Overcoming the challenges to delivering multilingual eLearning content – time and money

Providing consistent training for a global workforce is no easy task. The more countries you need to engage with, the more hoops you need to jump through to deliver engaging eLearning content. And all of these challenges are governed by two important things: time and money.

Here I explain how partnering with an experienced translation company can help you support your clients’ L&D departments to overcome many of these challenges.

By working closely with your translation partner, eLearning projects can be aligned with time and budget constraints, and processes developed and refined to deliver better ROI and help improve training effectiveness.

How the right translation partner can help you overcome global training challenges

The more countries your clients’ eLearning content needs to be launched in, the more project stages, people involved, and resources you need.

In most global L&D departments the process looks like this:

  1. Source training content is sent to your clients’ legal departments in each country for sign off
  2. Approved source content is translated and localised
  3. Translated content is sent to clients’ overseas offices for sign off
  4. eLearning content is launched simultaneously to ensure content is available to all countries

However, it doesn’t always happen like this! Time is not always on your side as hold-ups can occur with legal teams and your clients’ market reviewers, and if revisions are required to either the source or the translated training content, you can end up yo-yo-ing between different project stages.

How can your translation partner help?

Translation companies like Comtec can help by managing what can sometimes be a lengthy market review stage. You and your clients can then focus on other activities while we work with local offices to ensure a smooth review process and minimal revisions.

We would recommend starting this process with the source content, to identify any areas that require special handling. For example, some UK training methods use a case study and invite learners to ‘solve’ the problem. But in other countries this method of learning is not the norm; rather, trainers simply provide an instructional method of teaching. Learners in some countries have even expressed frustration at the case study method, preferring to be given all the facts first, before being asked to try and solve a problem.

By working with your content design team and your clients’ local review teams, we can ensure that your eLearning content is “translation-proof” and appropriate for learners in that country to avoid hold-ups later in the project.

We can also develop style guides, glossaries of terminology and review guidelines with your clients’ local offices to speed up the translation and localisation process. By agreeing on this early on and getting buy-in from the review teams, we can significantly reduce the number of revisions requested, get content signed off quickly and, in the process, also increase the consistency of the localised training content.

Managing budgets

We use technology such as translation memory software to save time and money. Essentially it means you don’t pay for the same translation twice. By storing approved translations for each language in a translation memory unique to each of your end clients, we are able to cross-reference new content and identify ‘memory matches’ such as a phrase we’ve previously translated. Depending on the level of memory match, we can offer discounts on previously translated content – ensuring both consistent translations and a reduction in project costs.

In my experience, this is invaluable for eLearning teams as the content is often repeated across different training modules. Why pay for the same phrase or instruction to be translated every time it’s used, when you can pay for it once?

Technology like this can also speed up translation times: fewer words to translate means projects can be turned around quicker. We can also manage and synchronise multilingual projects so your eLearning content is ready to launch at the same time in each country.

I hope this provides a little insight into how we support both eLearning agencies and their end clients. As you can see, we do a lot more than purely translating content!

If you’re looking for more tips for creating engaging eLearning content for a global workforce and managing multilingual eLearning projects, click here to download our Ultimate Guide.

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