How to create multi-language elearning content [video]

Making your online learning content more widely available makes a whole lot of sense. But actually creating and managing content in multiple languages can seem as daunting as an Atlantic crossing! We delved into this topic in a recent webinar to look at why it’s worth the effort and the smart workflows that make creating multi-language elearning content a far smoother journey.

Watch the recording:


In this webinar video Georgie Cooke and Joe Burns share insight into:

  • Why multi-language elearning is important
  • The benefits that translating learning materials can bring to your business
  • A working example of a translated elearning
  • How to create multi-language elearning experiences with Elucidat

How to make your content translation ready

Multi-language elearning is a vital part of making your training program accessible to all audiences, which can significantly benefit your business. Creating multi-language elearning experiences with Elucidat can make all the difference to your employees’ productivity. Here are just some of the ways you can ensure your training resources are suitable for translation.

1. Engage your local stakeholders from the outset

Getting local approval on the translated content can be the biggest challenge in launching a translated corporate elearning course. Making sure you involve your local stakeholders at the outset of the project is critical to avoid your project getting stalled at the final hurdle. Involve the local markets in decision such as:

  • Is the topic relevant for the local team?
  • Do the local laws or processes change the content in any way?
  • Which linguistic terms do they prefer? For example, sofa or couch?

2. Microlearning should be localization friendly

There are many variables to consider when it comes to the cost of translation, however, the biggest one is the length of the course.

Less is always more when it comes to creating digital learning content! This doesn’t mean you should shy away from deep learning experiences, just that you should cull anything that’s not strictly supporting the goal of your multi-language elearning.

This is best practice learning design anyway, but there’s an added incentive when you’re paying by the length of content!

3. Plan for text expansion

A paragraph written in English might only be 4 lines long, yet the same paragraph in Swedish might be over 5 lines, and in German, it would likely be even longer. Prepare for this from the start by leaving 30% more room to allow for expansion, especially if your authoring tool forces you to use fixed-size text boxes.

With dynamic, responsive tools like Elucidat, text boxes will automatically expand, and pages will automatically lengthen, removing these challenges altogether. Right to left language support and accent marks also help make sure your language is spot on.

4. Avoid text in images

The cost of recreating images is 10x more than translating live, editable text. So, avoid including images with text and build the text into your design instead.

If you’re using Elucidat, try using tables or layout designer to recreate your infographics or diagrams using a bespoke combination of text and image boxes.

5. Avoid idioms, slang and jargon

Jargon and unique corporate acronyms are hard enough to understand in your first language, let alone when trying to translate. A good rule to follow is to write as if you’re writing for someone new in the job who wouldn’t know those terms yet. Your translators will thank you, as will your audience!

6. Plan your multimedia well

Audio and video can be powerful elements to include in your training; however, they can also dramatically increase your localization costs.

If you decide to include audio or video elements, minimize the impact on your budget by sticking to just one voice talent and avoiding on-screen text embedded in videos.

How to streamline the process of multi language elearning translation

Streamlining the translation process is just as important, or you risk spending time and money on what could be a very long-winded task. Here are ways in which you can make the translation process more efficient. 

7. Perfect your first language version first

Don’t jump the gun! Make sure you’re translating a finalized version of your corporate elearning material to avoid fiddly additions and version control issues later. This will help you avoid frustrating to-ing and fro-ing!

8. Look for streamlined workflows

No more copy and pasting! Choose an authoring platform with a simple text-export feature that will pull of your text out of your source files in one click.

Elucidat enables a quick export into CSV or XLIFF format, ready for you to add your translated text and reimport.

9. Make updates easy

Have you ever had to change a logo across a suite of translated modules? Having to make the same change in 6 different modules is not fun! We recommend using a parent/child structure – such as Elucidat’s ‘master courses’ feature- to keep your translated version linked to the original. This means a visual change to the original course will automatically apply to the translated versions.

10. Simplify the learner’s experience

Finally, consider how you’re going to make these modules available to learners. Publishing all your language courses in one SCORM file with an upfront language selector will keep things simple for your learners and for you.

Thinking about translating your corporate elearning into multiple languages? Here are some useful resources to help: