A common problem L&D teams face when managing the translation of learning and development content for overseas markets is push-back from local markets.
While they may welcome the prospect of localised versions of training and learning content for their employees in their local market, they often prefer to handle the translations themselves.
It can feel like a bit of a power struggle between your central L&D team and local markets, with both wanting to keep control of the translations!
By the way, if you’re new to translating learning and development programmes, you may find our new guide to L&D translations useful. Download your copy here today.
How to get your local market colleagues on side
This power struggle is understandable, and I can see both parties’ points of view.
The central team need to ensure that training and learning content is high quality, consistent and accurate, and gives all employees the same opportunities. Localised programmes also need to conform to company policies and L&D objectives, reflect a global employer brand and comply with legal requirements.
The local market wants a learning and development programme that is relevant to them. They are focused on the specific style of learning and other cultural considerations in their market. Your local market colleagues know what works effectively in their market and feel that they’re best placed to handle localised versions of L&D content.
However, to take full advantage of the benefits of centralising L&D translations (saving time, money and ensuring that localised programmes meet your quality controls), getting your local teams on side is essential. Their local knowledge is what will make your programmes engaging and successful.
The importance of local knowledge
Involving colleagues in the local market from the very start and ensuring they fully appreciate how important their contributions are, is in my view key to getting their buy-in. To do this, you can start by highlighting the benefits of centralising the translations for them and their local employees.
Some of the key benefits of managing the translations at centre include:
- Providing them with high quality localised learning and development programmes,
- Making their lives easier and reducing their workloads,
- Ensuring their local employees get the same opportunities as colleagues in other markets,
- Helping to build an inclusive global company culture and employer brand.
It’s then important to explain how they will be involved in the translation project and have input throughout.
Here are some of the ways our L&D clients work with their local teams to get them fully involved in the translation process:
The local market reviews the English-language version of the programme – they may then identify content that doesn’t work effectively in their market and suggest ideas to make it more relevant and engaging.
A local style guides and glossary of terminology is prepared in collaboration with the local market – this ensures the right tone of voice and terminology is used for their market
A detailed localisation brief is prepared with the market – this is used by the translation team to localise the content taking into account learning and cultural considerations.
Clear guidelines are provided to the local market for reviewing translations – this can be done together with the local market to really build the collaborative approach.
Translated content is sent to the local market for review and feedback – all feedback is then acted on and incorporated into the ongoing translation project. With open lines of communication between the translation team and local markets, it helps to build trust and deliver high quality localised L&D programmes.
Your translation partner can help put in place the processes needed to support this collaborative approach, and work with your local market teams to create assets like style guides, localisation briefs and glossaries. If you would like to speak to me about this, please get in touch.
For more guidance on managing the translation of learning and development programmes, including stats and facts that will help decision-makers in your organisation understand the importance of language, please download our L&D guide below.