Why centralisation can reduce translation costs and time for L&D departments

L&D, training translations, e-learning translations

From my conversations with L&D professionals I’ve learned that one of the biggest challenges they face is to get training content produced quickly and delivered to all global markets at the same time. Sometimes one market can hold up this process because content hasn’t been produced or signed off, and that can have a knock on effect across other markets too. When training content must be rolled out at the same time, any delay concerning a translation in one specific language can result in deadlines being missed across the board.

If you’re currently relying on local market teams to manage the translation and localisation of training content, the saying ‘too many cooks’ could apply. It can feel like the project is out of your control as you wait for content to be translated in each market, reviewed and approved by your in market colleagues, and eventually delivered back to you to be launched worldwide.

That loss of control also extends to the quality of the translations. Many L&D professionals I speak to tell me that they have nagging doubts about whether the translations accurately communicate company values, policies and culture. They worry that the translations may have deviated too far from the original training content. Unless they’re fluent in that language, they have to trust their local market teams that this hasn’t happened.

Why centralisation of training translations can help

To avoid problems like these we recommend that you centralise the translation of global training content and use one translation service provider for all your different markets.

There are several advantages to this approach:

Develops a strategic partnership – one central translation partner will really get to understand your global training objectives and your specific requirements (budgets, timeframes, internal processes etc.). The translation partner will then be able to provide insight and recommendations to make improvements where necessary.

Helps to retain the global brand and tone of voice – it is easier to retain the global brand and tone of voice  across all translated content when you work with one provider. While cultural considerations may affect how content is translated and localised, key messaging that reflects company values, policies and culture are retained.

Speeds up the review process – it can be challenging managing feedback and input from your local market reviewers, especially if you don’t have an in depth understanding of their language and culture. When you manage the translation and localisation process with a trusted translation partner, you’re able to call on their expertise to help liaise with local teams and establish guidelines and processes for reviewing content. This also has a positive impact on future translation projects as feedback from reviewers is recorded and used by the translation team, speeding up translation and review times.

Streamlines project management – the provider will also be able to align their services with your needs and help streamline the process of developing global training content to save time, and money. They’ll coordinate translations for all markets to ensure that training content is delivered on time.

One point of contact – a key advantage of centralisation is that the stress and project management workload of working with multiple teams is removed. While this doesn’t necessarily deliver tangible cost and time savings it does free up your time to focus on other activities. This can have a very positive impact on your department overall and your stress levels!

Of course, not all translation service providers offer the same service levels and use the same technology and processes that can reduce costs and translation times. If you’re currently working with multiple different providers across your global markets, you may find costs and timescales vary significantly.

In my opinion that’s all the more reason to centralise your translations and build a relationship with one provider who has the capacity and structures in place to consistently deliver the high quality translations you require.

You may be interested in how one of our clients, learning and development company Insights, selected and on boarded Comtec as their translation partner. Our interview with Insights’ Translation Coordinator Paul Kearns also provides some useful advice, click here to read it.

If you’re using e-learning modules as part of your global training strategy, please download our E-Learning Translation Guide, I think you’ll find it useful too. Download it here.

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