The rapid evolution of technology in the last few years has leveled the playing field for businesses from around the world. With a large number of companies acquiring a global footprint, a greater number of employees work from dispersed locations. Training this large, geographically dispersed, multicultural workforce poses many logistical challenges. One such is the relevance of training content. While translation helps with the language barrier, it is not enough to make the content easy to retain when references are not contextual. This is where content Localization comes in. Further, with employees working from home, with diminished access to local translators and instructors, it is ever more important to quickly localize training content to enable employees to train and be productive.
What is eLearning Localization?
eLearning Localization is the process of optimizing a training program according to the local requirements and cultural sensitivities of a particular region. Do not confuse it with translation. eLearning Localization goes a step beyond as it not only converts training material from one language to another but also factors in cultural references and adapts the contents of the training program accordingly. The basic idea behind eLearning Localization is to ensure that the exact message intended by the source content is being conveyed in the right context and with the correct emotions.
Some of the key aspects of a training program for which eLearning Localization is applicable are images, idioms, colours, fonts, symbols, phrases, measurement units, narration tone, and abbreviations.
Things To Remember While Undertaking eLearning Localization
As already discussed, eLearning Localization is much more than simple translation from one language to another. It, therefore, requires you to remember certain key aspects while undertaking this process: –
1- English is not the first language for more than 70% of internet users, so plan for multi-lingual content right from the start.
2- Translating the text from one language to another involves text expansion and contraction. Leave enough scope for addition/deletion at the development stage.
3- When designing infographics, choose culturally appropriate colours and images.
4- While developing videos or graphics always use editable formats, so that localization can be completed effortlessly.
5- Use native translators when adapting content for eLearning.Non-native translators may miss the subtle nuances in language and references that are critical to making content relevant to particular audiences.
Benefits of eLearning Localization
Well, the exponential rise in the popularity of eLearning Localization is not without any reason. There are various benefits on offer which you must know about. The major benefits are listed below: –
1- Optimal utilization of resources: – With the help of eLearning Localisation, companies can save a significant amount of time, money, and effort spent on training of employees. Resources required for the optimization of existing learning resources using eLearning Localization are much lower than what will be required for creating entirely new content. This enables a broader reach of the training program in a cost-effective manner.
2- Consistency in training: – With eLearning Localization, companies can ensure consistency in the training of employees located in different geographic locations. As the content is optimized according to local requirements, it ensures that the learners are being empowered with the same skill set and knowledge.
3- Better results: – When the training material is available in the native language of the learner and is prepared in a culturally appropriate context, its relevance increases, it is easier understood and hence better retained. As such, team members are more likely to engage with the training material, remember the lessons, and apply them in real-life situations. It also makes employees feel more valued and reinforces their commitment.
4- Boost brand image: – Being considerate of the local values and culture is always considered as a positive trait in an organization. Therefore, with eLearning Localization, you can boost your brand image as a truly inclusive entity.