Organizations opt for localization in eLearning to meet specific expectations of their employees (learning in a language they prefer), or to address new markets.
In this blog, I share a set of tips and best practices that can help you manage localization of your eLearning courses effectively and successfully.
Localization in eLearning is the process of converting the master course (often in English or the first course) into different languages.
For multinational companies, the key benefit localization in eLearning offers is that you can reach out to your employees in different countries in the language they understand and prefer to learn in.
For businesses, localization in eLearning offers access to a wider market they may not have been able to service.
Localization of eLearning should not be an afterthought. It needs to be identified upfront as you begin the development of the master eLearning course.
Here is my list of top 6 best practices and multiple associated tips that you can use:
Best Practice 1: Provisioning for Breathing Space in the Master eLearning Course
As the length of the sentences in the translated course will not be identical to the master course, you need to have adequate room to fit in the extra sentence length in the same design.
Best Practice 2: Provisioning for Effort on Formatting
Given the differences in sentence length across languages, you need to maintain the formatting of sentences across the course.
Best Practice 3: Addressing Specific Aspects for Certain Languages
For languages like Arabic that read from right to left, you need to plan for the related aspects that are specific to this format.
Best Practice 4: Using the Right Imagery and Icons
Even though you are addressing the employees of the same organization in different countries, it is important to use the images and icons that are truly global. Otherwise, the learners will miss what they convey or get an altogether different meaning (not what you had planned).
Best Practice 5: Maintaining Cultural Appropriateness
This is a highly significant aspect of localization that needs an expert’s validation.
Best Practice 6: Selecting Authoring Tools That Are Localization-Friendly
Today, you have a choice of several authoring tools that ease off the process of localization of eLearning courses. With a single click, you can export your content in various formats (Word document, XLIFF, and Text file), localize them, and place them back into your eLearning courses with minimal effort.
We at EI Design use the following authoring tools:
I hope this blog provides practical pointers that you can use to successfully localize your eLearning courses. If you have any queries or need any specific support, do contact at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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