By next year, over 40% of the education market will likely be driven by e-learning. But to succeed internationally, companies need to invest in e-learning localization services.
Who uses e-learning?
E-learning encompasses all forms of electronic learning. This might be via an online school’s own platform, an in-house intranet site, or a video series. E-learning isn’t aimed at a single audience, everyone – retirees, employees, school children – can learn digitally if the course is accessible. The key to this is tailoring content for your audience.
E-learning in 2021
The COVID-19 pandemic sped up the adoption of digital technologies by several years as companies made huge leaps forward in digitization. We’re now used to using technology for previously manual, in-person activities.
This extends to e-learning, too. As technology advances, so do the possibilities for e-learning companies. Not only are we used to learning online now, but individuals are also choosing to sign up for courses themselves, creating new market opportunities. Coursera saw a fourfold increase in the number of people looking to improve their own skills in Q2 of 2020.
With an enormous potential customer base, companies need to carefully consider the best strategies to stand out from the competition. E-learning localization transforms learning materials so they engage audiences in specific locations.
What great international e-learning looks like
Translating e-learning content is essential if you plan to market abroad. Learners need to access clear materials in their own languages. Otherwise, there can be misunderstandings, diminishing the quality and value of your e-learning course.
Localization takes this a step further. Not only is your content translated, but it’s also appropriate and engaging for audiences in specific places. This includes changing cultural references, ensuring the tone is appropriate (not overly familiar or too formal), and displaying the correct units of measurement/currencies.
These types of changes make e-learning materials feel as though they were made for that specific learner. They focus on your content, which is completely relevant to them, without being distracted by awkward or inappropriate features.
6 tips for e-learning localization services
- Choose an expert
E-learning localization requires an initial investment. But, done well, you’ll reap the rewards. It’s best to prioritize quality and choose professional e-learning localization over amateur services.
No matter how good the original content, if you choose poor-quality services, the new content won’t be up to standard. What’s more, you may not even realize there’s an issue if you don’t speak the language.
Also, although choosing the lowest cost services might initially save you money, it might equally cost you in the long run. Errors can lead to delays, raise costs, and impact your brand. Make sure you choose a localization company you trust completely.
- Plan your content
If you know you’re going to localize e-learning materials, you can plan accordingly. Reducing the number of cultural references and potentially inappropriate images is a great place to start.
As educational content can take any number of forms, it’s important to plan with your specific formats in mind. Do you have a video-focused course? You can work out when to include voice-overs and subtitles that need to be localized, and reduce in-video text.
- Optimize your tech
It’s easy to overlook the technical side of e-learning localization. But it’s important to be aware of how visual and language changes will affect your course layout. Translations might be longer and require more space on the page than the original text. You might also need a way to display international characters or right to left text.
The platform you use to design your course may include specialized features, such as the ability to export your content to your translator all in one go. This is something to consider at the design stage.
If you’re not sure about the process, contact a professional localization company who will be able to advise you about what they need.
- Retain your brand identity
The way you build and present your course tells your customers a lot about your company. Whether you’re creating in-house e-learning for employees or launching external courses, you need to maintain your brand identity and show your values.
You can provide your translation/localization company with details of your brand, product line, target audience, region-specific information, and more. This will help them to understand and recreate your brand in the new language.
- Consider fully localizing content
Personalization is a growing global trend. Localization is a form of personalization in itself, where you can choose how much of your content to localize. But it seems we’re starting to expect personalization as standard.
In fact, 74% of customers feel frustrated when website content is not personalized. Extending localization to non-essential materials will help your audience feel engaged. For example, chatbots and forums might not be integral parts of the learning experience, but they provide tailored support.
- Use marketing localization
Remember, localization doesn’t stop with the product. A beautifully localized e-learning course needs an equally excellent marketing strategy.
At Future Trans, we can help you localize your marketing campaign as well as your e-learning materials, so you can resonate with your target audience.
Future Trans – Your e-learning localization experts
Our company has over 25 years’ experience in translation and localization. We work with native-speaking teams to transform your content for your audience so you can achieve your goals. Let’s discuss your project, simply get in touch via our contact form.