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Marek Makosiej
February 17, 2023
15 min read

Best Practices for E-Learning Translation

Elearning translation is about making educational materials and instructions available online in multiple languages

Elearning translation is about making educational materials and instructions available online in multiple languages. It also ensures that the eLearning platform, along with multimedia, such as voice recordings and online video editing, is accessible and easy to understand for native speakers of foreign languages. 



It is projected that by 2025 online education Market will reach US$ 350 Billion globally due to the introduction of flexible learning technologies in the corporate and education sectors.


As elearning tools improve, learners want to be able to access their course content via the internet from anywhere, anytime. And preferably in their native language.  In order to create e-learning materials that are accessible and usable by native speakers of the new language, the following best practices are essential:

  • Use native language experts with experience in the target language and can provide an accurate translation.
  • Make use of content localization services that have experience using automation translator or machine translation algorithms to ensure accuracy in the localization solutions you choose.
  • Make sure all video, sound, animations, and images used in your course content are translated as well. This will help users with hearing disabilities or those who don't read English very well.
  • Mind the standards like SCORM!





Access to high-quality educational content across multiple languages is vital to success. Among the top 10 concerns about online vs in-campus learning options, American students include:


  • The quality of instruction and access to academic support
  • Challenges of using tech and software to access classes



Proper translations are critical to the effectiveness of the online learning experience.


Therefore, proper translations are critical to the effectiveness of the online learning experience. 


Preparing digital content in multiple languages can be a complex process. Still, the end result is a valuable service that helps close global communication and skill gaps (and 62% of international employees feel personally affected by skill gaps).


Online education is effective and well-perceived by class participants. Over 94% of students who took part in online educational training courses are happy with their experience. This, mixed with the projected value of the online education market, shall be enough to convince any independent digital course creator, corporate trainer, or academic institution to invest in e-learning translations.



Benefits of E-Learning Translations



E-learning translation services will ensure that multilingual educational materials are localized for each device and language, resulting in consistent and accurate training



E-learning translation services will ensure that multilingual educational materials are localized for each device and language, resulting in consistent and accurate training. This is a valuable service for companies that want to provide corporate training to their employees or students around the world.



More than localizing elearning course workbooks and text-based content is needed. According to research, while more engaging than text, eLearning videos can still be perceived as hard to follow. This is why all the multimedia elements should be translated, even the interactive features within the learning videos and webinars.



Translation services can help businesses and institutions to localize such content, including videos, presentations, and interactive features, for any language with the same meaning and conclusions. This helps enhance the overall learning experience, making it more relevant and engaging. 






Related content: 6 Objections You May Have With Training Material Translation





Access to high-quality educational content across multiple languages is vital to success



Using elearning translation services helps to cut costs and save by automating translation processes and reducing human error. By using machine translations, translation memory (TM), and calculating the percentage of repetitions, multilingual publishers ensure that the money spent on online educational materials localization services is well invested.



Translation firms have access to the best tools and have the technical means to apply various technologies and solutions, like XML, Flash, HTML5, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.



There are various learning management systems (LMS) and authoring tools for creating and delivering e-learning content regardless of location, such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, Lectora, and Moodle. Plus you have online giants like Udemy. Elearning translation software can help companies create localized online training materials that are accurate and engaging for their global audiences.



Best Practices for E-Learning Translation



Best Practices for E-Learning Translation



Global e-learning companies, schools, and universities often use professional translation service to ensure consistent, precise content translation.


These services can help localize e-learning content within a specific budget while providing localization expertise and linguistic experience.


This way, global e-learning organizations can confirm that their e-learning content is easily accessible in all targeted countries and languages.



Prepare the Project Scope in Advance



Prepare the Project Scope in Advance



It is essential to analyze the requirements of an e-learning translation project before tackling it. This may include language(s), multimedia requirements, local audience, and type of material. To ensure high-quality results, it is recommended to use a localization services provider that can handle complex tasks from start to finish.


With these services, you can secure the translation of written text and graphics, interactive components, and linked documents with accuracy and matching the tone and style. It is also important to consider study guides, reference materials, instructional documents, and other related source materials for an e-learning translation project. By carefully considering these points before embarking on an e-learning translation project, you can ensure that you deliver an accurate and effective translation service.



Decide Which Languages You Need



Decide which languages you need



E-learning translation requires a thorough understanding of the language requirements and the international audience. Before translation, it is essential to determine the target language(s) for eLearning deliverables. To ensure quality and accuracy, it is vital to use tools such as translation memories and terminology management software to increase productivity.


After the e-learning course is translated, the e-learning translation process involves several steps, such as transcription and subtitling. Automated transcription can improve accuracy, while human transcription can be faster and more accurate. Organizations that want to reach a global markets audience should consider translating their elearning resources into different languages. In addition, AI-driven transcriptions can speed up the transcription process and save time and money.



Include Captions and Voiceover



Captioning or voiceover can be used to provide translation of audio or video content



Closed Captions are essential tools to ensure accessibility for the deaf and hard of hearing, but not only. 80% of American students are likelier to watch a video with subtitles


Captions can be turned on or off to accommodate different learning styles. Captioning or voiceover can be used to provide translation of audio or video content. In contrast, professional services such as voiceover narration and captioning can translate e-learning videos into any language. 


In eLearning, content must be translated into multiple languages. For example, audio and video components of e-learning materials need to be translated into numerous languages. Transcription and subtitling are required when preparing audio and video components in online learning assets. Professional translation services can automatically translate elearning materials into multiple languages, saving time and money for organizations looking to increase learner engagement and reach.






