eLearning has some great things going for it: it's cost-effective, accessible for those with limited schedules, and can allow you to customize content easily for a variety of purposes. Taking your eLearning course global can make a lot of sense; however, there are some additional things to consider to make it really successful. Our eLearning guru, Rob Campbell, explains more in today's post.
When localizing your eLearning materials, don't forget about the audio! Either voiceover or subtitling will both serve your needs as well as those of your users; however, there are some considerations that may sway you one way or the other. In this post, we give you a rundown of what to keep in mind.
Your brand image lives or dies in day-to-day operations. This holds true whether you’re in Beijing or Boston. If you’ve yet to launch your company in a new international market, have you thought what it will take to train your employees to represent you overseas? How will you ensure you’re making and not breaking your promises to customers?
Corporate training is a critical component of a successful global strategy, and your training programs will need the same sort of translation and localization attention that your website and other marketing and sales materials receive. Choosing and prioritizing the types of training materials you’ll need for each market is a good place to start. From there you’ll want to decide which educational platforms are best suited to your content, objectives, and budget.
In this post we’ll examine four different popular training methods and discuss some of the issues you’ll want to balance when deploying them globally.
Over the past ten years, corporate eLearning and online training programs have become increasingly sophisticated and popular. So it's no wonder that Tiffany & Co., one of the premier American luxury brands, turned to an online model to train their thousands of employees around the globe.
As part of our 10th anniversary series, Ora Solomon, Acclaro vice president of sales and operations, looks at the surge in popularity of eLearning and then discusses a mini localization case study on "The World of Tiffany", a visually stunning and complex multimedia training video by the famed jeweler.
The Acclaro blog is two years old! Two full years of snippets of localization savvy, language, and international business, all for you, dear Mr. or Ms. Acclaro Blog Fan. Since 2010, we've done our best to bring some pizzazz to your international business life, and we hope we've succeeded. Come with us as we take a trip down blog memory lane.
When it comes to translation on a budget, less is more, as we saw in Part One of Localization Cost Savings. The more you can reduce the word count of your content, the bigger your savings—25% fewer words, for example, will earn you a no-nonsense 25% translation discount.
So let’s say you’ve already taken a knife to your content; you’ve gotten rid of verbosity, eliminated text repetitions and honed in on the most essential content for your specific markets. How can you shave additional dollars off of your localization budget and finally secure that executive buy-in to move forward with your project?
Cultural differences are a consideration in almost every localization project. Tackling the various perspectives on sounds, colors, graphics, dates, times, money, humor, poetry, and more is what keeps things interesting for us!
Mastering those cultural differences when it comes to localizing eLearning content can be especially tricky. Depending on the course material, local culture could have a big effect on how your localized product is received in your new foreign markets. A bold, aggressive approach (for example) may work well in some countries but could be complete turn-off in others.
It’s critical to go beyond mere translation and delve deep into cultural norms when you’re providing training in soft skills like management and sales techniques. Even with eLearning related to product training, paying attention to the nuances of each locale you’re entering can really pay off.
Here we offer a few questions to ask to help make your translated eLearning a hit rather than a miss. For some great in-depth details, we invite you to read the full article in our newsletter.
What kind and level of interaction is right for trainees in your markets? Will they respond better to a interactive course full of tasks and quizzes, or something more factual and info-driven, available with a single click?
Language is a fluid and dynamic means of communication. Historically, translation has been best performed by human beings who can accurately adapt and express this fluidity and dynamism in the face of the logical contradictions and irregularities that most languages present. However, in recent years, “machine translation” (or MT) has started to come into its own, as its once-stoic technology – the realm of 0s and 1s – catches up to human adaptability.
1. Human Translation
A professional linguist (most often, an in-country native speaker) reviews your project and, using guidelines agreed on beforehand, translates it to the language you require. The goal is to speak to your audience in the most natural, effective way. You can expect human translations to be free of idiomatic errors and to flow naturally and fluently.
In Spanish they say, “Lo bueno, si breve, dos veces bueno.” The good, when brief, is doubly good. Brevity is considered a virtue in most communication circles. In the world of translation, however, brevity is even more: it’s a money saver.
