation, as well as measure and quantify its impact.

Did you know your organisation is missing out by not translating L&D programmes?

In our guide, The Business Benefits of Multilingual Training Programmes (if you haven’t already, download our free guide today), we share some interesting facts from a survey by Forbes Insight and Rosetta Stone Business.

One statistic stands out:

67% of respondents said that a language barrier caused significant inefficiencies, lack of productivity, weak collaboration and poor engagement.

Therefore, by not localising your eLearning content, your global staff are probably not engaging with the learning programmes, so learnings are not being implemented.

If you’re measuring L&D performance metrics, you may already be seeing that language barriers currently impact your global employees’ performance.

Using data to guide eLearning translation decision-making

By segmenting your training performance data by country, you can measure how your non-translated L&D programmes perform – using the UK workforce to benchmark the performance of your English language training materials in other markets.

It’s likely that even when staff in an overseas market have high levels of English proficiency, learner engagement and other metrics will be lower than the UK scores.

With this information, making a case for investing in translation becomes easier. These insights can also help you prioritise the markets that would most benefit from localised learning and development programmes.

The next step for many organisations that have invested in developing learning programmes for their global staff will be to translate the content.

If you choose to translate your learning content, here’s the ROI you can expect:

  • Better learner outcomes and skills development
  • Higher levels of employee engagement
  • Increased employee retention (93% of organisations are concerned about employee retention, according to the 2023 LinkedIn Learning Report)
  • Increased productivity
  • Enhanced collaboration between markets
  • Greater adoption of Health & Safety and legal requirements
  • Increased competitive advantage
  • Create a more people-centric organisation (the same LinkedIn report showed that 83% of organisations want to build a more people-centric culture, and 81% of companies are using L&D teams to do this)

Before you start: Get culturally savvy from the get-go

Before diving in and starting all the eLearning translation work, taking a step back might be a good idea.

Reflecting on how different cultures like to learn and receive information is just one consideration. Throw in local sensitivities, be it customs, holidays and celebrations, or religious views, and you know that there’s some homework to do.

Cultural competence will be the key to unlocking great engagement for all learners, regardless of their location, ultimately leading to much better learning outcomes.

To get some tips on this, check out our webinar Cultural Awareness: Ensuring your learning is truly inclusive, where together with Comtec’s Cultural Services Partner, Jessica Rathke, I look at how businesses can meet the L&D expectations of today’s diverse workforce.

The importance of measurement: Proving that you made the right decision

Once you’ve agreed to invest in eLearning localisation, you have an opportunity to measure the ROI, which can support future translation projects.

Many of the L&D teams we work with build their measurement metrics into their programmes, for example, by taking employees to a survey on completing a module. These surveys, feedback forms and post-training quizzes are also translated and localised for each market to boost participation.

Some clients go further and use split testing to measure the performance of English and localised versions in the same market. Split-testing gives them some beneficial insights into how effective multilingual content is for their organisation.
Read our guide on measuring translation ROI to get ideas around specific KPIs to track for the L&D and eLearning industry.

Please contact me if you need help understanding the potential ROI or need help convincing other decision-makers.

How Comtec can help

I hope the information above has given you a few ideas of how to make the case for translating L&D programmes and show that positive ROI is well within your grasp.

It’s something we have a lot of experience in – we’ve been in business for over 40 years and have developed a deep specialism in eLearning translation services. We’ve worked with award-winning eLearning agencies as well as in-house teams for all-sized businesses, and the knowledge base we’ve built up means we’re the industry experts in L&D localisation and translation.

A lot of our services have been developed especially for this industry, from eLearning module translation to L&D video localisation, including synthetic voiceover. We also offer strategic cultural audits and insights, so that you can get the best advice on how to create training content that’s right for your audience.

Finally, we’ve created a free-to-download guide to support your next steps in eLearning translations. It’s packed with tips and advice!

For further info on how we can help you with your translation queries or requirements, please call our friendly team at +44 (0) 1926 335 681 or email Or get in touch with us directly here.

We’re always happy to talk translation!