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6 eLearning Localization Best Practices You Should Follow for Success

6 eLearning Localization Best Practices You Should Follow for Success

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With a successful eLearning localization strategy in place, you can expand your course’s reach to hundreds, if not thousands, more learners that would have been impossible to reach with an English-only course before. Exciting, right?

It is! In this article, we’ve compiled a list of six essential principles to bear in mind before you embark on your new venture. (Spoiler alert: Tip number #03 is pure gold!)
Put your learning goggles on and get your notebook ready, and let’s go!

1. Create a glossary and style guide

Investing in the creation of a glossary and style guide should be in your eLearning localizationto-do list from the beginning, without question. These will ensure consistency and quality across your content in all your target languages and cultural contexts.

If you’re wondering what information should be included in each, here’s a quick overview:

● Glossary: A list of any terms, phrases, acronyms, or specialized language that shows up in the content. Each of these is accompanied by information on what it is a reference to and how it should be used in context.
● Style guide: A set of standardized guidelines and rules outlining how your translations should be written or formatted for your target audience. This covers elements like punctuation, tone, voice, formatting, and more.

These invaluable little tools can save you a ton of time and money. A glossary can make a tremendous difference to the amount of time your translators will need to successfully complete your project, for example. That’s because it eliminates the need of having to spend excessive time researching and verifying terminology.

Plus, the higher the quality and consistency of your final translations, the fewer the round of revisions you’ll have to conduct, saving you time and money yet again.

Some translation agencies offer glossary and style guide creation as part of the whole localization package, so you can easily have them do it for you. For the correct interpretation of terminology and tone that you should aim for in your content, however, it’s important to rely on the expertise of eLearning translation industry professionals.

2. Make your eLearning course content mobile-friendly

Did you know that 60% of website traffic worldwide comes from mobile devices? Or that 50% of our time spent online is on mobile? Although these statistics are not so much surprising, it’s worth considering the way they should inform your eLearning localization strategy.

Since mobile learning is growing in popularity all around the globe, making your course mobile-friendly opens the window to countless possibilities for attracting a global audience.

A few useful tips on how to localize your course for mobile include:

● Optimize any multimedia elements: Compress images to reduce loading times, and use video formats that are compatible with mobile.
● Break up the content into chunks: In mobile learning, it’s best to include the lessons in small, digestible chunks of text. As such, you should deliver the content in bite-sized lessons (microlearning), so it’s easier to consume.
● Adapt the assessments: Your quizzes or assessments should be adapted accordingly as well. Aim to use larger buttons for selecting answers and ensure that the user interface is intuitive on touchscreens.

3. Prioritize which courses & which items from your courses you’ll localize

eLearning localization can be costly and time intensive. To bring your content faster to your audience and make a quick return on your investment (that you can then re-invest in localizing more of it), prioritizing which courses, what course aspects, and which languages you’ll localize them into is key.

First, prioritize the eLearning courses that have the widest appeal and direct relevance to your target audience. For instance, if you’re a software company expanding into international markets, your initial focus could be on localizing introductory training courses for your flagship products.

In addition, translating your instructional videos and quizzes first is another good strategy, as these elements are highly engaging and contribute to the learning experience the most. You can always translate the textual reference materials later.

Tip: If you’re still unsure about which courses or languages to go for after the initial market research phase, send a survey out to get the answers directly from your audience if you can.

4. Leave extra white space for text expansion

Due to differences in word length and sentence structure, some languages take up significantly more space in text than others.

For example, languages like German, Russian, and French might occupy up to 30-50% more space compared to English! See below for an example:

For this reason, leaving enough white space, also known as “breathing room” or “negative space,” is paramount before translation.

In fact, allowing enough white space will improve the readability, and ultimately, the comprehensibility of your content. Conversely, a lack of white space can create a sense of confusion or chaos in the learner and interfere with their learning experience.

Also, given the limited screen real estate, translations for mobile devices are even trickier to get right. By following the advice given above and breaking up your content into chunks (which should be even smaller compared to other devices), you can avoid the common pitfall of having translated text accidentally overlap with icons or buttons.

Tip: To know exactly how much space you should account for in the initial phases of creating your course, consult with your translation partner.

5. Have a single point of contact to ensure smooth project flow

To ensure a smooth-sailing localization project, you need to have a single point of contact (or SOP, for short) – a person who’ll serve as the central hub of communication and coordination.

This person can be a project manager appointed to you by your translation provider. The project manager will serve as the primary link between you (the client), translators, and key stakeholders, ensuring that everyone is on the same page about what needs to be done and when.

The same person will review the content once it’s finished and report any changes that should be made before the project can go live.

6. Review the final product by conducting thorough quality assurance

An eLearning localization project review takes place in a process known as ‘quality assurance’ (QA). This step will help you identify potential bugs or mistranslation errors before your course is made available to learners.

There are two QA phases your game has to go through:

● Linguistic testing: This phase ensures that all text, including instructions, content, and quizzes, have been translated accurately and consistently. Linguistic QA testers check for grammar, spelling, consistency, and contextual errors.
● Functional testing: This phase confirms the course can function as intended. Functional QA testers make sure the course works well on different browsers and devices and that everything, including buttons, links, quizzes, and menus, operate bug-free.

Since the purpose of the QA is to ensure that the course matches the learners’ linguistic and cultural expectations, it’s always best to work with local, native linguistic QA testers.

Hiring native-speaking translators and QA testers can make all the difference in the quality of your final localized product, as these professionals possess the most thorough understanding of the nuances, idioms, and cultural references specific to their language.

Kick your localization project off with eLearning translation agency, Pangea Global

Whether you’re about to put together a glossary and style guide or test your course for language and cultural errors, at Pangea Global, we can guide you every step.

With a repertoire of 75+ languages, a global workforce of native translators and QA testers, and a proven track record in localizing eLearning projects, we can deliver outstanding localized results that’ll meet your learners’ expectations (and yours too.)

Interested to find out more about eLearning localization? Check out our eLearning translation and localization definitive guide, where we offer more eLearning localization tips and everything else you need to know to get your project off the ground!

And if you’d like to have a chat, send us information about your project requirements today!

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