E-Learning Translation & Localization – Few Insights

E-Learning Localization
E-Learning course localization also includes translation of on-screen content. During the process of localizing, it is important that you must take care of the spoken parts as well. There are two options to be considered for eLearning localization. You could either re-record the whole course in the language you require, or you could just try out subtitling. The first one is also called voice-over. Depending on your budget and preferences, you could decide on one of these options. Both of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.

In general, training course translations are expensive. Considerable amount of efforts goes into translating the content into desired language and then hiring artistes to record the course. But, the advantage is that it is more customized and polished. Subtitling is cheaper than the voice-over process, but it does interfere with the content on the screen. The progress of the course may get hindered with this.

To choose the right Elearning translation option for you, here are three tips:

Voice-over Quality

Significant effort needs to be put in for localizing the course content in to different languages. Doing a bad voice over may not convey the correct meaning the user, and may even distract them. There are a number of freelance voice-over artistes you can find to work for you. That is if you do not have the budget to hire professional linguists. Just hire someone who is capable enough to do his work effectively, and your work is done.


When it comes to matching up with the dialogues on the screen, subtitling is very easy. As the course progresses, you could use subtitles at the same speed. The subtitles used are generally small and compact. Most languages have a tendency to expand, and this may make it tough to show the whole thing on the screen.

Even for the voice over process, this issue can occur. You may need to run the voice over at a faster speed, or run the video at a slower pace to make sure both are in sync.

For multimedia translation, you will mostly have to face this issue. It can be solved easily by a few tips. You could cycle the translated text or voice-over audio at a faster speed than the original one. Another idea is to edit all the translations to make sure they sync with the original language. Another possible way is to run the course at a slower speed so that it synchronizes with the subtitles or the audio recording.


In Elearning localization to all the languages, you must make sure to incorporate the local versions as well. The same language can be spoken in different ways in different places. The style of speaking, slangs, and colloquial meanings differ for these variants. The written language and spoken language are both different. So, you must remember to incorporate that as well in all the translation services.


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.