Learning and DevelopmentHow to Set Up an Elearning Course for Translation

March 14, 2018by Reva McPollom0

How to Set Up an elearning Course for Translation

English might be the main language of your global organization, but when it comes to learning, people often understand more taught in their own language. eLearning is a critical element for training a global workforce to function as one effective unit.

Organizations can boost productivity by as much as 50% through eLearning initiatives and save between 50-70% on training when replacing the instructor with e-modules. However, developing eLearning courses can be complex and time-consuming, even more so when it is necessary to translate modules into other languages.

Unless you have already been through the process of developing a course and undertaking elearning localization for multiple cultures from start to finish, you’re likely unaware of the necessary steps for creating a valuable training resource that can be used across a global organization.

Understanding the localization process along with the initial English language course creation will make the entire process easier. Below are some best practices to consider when creating your eLearning workforce training program.

Clarify Your Content

The aim of localizing training content is to ensure your English course is adapted to convey the same meaning in other cultures. Starting off with translation-friendly content that considers all the target audience languages and education levels will help global trainees understand and engage with the course while also reducing the overall cost of localization.

  1. Use short, succinct sentences.
  2. Consider the effects of text expansion and contraction (languages such as German, French and Spanish expand from English, while other languages such as Chinese use less space).
  3. Avoid slang, colloquialisms, local humor, and figurative speech.
  4. Be sensitive to cultural differences such as colors, symbols, gestures, and even sounds in visual and audio eLearning resources.
  5. Create your eLearning course content in one language first, and use this as the master program.
  6. Avoid embedded text in graphics, videos, images, charts, and other resources as they will create challenges and extra work for the translator when localizing content.

Try to keep your English content neutral and note scenarios and examples used to illustrate learning outcomes that can be changed for each region. The simple addition of a region-specific examples can increase interest from non-English learners and help them retain the knowledge gained from your course.

Consider Local Restrictions

Not all internet bandwidth is created equal, and neither will all employees have the same level of understanding when it comes to technology. It is important to create eLearning course content that is accessible by employees in all locations.

Keep local restrictions such as internet speeds, education levels, and computer access in mind not only for the main content of the course, but also additional resources such as audio, video, and interactive elements.

Ensure Quality

After months developing eLearning course content, it may be difficult to spot inconsistencies and mistakes. Engage with a trusted third party to review the course and feedback any issues around functionality, punctuation, formatting, and terminology.

The time taken to proof and edit the original course will ensure that the training objectives can be met by all course participants and translators working on localizing content are only forwarded final, polished files.

Each of the components of your eLearning course will need to be localized. Attempting to do it on your own will result in a poor quality course that employees have difficulty engaging with. eLearning experts and professional translation services should be engaged to ensure your course retains credibility and a polished, effective, and engaging resource is delivered in all locations.


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