Best practice for translating e-learning content

e-learning translation

According to research by Global Market Insights the e-learning market is expected to exceed $200 billion by 2024! E-learning has seen huge growth in recent years, in part because of the rapid scale of globalisation and also because of new technology and digitalisation.

As part of the increasing popularity of using e-learning materials, companies are choosing to maximise their use of e-learning resources and, as a result, much e-learning content requires translation in order to reach multinational workforces. Comtec work directly with L&D departments on their multilingual training content, as well as with leading e-learning providers like Sponge UK, Logicearth and Kallidus. We’ve found that demand for our e-learning translation services has increased dramatically as more companies launch or expand in overseas markets and need to create training and development content for a global workforce.

We’ve put together our 3 top tips for translating e-learning content to help you get the most value out of your training materials.

3 E-learning translation best practices

  1. Tailor your content to the end user

The e-learning development companies we work with do a brilliant job of customising their modules to align them with the brands they work with, and it’s important for e-learning translations need to follow the same process. That means that when we work with an e-learning company we need to understand the end user (the client and the market), and the translation styles they require.

Translating e-learning content for a luxury car brand or for an international sports brand requires different styles, as we believe it’s not a one-size-fits-all service. We like to start any translation project with a clear understanding of the brand and develop style guidelines for each market. That way we can preserve the brand identity and values that need to be communicated to employees, and adapt the e-learning content to the end users in each market.

  1. Maximising the use of technology

E-learning projects can contain lots of content, and therefore it is really important, from a budgetary point of view, to minimise the volume of content that requires translating. E-learning materials can also contain a lot of repeated content (often in the build set-up of the modules), so to keep costs down we use Translation Memories. These identify repeated phrases and terminology and replace with approved translations, effectively reducing the word count for each translation project. For more information on how this works please read my post on How translation memory software saves you time and money year after year.

  1. Centralise the translation of all content

Often e-learning translations don’t just require the written content to be translated, they also have other elements to consider such as transcription, voiceover, subtitling and rebuild. This can result in very complex and fragmented translation projects with many people involved in different aspects of the work. To ensure your e-learning modules are translated and delivered on time, and are consistent across all elements of the project, it is advisable to use one translation partner who can manage the entire project.

Here at Comtec we work with clients across all aspects of localising e-learning content and many e-learning platforms (such as Articulate Storyline, Presenter, Evolve, Adapt). Our aim is to ensure that our clients have as much input as they want, but take away the headache of project managing a complex e-learning translation alone. Project plans can be created to show turnaround times for each aspect of the project, and bilingual files provided for market review and feedback from internal teams. We can also advise our clients on the best processes for them, depending on their platforms and requirements.

In summary: Create brand guidelines for your e-learning translation projects so your translation team understand the translation style required. Embrace technology to reduce costs and also increase turnaround times. Centralise your e-learning translation projects so that they stay on track and are consistent across all different content types.

I hope you found this helpful. If you have any questions about project managing translation projects please get in touch or leave a comment below.

You may also find our Service in Focus: E-Learning Translation guide useful. This free download shares how to handle e-learning and training material translations.. Click on the link below to get your copy.

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