eLearning localization Archives - Into23

Best Practices and Guidelines for Subtitles

Have a video or an eLearning video course that needs subtitling? Make the most of your subtitles with subtitling services and these best practices.

Subtitling may seem like a straightforward video editing element but there is an art to subtitling, which means there are many good reason to have it done by a professional, especially if you require language translation services. Subtitling services are especially important if you have content that needs to be translated into another language as a subtitling translator can apply the best subtitling practices but can also ensure translation accuracy. 

Two girls in front of a subtitled screen

Subtitles can be found in a variety of video platforms such as business or academic content as well as in entertainment. – Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

What is Subtitling and When Do You Need It?

Subtitling is the accompanying written text or dialogue from a piece of video. The text is synchronized with a video segment and is concise enough to be read and understood in a short time. Subtitling can be used to add additional support to a video so that it can be viewed without sound or it can be used to provide content in a language that differs from the audio dialogue and content.  While subtitling is used in the entertainment industry with movies and TV shows, it is also used commercially, especially as businesses make use of visuals in their marketing and localization strategies. For example, eLearning localization has become more prominent on eLearning platforms as they expand to reach a wider global market. The use of video translation services is also being used more often within business websites as part of their global marketing strategies. 

Whether you need subtitles for a video on your website or for your eLearning platform, here are some of the best subtitling practices.

Subtitle Timing and Placement

As the images are just as relevant to the subtitles, the timing and position of the subtitles are very important. 

  • Subtitles need to appear and disappear as the words themselves are spoken but are also on-screen long enough to be read. Around 15-18 characters per second is a good standard.
  • If necessary, simplify the text to make it easier to read but always ensure to caption all important and relevant information. This is especially important within eLearning platform content.
  • Each subtitle should be one complete sentence, with no more than two on the screen at a time. With two sentences on the screen, the shortest one should generally be on top to minimize eye movement, prevent image overlay, and make it easier to read.
  • Synchronization and pauses in the sentences should occur naturally with the speech or when there is a natural change or pause in the course, content, or scene.
  • Font size is important. The font needs to be large enough to read with ease and the colour and contrast of the font also needs to align with the image background.
  • Subtitles are generally placed at the bottom centre of a video. This is to avoid it clashing with images and other word content on screen. The most important thing to consider is the subtitles clashing with the image or video content so positioning can be adjusted if necessary. 

Subtitle Meaning

Ensuring your subtitles capture the meaning from the original audio is even more important when translating into another language. 

  • Using a subtitle translator can ensure that you’re getting the best translation possible and that your subtitles capture the meaning of the content and not just the words. 

Subtitle Sounds

Video editing

Sounds and sometimes even silence are both important aspects of subtitling. – Photo by Matthew Kwong on Unsplash

The backgrounds sounds and noise in a video, while not part of a dialogue or speech, can be just as important to capture the meaning of the content. 

  • If dialogue or speech is inaudible a label should detail the cause.
  • Ie. The noisy crowd muffles speech
  • Sound effects, such as a car horn or a dog barking, should be enclosed in brackets and italicised.
  • Ie. (dog barking)

Subtitle Punctuation

The addition of punction and formating can help add clarity. 

  • If multiple people are speaking at the same time, add the names or descriptions of the person or character to identify the speakers
    • Ie. (Claire) You have got to be kidding me?
            (Steve) I told you so!
  • When subtitling a song or singing, it’s helpful to indicate that it is music with a music icon () at the beginning and end of the song.
    • Ie. Take a sad song, and make it better…

The Importance of Subtitling Services or a Subtitle Translator 

Video translation services are essential if you are localizing your video content or in the process of website localization to ensure consistency and quality in your content no matter what language it’s being presented in. Into23 offers quality video translation serviceseLearning translation, software localization services in any language your business requires. Our translators offer the highest quality translation with fast turnaround and delivery. Inquire about our subtitling services and get a free quote.

