Why we should localise elearning

Written by Julie Giguere on 22 August 2018 in Opinion

Localising elearning is about more than just ensuring accurate translation.

The global elearning market is growing fast. Recent estimates suggested the market accounted for $165bn in 2015 and could reach $275bn by 2022. Conservative estimates say that every $1 spent on elearning results in $30 worth of productivity.

Global growth is significant at around 7-8% every year. In some places, though, it’s growing even faster. India and China, for example, grow at more than 50% every year. Malaysia, Brazil and Indonesia aren’t far behind.

Moreover, by 2017, the global mobile learning market hit more than $12bn and it continues to expand at a significant pace. Already, 77% of companies in the United States offer online training courses for their employees.

There are several reasons for this growth. Elearning delivers keen user engagement. The number of people in the workplace who were born after the digital revolution and who have grown up using its technology has now reached a critical tipping point in many parts of the world.

They are not only willing and able to study on a digital platform; they expect to be able to do so.

The number of people in the workplace who were born after the digital revolution and who have grown up using its technology has now reached a critical tipping point in many parts of the world.

However, when it comes to localising your elearning course, it’s important to know that all learners will be receiving the same consistent message as those in the territory in which the course was originally conceived.

Localising elearning modules can involve the translation of text in xml, localisation of Flash animations, voiceovers, subtitles and linguistic and functional testing on the delivery platform. Each project can require work in multiple languages with the potential added challenge of voiceover work.

This can mean that several hundred mp3 files may need to be recorded for each language. This can be no small matter if, for example, different voices are needed for multiple separate characters.

As well as having each audio file checked by a linguist for accuracy and completeness, post-recording quality assurance will be needed to ensure all files are clear and error-free before being incorporated into the builds.

The completed builds should then be released on a rolling basis so that participants can begin training as early as possible. It may be sensible to spread voice recordings across several sessions for each language, with additional time scheduled into each session for re-recording problematic audio files from the previous session.

This can save both time and money, ensuring that all audio files for each module are completed on time.

The success of such localisation projects requires a high degree of planning and scheduling to avoid unnecessary communications and to keep costs to a minimum. The recording studio and the voice talents should be approved and booked well in advance.

Additional translators should be assigned to ensure audio scripts are translated in line with the your preferences. Voice talents should receive a copy of each script a week before the recording date so that they can rehearse their parts properly.

A meticulous approach to optimising workflow and schedule is instrumental in completing the project on time and to everyone’s satisfaction.


About the author

Julie Giguere is managing director of Asian Absolute



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