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7 important steps to consider for your eLearning localization

When it comes to eLearning localization here’s what you need to know to get it right.

eLearning has become an important part of many people’s lives, especially since the pandemic. eLearning platforms have become increasingly popular as a means of acquiring new skills, knowledge, and certifications from anywhere in the world. This global appeal means that if you want to make your eLearning platform international, certain factors need to be considered when translating and converting your courses successfully into other languages.

What is eLearning localization and why is it important?

 

eLearning localization

eLearning localization is essential

eLearning localization is more than just a direct translation of words, it’s about transforming your courses and platform so that everything about it suits your target audience in terms of their language, social constructs, and culture. eLearning localization helps bridge cultural differences in your courses while helping students acquire and retain knowledge more efficiently and effectively.

What should be localized?

Unlike document translation, there is a lot to consider when localizing your eLearning platform. Here are some major aspects that should be addressed,

  • All written text and content
  • Fonts 
  • Graphics, images, photos, and symbols
  • Audio and video
  • Tone of audio narration
  • Graphical User Interface (GUI) and formatting (e.g. date formats)
  • Units of measurement, dates, and currency
  • Idioms and abbreviations (if used, though best avoided to start with)
  • User experience elements (e.g. navigation buttons)

Key planning steps for eLearning localization

1 – Plan for localization early 

Often an afterthought, the need for localization should be identified and planned right from the creation stages as pre-planning makes the localization process run a lot more smoothly. 

When creating your eLearning courses, here are a few ways to make them more localization-friendly,

  • If possible, keep multimedia minimal and keep graphics simple. 
  • Consider the use of neutral humanoid images wherever possible making the character images relatable no matter what region or culture. 
  • Test your font’s compatibility to ensure that it is compatible with your other target languages as it may not be supported.
  • Avoid using humour and idioms as these can be difficult to translate into other languages.

2 – Know your target audience

It is essential to know the audience you are seeking to reach in every area that you want to localize in. Researching is required to learn about a region’s language nuances, cultural preferences, tone and even spelling variations. This can affect everything from colour and image choices, your selection of eLearning voice-overs, and how you approach culturally sensitive topics. Hiring eLearning localization services is an easy way to ensure you nail this step. 

3 – Expansion and contraction

As each language is unique, one of the major features you need to pay attention to when localizing is the expansion and contraction that occurs when transcribing certain languages. This is important because it can affect the general layout of your course and its graphical elements.  

This is especially important when translating Chinese Mandarin to English as text may contract by up to 20-50%! The opposite happens when, say, you want to translate from German to English the text expands anywhere from 10-30%. If you have audio and video content these issues also apply. So be sure to consider this when putting together your courses. 

4 – Graphics and other visuals

eLearning voice over localization

Even items such as the tone of audio narration and translation needs to be considered when localizing your courses

While some symbols and images are universally understood some may need to be reworked for successful media localization. Items that often get missed include navigation buttons, speech bubbles, and progress bars, animations, and colour selections. Take a look at the colour white, for example, and how differently it is viewed depending on the culture. In the West, the colour white can signify purity and cleanliness but in many Asian countries, the colour white can be associated with death and bad omens. These seemingly small aspects can be the defining features that draw the line between a successfully localized eLearning platform and one that is not. 

5 – Focus on language AND design

eLearning translation is sometimes the easiest part of a localization strategy but one of the defining features of localization is that it needs to be all-encompassing to reach the native audience of an area. Design features and choices need to be considered when building eLearning courses. For example, say your original course video was created for the UK market and you’ve translated all the text and audio content for the Latin American market, however, the video graphics remain unchanged. Say in the video a man snaps his fingers as he recollects something. If you plan to deliver this content in Latin America you might end up with a few confused learners as the gesture of snapping one’s fingers in Latin America is a way of asking someone to hurry up. 

Design features also include the user interface and the choice of colours and fonts as previously mentioned. Failure to consider these items will lead to ineffective and easily misinterpreted course content. 

6 – Technical considerations

eLearning localization technical considerations

Want the localization process to move faster? You can help out your localization agency with these technical considerations

If you want things to move fast and smoothly in the translation process, be sure that all of your eLearning content is in appropriate editing formats and source files. This includes videos, images, audio, presentations etc. This helps avoid the need to start anything from scratch which saves not only time but also money. 

7 – Use multilingual translation services

If each of these steps feels overwhelming, it’s because you need the best translation services company for a partner that can walk you through this process. Don’t sell your elearning translation content short, get help from qualified localization companies, like Into23.

Into23 can translate and localize to any language you need to get the most out of your eLearning platform in the global market. Contact us today for a free quote. 

A brief guide to mobile app translation

Working on a mobile app and want to have it translated? Here’s what you need to know to get started. 

