7 Tips You Need to Know before starting the E-learning Localization Process

June 16, 2022

If you are in the process of developing online courses and plan to release them in multiple countries, E-learning localization and translation is a fundamental steps. To maximize the result of online training, a well-implemented course should be delivered in the users’ language with local expression and relevant examples and teaching concepts.  

What is usually localized?  

The online course comes in a variety of formats, from traditional video and text to interactive quizzes and gamification factors. The most popular forms and elements that need to be localized and translated include writing content, graphics, user experience factors (e.g navigation button), video audio, formatting (e.g time, currency).   

To provide all learners the same experience, you have to ensure that your content is localized well. Here are 7 tips you should take into consideration to add more value to your E-learning localization process.  

Plan for multilingual from the beginning  

At the very first stage of producing a new course, you should have an idea about localization. This will impact on how the language is applied? And how the text is structured within the various components of the course. Although it might be beneficial to some learners, skipping slang and idioms will make the process more straightforward. Additionally, your language service provider might streamline the operation and drive down the cost in some cases. You also need to carefully ponder various elements such as slogans, user experience buttons, pictures, etc. And these might be included in the question your language agency will ask for confirmation.   

Prepare your file   

To get the attention of online learners, E-learning courses are often presented in formats such as videos, audios, images. These formats are also combined in a sole and special file format to upload to the learning management system (LMS). The rule of thumb is to provide all online course materials to your localization team in editable formats. Otherwise, they cannot localize your course with the original visualization. For example, if the materials are photos, videos, you should prepare editable files such as InDesign, Illustrators, or Photoshop files. In contrast, providing them with flattened PDFs of JPEGs will make the adaptation process more complex.  

Finalize your courseware before localization  

This may seem like everyone understands it, but a lot of beginners’ mistakes are to hit the road of localization into multiple languages before finalizing the source materials. The best way to start a seamless process is to ensure that there won’t be any modifications after the content is sent to the localization team. This way your pain in bugs is restrained in one language rather than having to deal with the problem multiple times to cover each language version.  

Maintain cultural neutrality or allow for adaptation   

High creative content such as marketing, sales, leadership courses requires cultural references. Therefore, it might be more difficult to translate and convey the full message with the appropriate expression and visualization. Especially the adaptation of images and colors should be carefully considered as some might be normal in one country but may fuel offensive feelings in another area. If applying neutral content is not in your plan, then allow some flexibility. So, linguistically and culturally appropriate adaptation could be developed by your E-learning localization team.  

Don’t miss the graphics and visuals  

Not only focusing on regular content, but you also should maintain attention to interactive assessments. Such courses include navigation buttons (e.g submit, next, close). Progress bar, speech bubbles, and other visual factors.   

There will be a variety of graphics and videos in your online courses. Therefore, when the localization is in progress, these elements will also be on the list to be localized. However, it may cost you a fortune to redesign if your graphics are embedded with content. In this case, the designers or desktop publishing specialists will have to adapt it for each language version. If it’s possible, using live text enables the use of a linguist workbench tool instead of the expensive method of deploying video technicians or DTP resources to edit embedded content.  

Consider many online courses including voice-over so that learners will be more attracted to the lectures. However, this will be a challenging task for both the voice talents and editors. To overcome the difficulties, you should provide them with a finalized and carefully-vetted voice-over script. Any further adjustments popping up during the recording or editing process will exceed your budget and prolong the timeline.

Collaborate with a reliable E-learning localization agency  

If your budget allows, looking for an E-learning localization service that can be in charge of the whole project will be a decent choice. Working with a professional agency with suitable experience will ensure that all of the complicated elements in your courses will be well managed – from file preparation, translation to voice-over, HTML5 integration, and testing.  

A reliable and professional partner will eliminate any ambiguous phase in your project and provide useful guidance on how to enhance organizational workflow.   

Without a vivid E-learning localization strategy, delivering your training message globally can be a challenging task. To facilitate the process, the above takeaways will be a great help for beginners to be familiar with the workflow and implement it as smoothly as possible.  


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