With businesses becoming more global, e-learning also needs to meet the global standards. One of the ways in which e-learning can turn global is through E-Learning Translation. While translating your e-learning modules offers various benefits and advantages. It has its own share of challenges like time, cost and ensuring the quality of translation etc. Here are a few quick tips that can help an e-learning professional to prepare for e-learning translation.
So what is e-learning translation?
Translation is the conversion of text into different languages. In the context of e-learning, translation means converting of the content(textual content) to different other languages.
1.Plan right from the start
While designing the e-learning modules, the instructional designer plays a big role in ensuring the smooth translation of the learning content. For example, the instructional designer is recommended to use a simple and short sentence, avoid usage of culture-specific Idioms, symbols, and references etc.
2.Design for expanded text
The length of the textual content can vary across the language. For example, the words ‘ Sales training’ in English when translated to Spanish is ‘entrenamiento de ventas’. As you see here, the same text has expanded when translated from English to Spanish. Hence while designing the developers should keep in mind of the possibility of expanding the text. leave adequate space on text placeholders, pages and in tables in order to accommodate the expansion.
3. Choose appropriate fonts
If you require to translate the e-learning module to different other languages, then it is recommended to choose the appropriate fonts. I recommend avoiding fancy and stylish fonts as it can be a big headache later.F or example, If you choose a font that doesn’t support a character used in one of your localized languages, that character will be simply replaced by the same character in another font or by another character or symbol.
4. Avoid Embedding Text in Images
By embedding text in an image, both the text and image gets saved together and if you’re using the function of export for translation from your authoring tool then the text will not be recognized and hence will not be exported for translation.
5. Be sensitive to cultural differences
Keep in mind that images can represent very different things to different countries. For example, colors too can have different meanings to the different culture around the world. In India red is associated with purity, and spirituality. On the other hand, some countries in Africa associate red with death. While translating your e-learning courses be careful about the use of color. Use the expertise of your graphics team and encourage them to do the research.
6. Laws are not the same everywhere
If your e-learning module includes laws, regulations and other compliance policies, keep in mind that laws and regulations are not the same everywhere. The instructional designer should seek the help of an SME and ensure that the content are relevant.
7. Use international formats
The formats for both dates and phone numbers change from country to country so it’s important to display these correctly in the e-learning.
For example, in the UK the usual format for the date is dd/mm/yyyy but in the USA it’s mm/dd/yyyy and others use yyyy/mm/dd.
8. Use Linguistic reviewer
Using a linguistic reviewer for each language version to ensure that the translated modules are able to convey the topics and meaning correctly to the learners. Hiring a professional translator will ensure that the content is grammatically and culturally correct, but it is employees that have the product and company-specific knowledge.
These are my 8 handpicked tips which can be used by e-learning professionals while translating an e-learning course. Feel free to share your thoughts and comments and views using the comment box below.