The first thing any localization vendor will tell you about the cost of translation is that it's a direct function of word count. The more words your document, brochure, program, app or website contains, the higher the cost for translating it. Rather straightforward, right?
Containing your localization budget through reducing word count at the pre-translation stage requires a challenging time investment on your part, as no one can really perform an “audit” of your resources in your stead. To execute this effectively, you need either to distinguish between must-have and nice-to-have content through a complete content review, or pare down all of your source texts across the board through avid and diligent editing. It would definitely be easier to simply send all of your files to your language partner and hope for the best.
Yet when implemented, this phase of content review will ultimately pay off two-fold: it will save you a good sum of money on translation across all target languages, and it will make your end product better, since content that has been reviewed with a global audience in mind can be rendered more accurately.
Here are a few ideas for reducing your content as you go global with your program or product.
A picture is worth a thousand words.
What are some ingenious ways to do away with words in the context of your product? You may have the ability to substitute appropriate imagery, for example. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words. Take the example of the Apple iPhone OS. English has the wonderful benefit of offering two practical and short words for the settings buttons: on/off. But in most languages, the translation would occupy the whole width of the phone screen and result in what we call TVA: total visual awkwardness. Here is what Apple did to solve that problem:
Writers these days, whether for websites, software, or documentation, face interesting new challenges when communicating technical material and product info to a broad-based international audience. In a recent article for the Content Wrangler, Acclaro President Michael Kriz offers up compelling insights and ten useful tips to help you create content for your diverse global audience.
As we become an increasingly global economy, there is increasing demand on writers — particularly those who work with technical language that describes products and services — to adapt to the changing needs of companies’ customer demographics. When a product is slated to launch in 20 new markets, and over half of the markets require translation of documentation, it completely changes the game for the technical writer. So, to effectively scale a global business, you and your writers should keep a few things in mind.
1. Use global English – For every native speaker of English, there are about three non-native speakers. It’s important that your communication in English is understandable to all English speakers, which means short, simple sentences and no idiomatic expressions or cultural references.
We’ve already written about the importance of a glossary and why it’s important to create one before starting any major translation effort — whether it be for technical documentation, marketing communications, web, software, eLearning, or multimedia projects. Now, let’s look at what should be included in a glossary.
What goes into a glossary?
What should a glossary look like?
A glossary can be a complex database or a simple spreadsheet. It depends on your global reach and the size of your overall globalization efforts. If you are just starting out, you may just want to use an Excel spreadsheet. Then you can work your way up to a more complex database.
Those of you who are new to localization may think that a glossary is only used for term papers and reference books. You have yet to discover how this very simple item can revolutionize your daily work life by sparing you countless redundancies and/or inconsistencies in the original English, as well as in the foreign language versions of your products and documents.
Creating a glossary of approved terms in each target language at the beginning of your translation project is essential. It will not only save you time and money (not to mention headaches and sleepless nights), it will also guarantee successful branding of your products in foreign markets.
A glossary (from the Greek glossa, meaning obsolete or foreign word), ensures a consistent style and voice, an accurate rendering of the original text and a level of translation quality that is even throughout. Glossaries are especially critical in the case of technical translations and marketing communications, but should really be employed for any localization project.
The recession last year (wait, is it over yet?) breezed over a few product and service sectors, and was even downright friendly to some. E-learning was one of those. With the recession, many companies began relying more on freelancers and contractors to fulfill work that was previously being done in-house, and incorporating flexible working practices into their HR policies, which expanded the need for virtual training.
On top of that, companies looking to cut costs turned abroad for cheaper workforces, who in turn need to be trained in their foreign tongue. (An adult educated to university level in a foreign language has only a quarter of the vocabulary compared to a native speaker.) Knowledge and training for foreign language workers needs to be customized for their language and often their culture, too.
When localized correctly, e-learning can be a highly efficient, cost-effective learning medium. It helps with brand and company consistency as it delivers a uniform training solution across both languages and cultures. But it's not as easy as it sounds. Localizing e-learning solutions is just as tricky as software localization, with all the potential traps of marketing translation.
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