In a global, connected world that values inclusion and workplace culture more than ever, can you afford not to make elearning localization and translation a priority?
If your mother tongue is English, you’re probably used to people speaking to you in English – even if it’s not someone’s first language. It’s easy to assume that works for everyone. As well as putting some people at a disadvantage linguistically, there can be wider socio-cultural impact from lack of localization. For example, did you know that an elearning course that uses purple as a primary color will be associated with death in Brazil? Elearning localization and translation should go hand-in-hand to help you create elearning that works for all.
Should elearning localization and translation be a strategic priority for your team? Here are 4 reasons why we think it should:
1. Achieve learning goals for your whole audience
If you’re creating elearning for your staff, presumably you’re looking for behavior change or performance improvement as a result. You’re likely to want to achieve these goals across the board, not just in a small percentage of your employees.
To give everyone an equal chance of learning and improving, you need to give them an equal starting point.
Don’t underestimate the extra effort it takes to work in a different language or to continually imagine how you would apply the learning in a different cultural setting. If you set your global audiences up for success in their own language and locality, you’ll reap the rewards.
2. Understand and improve learning engagement in different locations
When you look at your data to see how users around the world are engaging with your current elearning, do you see a difference between the geographical locations?
If you notice differences, you may find that there’s a correlation between the geographies with higher engagement and the languages the module has been translated into, or locations it’s been adapted for.
Data doesn’t lie, so listen the cries of “it’s not relevant” from your audiences around the world and take the time to translate and localize elearning. You’re likely to see much more consistent engagement levels across the world.
3. Create an inclusive learning culture
Many organizations are on a mission to move away from a top-down learning culture. Rather than creating elearning that is “pushed” out to the masses, the most forward-thinking learning organizations are creating a “pull” learning culture. In these organizations, employees see the value in elearning and voluntarily seek what they need, when they need it.
The reality is that your staff is unlikely to want to “pull” learning that they feel has been made for someone else. And if they do, but immediately come up against a language barrier or a culturally inappropriate scenario, you’ve lost them again immediately.
Take the time to translate and localize your elearning to make your learners feel valued and included, wherever they are.
4. Comply with the law
On top of the huge benefits you could see by translating and localizing your elearning, consider that in some territories, you may have to translate in order to comply.
In Wales, for example, both English and Welsh language options are commonly made available – and in some instances, this is a legal requirement.
An example of localized, translated elearning:
This interactive one-page resource for onboarding new employees, created with Elucidat, has been translated into multiple languages. Take a look at the example for yourself…
Translating and localizing with ease
A common objection to elearning localization and translation is that it can be a time-consuming addition to the production process. It doesn’t have to be.
If you choose the right elearning authoring tool, you’ll have smart workflows built-in that allow you to create one master version of an elearning course with multiple variations. So, whether you need to translate the language, swap out images or make copy changes to localize a case study, it can be simple and pain-free.