Localization has evolved into a crucial aspect of expanding a business’s clientele. More than just translation, localization considers cultural differences and modifies content to make it suitable for the target country.
Localization typically impacts written content, visuals, and user elements such as navigation tools, audio/video, and formatting. It’s essential to plan for both linguistic accuracy and seamless usability.
E-learning offers a fantastic opportunity to disseminate information and grow your international customer base. E-learning takes various shapes, from conventional interactive videos to tests and quizzes. Wondering about common localization issues in e-learning? Use this localization test to keep you on the right path.
1. Foresight is Your Friend
Failing to anticipate localization adjustments during the initial stages of your program design may lead to overlapping content, truncated text, inconsistencies, improper character displays, and incorrect links. In the absence of planning, you might have to redesign your program after completion or accept a subpar localization.
You should think about localization adaptations soon after the architectural development phase. Allocate ample space for language expansion in slogans, brand buttons, images, sources, and references.
Remember to consider headers, footers, and menu bars too. Moreover, maintain a list of acronyms or specific terms that don’t translate well and minimize their usage.
2. Embrace Brevity
Traditionally, simpler language and shorter sentences have been considered the ideal approach for translation. Fewer words and phrases mean less translation work. Developers should use complete sentences to obtain grammatically accurate translations and avoid concatenating sub-segments at the software level.
This principle still holds in technical training and health and safety assessments. However, in business, leadership, or sales, content is more subjective and necessitates accurate cultural references for trainees to reap maximum benefits.
Trainees require culturally relevant examples to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to engage with diverse customers.
3. Recognizing Language Differences
Translation can cause text to expand or contract. For instance, when translating from German to English, text tends to grow by 10-30%, while English to Mandarin translation results in 20-50% smaller text. A useful localization test includes extending text strings by 30% to assess the impact.
Language size matters when dealing with voiceovers, text inserted into videos, voice-to-voiceover conversions, and pre-designed slides and graphic elements. Failing to account for it during the design process might lead to spillovers and excess spacing in text boxes.
Ignoring language size can also create voiceovers that don’t match the slide duration. Design your text to allow for expansion, and let skilled multilingual typesetters optimize your text space. For videos, provide extra footage for accommodating longer voiceovers and resynchronize on-screen animations in various languages. Adjusting the script without changing essential information can help fit voiceovers to video footage.
4. Decoding Symbols
While some symbols are universally understood, others may confuse learners from different cultures. Color and imagery also require consideration. For example, white symbolizes purity and elegance in Western Europe, but death and bad luck in Asia. Trackers can help you select culturally appropriate symbols.
Ensure learners can use navigation tools, tooltip speech bubbles, on-hover text boxes, progress bars, and other visual elements in a culturally clear manner. Consider maintaining a tracker that switches between locations throughout your program design.
5. Tackling Tricky Graphics
eLearning often utilizes simple animations, but language differences can make animations appear irregular. A desktop publishing (DTP) specialist or design team can help identify problem areas and reorder animations post-translation.
6. Adapting to Flexible Formats
Delivering content in formats like PDFs and JPEGs can make editing difficult for translators. Supply images and text in editable formats, like InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator files, for easy translation and localization.
Ideally, offer text for translation in an online tool that allows reusing existing translations and storing new ones in a database for future use. Ensure all content, including video, audio, interactive assessments, and presentations, is available in expandable, contractible, and native file formats.
7. Choosing the Perfect Translation Partner
Team up with ABC Translations, the eLearning localization superhero that can take your project from zero to hero. Don’t split your project among multiple partners – that’s a recipe for inconsistency and unprofessionalism. We use Translation Memory to grow your translation powers over time, meaning faster project turnaround and shrinking costs.
With ABC Translations, you’ll join forces with a company that advocates building an approved glossary of specialized terms. This speeds up the translation process for field-specific words and phrases and ensures top-quality translations.
Crush the Localization Test with ABC Translations
After acing your localization test with the help of ABC Translations, you’ll be ready to unleash top-notch eLearning material on the world. You can trust ABC Translations to guide you through changes in symbols, text length, animations, graphics, and more – ensuring you create a product that’s tailored to your target audience and nothing short of exceptional!