Did you know that 84% of the world’s population owns a smartphone? Smartphones have transformed our lives, and a large part of that has come down to mobile apps that have been created to make our lives and customer and business interactions easier, more efficient, and more convenient. If you’ve got an app that you want to take global or reach a new target audience in a different language, mobile app translation or app localization is a feature and service you should look into. Don’t know where to start? Here are some tips to get started in translating your mobile app. 

Why app translation is important

Cartoon app store UIs – Photo by 200degrees on Pixabay – Caption –“Mobile applications are now a part of our daily lives. Apps are more likely to be used if they are in the native language of the user.”

Apps are used for just about everything now, with the average smartphone user using around 10 apps per day and around 30 apps per month. If you do business in any other language other than English, getting your app translated is an effective way to increase your business within a set market. A study by Distimo in 2012 found that translated apps saw a 128% increase in app downloads and a 26% increase in paid subscriptions for those apps that had them. Now, these stats from 2012, imagine how much more these numbers would be in 2022. 

While mobile app translation may sound as simple as translating content from one language to another, there is much more to consider. 

Can I just Google Translate my app?

You could, but there are many good reasons why you shouldn’t. While machine translation in and of itself isn’t a bad thing, it’s missing an essential part of any quality translation, which is the proofreading and copy editing that comes from a human translator. Machine translations cannot consider cultural nuances and can still make obvious grammatical errors that can ruin any good mobile application. 

Related: Why Google Translate Isn’t Effective Enough for Business

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 1

So, what should you do if you want to translate your mobile application effectively?

Application localization

Mobile app translation is a necessary part of entering a new language market. However, translation in and of itself is very limiting. This is where mobile app localization steps in. Localization transforms and translates your product so it carries the same meaning and tone in the language it’s being translated into. It considers the cultural, geographical region, beliefs, local regulatory standards, and values of the target area in the translation process. It’s an adaptive review of your product to make sure that every aspect of the platform is suited to its new region. 

Here are a few areas that are often included in app localization,

  • User interface and general design
  • The tone of content and general appearance
  • Customer support base and contacts
  • Multimedia translation and localization, including images, audio, fonts etc.

Tips for simplifying the translation process

Mobile App Translation and Localisation 2

Photo by Elf-Moondance on Pixabay – Caption – “If you’ve never localized an app before, here are some important factors to consider.”

The first step in translating any app is to know your target markets thoroughly. This includes knowing your target users and their behaviour, along with proper market research. It will also require a substantial amount of project management and setting clear goals and outcomes of what you expect from the translation of your app. Here are some tips and suggestions to get you started on your software translation.

Separate translatable resources


Resources such as text, images, audio etc, that have executable code should be outsourced. This makes it so that content can be changed efficiently without having to change the base executable code of the app.

Keywords and SEO

Just like with websites, keywords and SEO are important for apps too. When you’re localizing, you need to consider your keywords, too and determine what words will work best in the regions you’re looking to enter. This localization of keywords will give you better rankings in app stores. So be sure to perform local word searches and know who your competitors are, along with what words, tone, and strategies they’ve used. 

Related: Why website translation and multilingual SEO optimisation are important for your online business

Text expansion and/or contraction


Depending on what language you’re translating into, text expansion and contraction are necessary for apps since they’re often used on small-screened devices. For example, English to Mandarin Chinese contracts by up to 20-50%, while the opposite occurs from English to German, with the text expanding anywhere from 10-30%. Not taking these factors into account when translating your app can result in serious user interface issues.

App store optimization


If you’re looking for an additional reason to localize your mobile app, both Google Play and the iOS AppStore can detect if you’ve localized, which can increase your app’s ranking. Further, by optimizing your app for the app stores, you’re increasing your chances of your app being successful. For example, when people are looking for an app, the first thing they see is the app name, meaning it’s important to have an app name that is descriptive and attractive. Both app stores also allow for a short description following the name, so use this to increase your ranking in app store results.

Quality assurance testing is a must


Having a linguistic QA specialist do proper QA testing on your app after the localization process is essential for a seamless app launch. QA testing ensures that your app works on all devices and platforms and that the translation work you’ve put into your app is flawless. QA testing ensures a better ROI, especially since users are less likely to use and engage with a glitchy or buggy app.

Work with an app localization service

If this guide has shown you anything, it’s that there are a lot of considerations, extensive planning and research that are needed to go into a successfully translated mobile app. To get the best out of your mobile app investment, it’s important to work with a language translation technology company that can take you through the translation process.

Into23 offers multilingual translation services for mobile app localization, software localization services, website localization and more. With international experience and a specialization in Asian languages, Into23 can help you mitigate risks and increase your ROI when entering the global market on any translation project. Contact us today to find out how we can meet your translation and localisation requirements.