The translation of an eLearning course is just as important as the overall course design. However, since eLearning content is interactive by nature, challenges are often created during the translation process.
For any in-house training system, precautions must be taken to avoid any issues that could lead to a lack of understanding of the course material. The devastating effects of overlooked translation errors remaining in a course will multiply by every new team member trained, which can quickly lead to costly problems for your business and stunt its global growth.
Here are four eLearning translation pitfalls to avoid to assist you in developing an efficient training system.
Pre-planning is crucial for success in eLearning. It is important to invest time and effort in the planning stage upfront during course development. Pay particular attention to the cultural background of your audience. This step will help ensure that the correct teaching style is chosen to match the culture and preferences of the target audience of the course.
Additionally, think about the visual aspects of the course. For example, it is not uncommon for translations of equivalent text from English to another language to occupy more space on the screen. Thus, it is recommended to leave room for language expansion when designing your screen layout. Make use of white spaces and stay aware of other elements such as drop-down menus and navigation bars.
Key learning objectives of a course must be maintained across all translations for an eLearning course to remain accurate and effective. All learners deserve to have a parallel, high-quality learning experience when compared to one another. To achieve this, take care in using consistent language throughout the entirety of the course. Keep it simple, and avoid using technical jargon, slang words, or niche language.
Also, do not use multiple terms to communicate one meaning. For instance, if the terms “sales manager” and “account manager” have the same meaning, choose one term, and stick with it. It will lessen the probability of your audience becoming confused or not correctly understanding the term. Creating a glossary of terms beforehand will establish clear guidelines for content creation.
eLearning courses involve much more than just text translations. They also require translations for symbols, images, and even colors. Correctly localizing an eLearning course includes taking steps to remove images and other graphic elements that your audience may not relate to or are culturally inappropriate when translated.
Whenever possible, use neutral images that translate well to multiple cultures. For example, if a visual must contain money, use a pile of unidentified coins to communicate the meaning across different audiences instead of using specific currency symbols. Further, choose colors that have identical symbolism across multiple cultures to make the localization process more manageable.
Producing an eLearning course with high-quality, engaging audio narration is crucial for success. It is a great way to keep your learners active and interested. However, it is important to consider how many different narrators will be used for a single course. While including numerous characters with speaking roles can boost the creativity factor of a course, it will likely also lead to additional expenses and complications during the translation process.
For instance, if a course initially developed in English has five different speakers, and the course needs to be translated into four other languages, you now need to hire twenty-five different voice talents. For this reason, it is a good idea to limit the number of characters involved in the audio narration. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to voice talent.
Avoiding eLearning Translation Pitfalls With inWhatLanguage
Training a multilingual team can be challenging, especially if employees are spread worldwide. However, this task can be more easily managed if you focus on organization and planning. With the information above, your business can prevent detrimental eLearning translation pitfalls.
Partnering with the right eLearning translation partner is a make-or-break decision. If you are looking for assistance in managing your eLearning translation project, inWhatLanguage is here to help. Automate, streamline, simplify, and centralize your eLearning content to create consistent and reliable positive experiences in 200+ languages. Contact us today for an instant quote.