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All You Need to Know About E-learning Localization

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Digital + localized = accessible e-learning solution!

Over the past couple of years, the development of e-learning materials has become common practice not only across educational institutions but also in every single organization with an interest in e-learning activities. The significant advancements in technology paved the way for the transformation from the traditional classroom setting to virtual learning at the same, if not higher, level of efficiency and effectiveness.

The recent outbreak of the pandemic virus COVID-19 also came as a blessing in disguise for the e-learning sector. The forced closure of schools and shift toward home-based education and work activities in multiple parts of the world imposed an increasing demand for online learning services. The worldwide e-learning market volume is expected to exceed the mark of USD 370 billion by 2026.

The world is becoming increasingly connected, and many e-learning providers find it necessary to make their educational materials available on regional and international levels. As a result, the need for adapting digital educational materials to different cultures has slowly become a must-follow approach. More and more companies and e-learning providers are now in constant search of reliable and competent eLearning localization solutions to fulfill their needs.

What is e-learning localization?

By definition, localization is a branch of language services that are concerned with the adaptation of a product, service, or communication message into the specific culture of a particular locale. Therefore, e-learning localization is defined as the process of catering digital educational materials or platforms into the language and cultural norms of one or more target markets.

If the translation is rendering a text from one language to another, localization is aligning the entire learning experience to the cultural context of its intended target audience. The main goal of any e-learning localization project is to deliver a comprehensive education in a way that resonates with the audience and capture their interest.

Is it really important?

Every single market has its own set of cultural specifications and social characteristics, and localization has proven to be a successful way of addressing these subtle nuances and maximizing the benefits of e-learning. The importance of creating multilingual e-learning materials is now unequivocal and evidenced in numbers; the following are a couple of reasons why you should consider localizing your e-learning products:

  • Cultural adaptation

The color “red” symbolizes happiness and good luck in Japan, yet refers to blood in Africa. Europeans greet each other with handshakes, Egyptians kiss cheeks, while some Asians prefer to bow. It is no wonder the cultural diversity translates to major differences in color symbolism, gestures, symbols, and many more subtleties. E-learning localization concerns the development of cultural-related content that resonates with the audience. This ranges widely from the translation of idioms and colloquial expressions all the way to the adjustments of visuals and graphical elements.

  • Audience resonance

Learners identify more with content in their own language. Providing e-learning content in the audience’s native tongue makes it easier to grasp and retain over longer periods of time. No matter who the target audience is, localization derives its power from the ability to make the e-learning materials look like they are originally created for their intended audience.

  • Legal compliance

One other important attribute is that localization guarantees your business is in full conformity with the local laws and regulations. The act of e-learning localization usually includes the help of native experts who make sure your content does not violate any rules.

How is it done?

The process of e-learning localization is multi-disciplinary and involves several end-to-end linguistic and technical functions. Localizing e-learning courses, for instance, entails the conversion of the content language, the modification of the entire graphical user interface (GUI), as well as a number of technical adaptation steps. The process of e-learning localization includes, but is not limited to:

  • Language translation: The linguistic transposing of the e-learning source content into one or more languages.
  • Image localization: The adaptation of colors, symbols, drawings, and all other visual elements to the cultural context of the target audience(s).
  • Voice-over & Dubbing: The multidimensional process of transcription, translation, audio recording, and synchronization.
  • Subtitles: The addition of translated captions on the screen of every e-learning video.

Why should it be centralized?

As you see, e-learning localization is a multistep process that comprises various specialties and requires the collaboration of multiple professionals. To build a successful localized e-learning project, you need to find a one-stop source for all your e-learning localization project parts. 

It is highly recommended that you partner with a specialized e-learning localization service provider that works on all fronts and provides the full spectrum of linguistic and technical tasks needed in one localization package. Outsourcing a comprehensive centralized localization service ensures consistency, professionalism and the complete unity of tone and style.

Final tips

If you are considering localizing your e-learning business, here are three final golden tips you should follow:

  • Plan your localization ahead: The earlier you recognize your need for localization, the more cost you will save. Prepare for localization and ensure your content is localization-friendly. Avoid excessive idioms and colloquial language usage, use neutral language and images, provide detailed scripts of your videos and leave enough space in your designs for the localized content that might extend or contract by up to 30%.
  • Define your target audience: Be a visionary person. As you launch your business, think about your future plans well and decide on your current and potential target audience. This will help you later when you get to choose the target languages you want to localize your e-learning materials into.
  • Work with natives: One final and the priceless tip is to work with native professionals who have broad experience in the market and proven specialization in the e-learning field. They know your audience and will craft tailored content that satisfies their needs.

Why Choose us?

Contentech is a 26-year old language service provider with a strong track record in e-learning and a myriad of successful projects across the education sectors. We have a team of highly qualified linguists, technical specialists, and subject matter experts who will provide you with the holistic e-learning localization solution you’ve been looking for. Contact us now and get your free quotation.