Related content: Video Translation Errors: from Subtitling to Voiceover








Think About Additional Elearning Materials



Think about additional training materials



Elearning translation services are essential for organizations that want to deliver elearning services to a global audience. Elearning translation services can help translate e-learning materials from one language to another to ensure that the content can be retained and applied. They also help ensure that all participants have the same learning experience, which can increase the effectiveness of elearning training programs.


Organizations should carefully translate and adapt their e-learning contents to ensure participants can easily understand and apply translated content. To attract more students and improve learning outcomes, eLearning companies need to use translation and adaptation services to ensure that final deliverables take into account the cultural nuances of the audience. These services allow companies to access a larger pool of potential students without increasing costs or delaying course delivery.


Professional translation services help companies translate documents for e-learning platforms, improve online marketing for training courses, and save time and money. They also help companies reach global audiences with interesting learning content and promote consistent learning outcomes across teams and locations.






Related content: How Much Does it Cost to Translate a Video? [Rates, Factors & Savings]






Don't Forget About the Video, Audio, and Multimedia 



Don't forget about the video, audio, and multimedia



Professional e-learning video translation services are essential for completing digital course localization. 

Video localization can be challenging; however, training videos benefit viewers from storytelling skills and demonstration content to explain key learning points.


In some cases, local speakers must provide voiceovers. 


Pay attention if any of the training materials include interactive elements, like: 


  • Pop-up notes, 
  • On-screen doodles, 
  • Buttons
  • Test feature
  • Polls within the video
  • Additional pointers 


These should also be translated and localized with proper iconography and color schemes. 


Mobile Users Matter



In the US alone, 20% of the students claim they have used only their mobile devices to complete learning courses from start to finish



Mobile versions of e-learning courses are becoming increasingly popular as they offer users a convenient learning experience. In the US alone, 20% of the students claim they have used only their mobile devices to complete learning courses from start to finish. 


Making sure to include mobile-friendly eLearning translations is crucial, as mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, may have limited memory and processing power. 







Related content: How to Measure the Quality of Translation






E-Learning Localization and Quality Control



E-learning translations involve adapting the content, multimedia elements, and user experience elements from one language to another



E-learning translations involve adapting the content, multimedia elements, and user experience elements from one language to another. This process should also involve professional quality checks to ensure the accuracy and detail of translations. These checks should include grammatical corrections, cultural sensitivity, and legal review. 


In addition, end-to-end localization can also be used to adjust performance support tools such as:


  • Infographics, 
  • Applications, 
  • E-books/interactive PDFs
  • Instructional videos.


This ensures maximum usability for the target audience while simplifying training and learning processes.




E-learning Translation Costs



Translating elearning content is an investment that pays off big time



Translating elearning content is an investment that pays off big time. It is a relatively cost-effective way to reach a global audience with engaging and relevant content in the local language. 


According to the University of Michigan, students are more likely to complete an online course when they pay for it, and the curriculum offers a certificate of completion. While 52% of people who enroll in elearning educational training don't participate at all, localization of the materials may help increase the completion rates.







Related content: What is the Cost of Training Material Translation?





What Are the Rates for E-Learning Translation Services? 


The short answer: it depends. 


It depends on the type of course, the word count, the types of content to be translated, the languages, the complexity of the materials, the training niche, the availability of linguist subject matter experts, and many more. 


One of the most important factors is the need for linguists skilled in elearning translation. It would help if you had professional translators with linguistic expertise who can translate e-learning content accurately, quickly, and cost-effectively. One of the best ways to get an accurate quote for your eLearning translation project is to fill out a quote form. However, it is essential to know that eLearning content localization involves more than just translation. In addition to language translation, you should also consider localization of design, UI /UX elements, and audio/video content.


With proper planning and execution, eLearning localization can help companies save money while expanding the reach of their global audience.



The Future of E-Learning



The Future of E-Learning



E-learning is quickly becoming an essential part of many organizations' learning strategies. 


According to research, 90% of companies have prepared online educational materials for their employees. A study at IBM shows that incorporating digital learning helps employees learn more effectively and remember more from the class. The demand for customized elearning content has also increased significantly.


One of the most attractive emerging educational trends is microlearning, which will affect offline and online learning assets. 


Since students need help following and understanding large portions of information, materials will be divided into even smaller, more manageable sections. In the online industry, we can observe it already. Online courses are available in short video series paired with captions translated into several languages. 


A systematic approach to e-learning content creation and an adequately established process of e-learning translations can help companies and organizations accumulate large amounts of knowledge and data quickly.


With the help of e-learning content, companies could save even more time and money on training costs. 


Customized curriculums, available in multiple languages, will gain traction as a great way to ensure that e-learning content is tailored to the exact needs of the target audience. 


Interestingly, since students can follow the classes at their own pace, from anywhere in the world, they don't need to move between countries or change their lifestyle. Therefore, eLearning courses will be even more popular and affordable. Affordability and costs are among the top three factors students consider while enrolling in an online class. 


Elearning localization will become an even more critical aspect. Students from around the world who would not have access to the resources will be able to learn and gain new skills at a fraction of the cost.


Think about the online learning experience to ensure that all content is accurate, consistent, and easy to follow. Following the above best practices, eLearning translation projects should be a breeze.


When your company can translate e-learning content into multiple languages and make it accessible to your target audience, in that case, you are well on your way to becoming a successful eLearning business in a long way.




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How Much Do Translation Services Really Cost? [Rates & Factors]

5 Most Important Aspects of Training Materials Translation