6 Creative ways to update your eLearning courses

eLearning voiceover

Image byTumisu on Pixabay

eLearning courses fit perfectly in today’s modern world and in comparison to traditional learning, eLearning has substantial benefits to both learners and employers. Students who take online courses have graduation rates that are 9% to 21% higher than students in a traditional education setting. Further, the use of eLearning for companies shows that when employees take eLearning training their retention rates increased by 25% to 65%. It’s apparent that eLearning has become an essential way of continuing education and skills in the 21st century but like all technology, to stay relevant and successful, eLearning courses and platforms need to be updated regularly.

Why you need to update your eLearning courses?

eLearning translation

Image by MUJU_pixel by Pixabay

eLearning content needs to stay up to date to stay relevant, this includes not only technological features but context and tone as well. Dated aesthetics or content won’t hold the attention of a young learner and to make a course successful they need to be catered to the modern generation.

In 2017, Adobe announced that it would stop supporting flash with a phase-out that started in 2020. The majority of eLearning courses in the early and mid-2000s were once built with Flash but now HTML5 is generally the standard used in many eLearning courses which also makes courses mobile friendly. The best eLearning platforms made this transition as soon as possible and the companies that missed out on updating their eLearning software found themselves with courses that their learners could no longer use.

Certified Elearning tranlation

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán from Pexels

If you’re overdue for a revamp of your eLearning courses here are six areas to look into when updating your courses.

1. Modernize graphics and visuals

It may not seem like much, but visuals play a huge part in the success and retention of a course. If your course looks like something that should still be on dial-up you aren’t going to gain the attention of any modern learner. 

Take a look at your images and be sure that they represent your market audience in a modern way, that includes where the photos are located and what’s in them. For example, if you have a picture of a workplace and the people in the photos are sporting 90s attire and are using massive old school computers, you’ll want to give that a modern makeover. This also means having a look at your templates and designs up to date, so if your design has a MySpace feel, it’s time for an overhaul. This also applies to eLearning localization, if you are updating your courses to expand globally make sure that the content you update with is relevant to the localized audience, that your eLearning voiceovers match the dialect and accent, and that your eLearning translations are done by professional business translation services.

With that, evaluate your templates and get them back to basics with a clean and simple look and feel that will give them a more modern and timeless feel.

2. Varying your format 

If your course uses the same font throughout and follows the same format of plain content with a recap, it’s time to shake it up. Ditch the lists and bullet points and start including charts, graphs, and infographics. Infographics are especially useful for summaries as they are visually appealing and easy to read which increases retention.

3. Microlearning

Updating your old courses doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them, you can repurpose them into a microlearning library by breaking down the course into smaller sessions. This creates a microlearning library that allows access to concise content that is very accessible to learners. Microlearning libraries allow learners to jump in and quickly get the exact information they need with little hassle. 

4. Make them interactive 

When eLearning first kicked off most of the content on it was rather static and often consisted of the information, usually laid out in short paragraphs and bullet points, then followed by some sort of standard assessment. Since then, technology has broadened to allow for the creation of highly dynamic and interactive content. Ditch the multiple-choice for a simulation, make use of videos and create exams and content that allow learners to immerse themselves with the content, and give them opportunities to practice what they’re learning. 

5. Social learning

Find ways to connect your learners outside of their courses with the use of social media. Not only does it create a community but it offers continued means for your learners to expand on their knowledge, as well as create and collaborate. It ensures that your learners have a space to ask questions and foster new ideas. This is also really important if you have learners from around the world as it’s a great way to bring people together. 

 6. Entertain 

Are your courses entertaining? If you’re not entertained by the content, then chances are your learners won’t be either. Creating an enjoyable course experience is one of the best ways to ensure course success and knowledge attainment. Try to avoid using too much text and don’t shy away from humour by adding images, memes, a joke, or even a comic strip. Something that will break up the course and make your content more memorable. This is especially important if your target audience is a younger crowd. Just ensure that if you are localising your eLearning platform that you use media localization as not all graphics, memes, and jokes translate over to other languages and cultures. This is why it’s important to use eLearning localization services to make sure your courses reach your learners the way they’re meant to, no matter where they are in the world.

Need help taking your eLearning platform global? Into23 has all your global translation solutions with high quality translation services and multimedia localization services by certified legal translators. Contact into23 today for a free quote to get started. 

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.