What is localisation?
Localisation is the process of translating eLearning—or any other content—into a different language and adapting it for a specific region.
Why should I care about localisation?
English might be your native language; however, the most spoken language in the world is Mandarin with 850 million speakers followed by Spanish with around 400 million native speakers. With so many non-English speaking learners, localisation is important because it ensures that your eLearning course is comprehensible by the target audience and culturally appropriate. It also expands your possible market reach into any market you choose.
However, localisation is more than just language translation; it’s about capturing the context, challenges and cultural subtleties that make learning relevant and credible. We are seeing rapid growth in the localisation market from leading brands, who wish to deliver a consistent message across all of their sites globally.
Making learning relevant, globally
Learners may be dispersed, but effective online training can ensure a consistent and collaborative approach to learning across the organisation, while respecting and incorporating local context. Smart eLearning is an eLearning supplier that specialises in localisation; programmes where the core is shared, but examples are contextualised.
We provide a comprehensive text, graphic and audio translation service in conjunction with collaboration with SMEs to enable easy management of multi-language versions, with both shared and custom content. Our eLearning designers advise where programmes will benefit from local content and ensure materials can be easily updated as the environment changes.
Can’t I just translate it and deploy it?
Of course you can! Just like anyone can source eggs, flour, butter and sugar to make a cake. The difference is, would you rather a rich, showstopping five-tier masterpiece. or a flat sponge?
Localisation goes beyond just translating your eLearning course into the intended language. You also need to make sure your course is culturally appropriate.
For example: We remove or re-imagine culture-specific slang, idioms or expressions, because they lose their meaning once translated. Careful consideration also needs to be made when using abbreviations and acronyms, which could confuse the learner.
We also have experts who will re-create examples and scenarios. Something that’s culturally appropriate in your country may not be in another country.
But images are universal, aren’t they?
Not all images. Keep in mind that cultural icons differ across borders. For example, Americans would recognise a dollar sign or thumbs up gesture, but learners in a different country will be confused by those symbols or even offended.
Another example of images that don’t translate well are road signs. We remove the headache by researching any symbols before use in your eLearning course. We undertake all the necessary research to ensure that anyone—anywhere—will understand your content the way you intended.
How can I be sure my course is culturally appropriate?
Alongside our SMEs, we check with local experts to make sure all the content in your eLearning course will be understood the way you intended in the target language.