Translation is not enough: What you need is localization


While using the eLearning process to train your workforce, proper localization is a very important factor. You must effectively translate every part and also localize it according to the regional context. The course must remain lively and not be made too dry as well. So, translation is not enough. You need to go for eLearning localization.

What is translation?

Translation simply refers to changing the language from the source language to any given language. The words are just changed. The end product need not necessarily convey the same meaning as the original piece.

What is localization?

A linguistic translation is achieved from localization. The piece is translated, and also all other aspects of the language are taken in to account. Slangs, metaphors, ad colloquialisms, are all incorporated in the process. Translators who effectively localize must know each and every part of the language along with the contexts.

Why prefer localization?

Enough knowledge about the local culture and dialects is most important. The linguistics chosen for the eLearning translation must be able to localize the sentences so that the users get the exact meaning of the course. Just translating the language will not be enough it needs to be put in the correct localized manner to fit in to the context.

The localization Process

Neutralizing the source language is the first step for localization. All cultural slangs and metaphors are all removed in this process. Only the basics of the language remain. After that, this is translated to the required target language. In the neutralizing process, all kinds of phrasing and interesting stories are taken out from the piece. This makes the course too boring and dry. So, it is important to add them after you finish the translation process. It makes the course quite interesting, and keeps the end users hooked on.

Different phrases and expressions are misunderstood when you translate. So, you must look for a local equivalent that conveys the correct message. Puns, exaggerations, and colloquialisms are things that you may not get the exact translation for. In such cases, use a contextual middle ground to effectively pass the message.

There are certain clients who specify the use of some marketing terms to be used in the course content as they are. They must not be altered, and used exactly as given. Proper explanation is a must in such cases. It is necessary to convey the exact meaning to the users. A good translation company must be able to do this effectively. The main idea is to pass the message to the users as effectively as possible.

Turnkey solution

An eLearning translation memory is helpful in making your process faster. Keep a translation memory for all your projects. Efficiency is increased, and costs are reduced. For language translation, use this translation glossary in your project and achieve consistency all throughout your project. You can either create one for your new project, or use an existing one for all the projects you undertake.


Making E-learning translation more effective

E-Learning translation

It has become a universal fact that hiring a teacher or trainer for executing training will incur higher cost then the cost of the E-learning and training and that is the reason all the companies prefer offering training to the employees which is cost effective and can be offered at individual pace. The other remarkable benefit of the E-learning course ware is that, the training and learning can take place in all the branches of the company at different locations in the world without any major inconvenience. When we talk about training at different locations around the globe, the need for translation of the E-learning content comes into picture.

The E-learning has truly gone international. And the scope is ever growing in all the different dimensions of learning and training. As the E-learning is expanding its feathers universally, the demand for translation of the course into different languages and localization has taken the centre stage in transferring the E-learning course ware into desired languages. When we consider the globalization of the E-learning course ware we need to keep into consideration certain aspect as to just translate the E-learning course modules into target language will not effectively serve the purpose. And there are some important aspects which are to be kept in mind while translating or transferring the content the course ware. Doesn’t matter if we are talking about the simplest course ware. However, translation of different E-learning courses would be tricky and most importantly expensive if proper planning and strategy is not in place. So a thoughtful planning and strategic understanding of the training to be executed will make the whole process very smooth and hassle free. The different areas or aspects which should be taken into consideration before we plunge into translating the course ware is mentioned below,

Translation friendly content development :

In the first place itself, the content should be simple and complicated text should be avoided as the translation of the complex content will cost more money, in turn make the process more expensive. As the enumeration of short and crisp paragraph will contain less words then the complicated textual explanation of the same, resulting into more cost of translation. Concise and crisp content will be conveniently translated into any other language without burdening the client. So basically creating English neutral content that is easily translated will be less time consuming and cost effective.

Selection of language

The other critical aspect would be the selection of the language, which has to be decided depending upon the strength of the employees using any particular language working for the company, as the E-learning content should be developed or translated in the language used by the majority of the employees or at least used by considerable number of them. So it is important to critically think, visualize and decide about the important languages used by the employees of the company as the company cannot afford to get the E-learning course ware translated for one or two employees as it would be incurring high cost.

Cultural differences

when the E-learning course ware is developed keeping in mind the aspect of translation and localization, we need to understand that it has to be as neutral as possible as the content would be utilized in different social and cultural backgrounds. When we talk about cultural differences, we shouldn’t be only worried about the text but we should be really particular about the images as well as they inculcate different feeling and reactions in different cultural scenarios. The simple example is the thumps up gesture which is used in a completely derogatory way in Middle East. So we have to be consciously neutral in terms of texts and images while developing content for translation and localization.

Changing the Audio Visual strategy

It’s a universal fact that the absence of trainer is compensated with the help of audio visual support, while designing E-learning course-ware. But when we are planning the course for the purpose of translation and localization into different languages, it has to be borne in mind that use of more audio visuals will incur more cost in translation while dubbings and subtitling. So the use of audio visuals should be done in a more sensible and concise way.

The other aspect which has to be mentioned here is the differences in languages. It’s imperative that the E-learning content is designed in a way to accommodate the translation of the content in the different target languages and the horizontal navigation bars and menus are flexible enough to accommodate the text into different languages as the translated text might vary in size so constricted dimensions will make the translation difficult and taxing. it would be important to implement Unicode in the course ware to make sure all the desired alphabet are supported.

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