8 Tips Before Localizing Multilingual eLearning

Dynamic Language | February 5, 2018

Forbes states that only 10 percent of companies report having a language learning system in place that is completely aligned with the organization’s strategic training initiatives. This could prove disastrous for businesses that hope to compete in the global market. A high-quality, multilingual eLearning platform is more likely now than ever to be the solution in order for a business to not only compete, but succeed on a global scale when it comes to training their staff, contractors, and other stakeholders.

What is Multilingual eLearning?

ELearning involves using technology to access educational curriculum outside of a traditional classroom. It is used in a variety of media formats such as video, writing, and audio and is effective because it can be built around an individual’s personal schedule and learning style. Companies are increasingly using eLearning to train employees because it’s also cost-effective compared to traditional education.

According to Statista, English is the third most spoken language in the world after Mandarin and Spanish. Hundreds of millions of individuals speak and read languages other than English. Even if English is a second language, most individuals will feel more comfortable reading material in their native language. This is especially true when learning new material that may be initially difficult to comprehend.

It’s important for companies to offer eLearning in multiple languages so that the same high-quality training can be applied to each of their employees, no matter their location. The advantage of having complete consistency when it comes to delivering the content, no matter where the student is located, is huge. In addition, the ability for companies to easily update, modify, or add to existing training modules with ease gives this training concept a huge advantage.

What are the Challenges? 8 Factors to be Considered Before Creating Courses

When taking a single language course, and adapting it for use in other regions of the world, the process involves not only effective translation, but also localization. There are several challenges involved when providing these services. Before creating multilingual courses, companies should take into consideration the following:

  1. Content – There are several types of course content or reference material that may need to be localized as well. Content could include audio (i.e. podcasts or MP3), video (i.e. webinars or presentations), and graphics (i.e. charts, graphs or slides). Games are also popular eLearning tools that can be localized with little difficulty as well. Voiceover content and subtitling for videos may also be part of the localization strategy.

  2. Testing – Different testing components are often part of an effective online curriculum, and the localization process can and should certainly include that component.

  3. Platforms – There are several different eLearning platforms that can be taken considered, along with the strategy of building your own platform. According to eLearning Industry, a Learning Management System is one of the most common formats for online learning. Peer-to-Peer and social media platforms are also popular choices.

  4. Authoring Tools – There are literally dozens of authoring tools that companies can use. Elucidat, Gomo, Articulate and Adobe Captive are a few popular eLearning authoring tools that are currently available.

  5. Audience Analysis – While it’s usually necessary to make content as general as possible for an international audience, it’s also important to determine factors such as the age or education levels of the audience. Knowing the general needs and goals of your particular audience is crucial to determining how to put together an online course.

  6. Cultural Sensitivities – It’s important to use examples and analogies that the targeted audience would both understand and easily relate to. For example, baseball and American football are sports nearly every American understands. Students in Asia or the Middle East might not have a complete understanding of these two very-American sports. Any political information may also have to be modified. Beyond that, it’s important to consider images and other culture-specific elements.

  7. Technical Considerations – Multilingual courses must also take into consideration the technological preferences of the users. Content must be adaptable to a variety of devices. The type of internet services available need to be considered as well.

  8. Creating a Style Guide – It may be helpful to create a glossary of terms or phrases for each language that learners can refer to.

Companies that want to be as successful as possible must be able to create effective multilingual eLearning programs. This means not only accurate translation is needed, but also localization. Dynamic Language has over 30 years of experience providing professional translation and localization services. Contact Dynamic Language for more information and to get started on your next multilingual eLearning project.


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