Every article starts with how the internet has changed the world, why shouldn’t this one as well? It has, to be fair, turned the world upside down. Who would have thought you could see a person that is in the other half of the globe? Or that you could get a degree without ever stepping foot in a school?
So many institutes are adopting technology to take the learning beyond the traditional classroom. It has become the major way of knowledge consumption in their century.
With eLearning spreading beyond borders, it is becoming more and more essential to localize the content.
Why Should You Localize eLearning?
Not to be confused with simple translation, localization goes beyond the conversion of languages. It is a very elaborate process that includes a thorough study of the target market, the cultural aspects, and everything else needed to local requirements.
To achieve the ultimate goals of eLearning, the right kind of environment is important. And it is the responsibility of the companies to provide that.
Here is why localizing eLearning has become so essential.
Same Course – Unique Audience
Localization caters to a particular type of audience. Through localizing online courses, fundamental knowledge remains the same. Yet, it also caters to the specific needs of the audience.
So the one simple concept turns into multiple final products while all of them delivering the same information to all unique sets of the target market.
Broader Reach – Cost-Effective
The goal of eLearning itself is to broaden the reach of knowledge and education. Localizing it is a step even further from that. Localizing the same content is much more cost-efficient than having to design an entirely new module from scratch.
The best way to minimize any problems during localization is to
• Avoid using jargons
• Opt for a simpler language
• Avoid using graphs
• Avoid embedding text in images
• Choose a modifiable platform
There are many ways to interpret a sentence in another language when changing from English. When the information is delivered in one language, the non-native speakers may understand it differently than it was meant.
When you put an effort in localizing the content in the languages that your audience understands well, then one message gets across. Everyone understands the same thing no matter what their native language is.
Localization helps the organization ensure that the content they are sharing is culture-sensitive and relevant. This helps the company any kind of reference, gesture, visual, or symbol that may be offensive to the audience.
When the content is relevant for the audience, it helps them retain the information for a longer time. Using names, references, and incidents from their culture help them connect better with the message being conveyed.
When you offer localized courses, this will improve your image with your audience. They will not only feel more comfortable using your resources but also invite others. This will give your brand image a big boost and result in increased sales.
How to Localize the Right Way?
We have now established that localizing eLearning is extremely important. The next step is t know how to get it done right. There are a few things that you can do to make sure that you get the result that you are looking for. Following are best practices for localizing eLearning.
Planning ahead always saves a lot of time afterward. When you are planning a course for a specific audience, it is much different from when you are planning a course for a diverse audience.
There are many idioms, phrases, and jargons that may or may not have proper translations in the other language. This makes the process extremely time-consuming.
This can be avoided by keeping localization in mind during the creation of the original content. Avoiding any difficult phrases, idioms, or jargons makes the process of localization smoother in the later time.
Space for Different Languages
Different languages have different characters. These characters require different space.
This difference needs to be accommodated during the design process. Make sure that you give enough space for all kinds of languages.
The Local Culture
The key to the best localization is the local culture. It is your best reference point. You have to design your course based on these reference points.
One misinterpretation can cost you a lot of customers going away. It is vital to understand that localizing goes beyond just translating the content, it equips your course to assimilate with the local market. This requires understanding and adapting to the culture of the market.
One Bird in Hand
How many times have we heard the saying? One bird in the hand is better than two in the bushes. Take care of one language at a time. If you will try and run after all the languages at once, you will end up losing focus and it will all go down the drain.
Concentrate on one language at a time, make sure that you do it right and then move on to the other. This will keep you from being overwhelmed and ensure effective localization.
Pair Up with Professionals
There are a lot of tools online that can help you with translations, and while it is cheap it is a very bad idea. Online tools provide a literal translation that may or may not always make sense.
It is also hard for these tools to convert idioms or terminologies which will make your translation look unprofessional and sloppy.
The best option is to get the help of a professional company. They have teams of professional translators that are familiar with the markets and the culture. They translate the document while keeping the context intact.
E-learning translation course is an intricate and elaborate process. Yet it is worth all the effort. It helps you connect better with your audience, and helps your audience understand the content and learn better. If you keep these best practices in mind, you will definitely reap a lot of benefits that come with effective localization.
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