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Three Common eLearning Localization Mistakes to Avoid

Verity Hartley at LanguageWire

Verity Hartley
Marketing Specialist, LanguageWire

eLearning Courses that do not provide value and engagement

Creating excellent eLearning materials that engage your audience can be an art form.

You need the perfect balance of enjoyable and informative content to keep your audience on track and achieve their goals.

Once you add multilingual audiences into the mix, the challenge increases, which is why some common eLearning localization mistakes can slip into your creative process.

We have highlighted three of the most common mistakes your need to avoid when creating eLearning content for global audiences.

Using Embedded Text

This is a very easy mistake when you start by creating graphics in your own language.

You can’t edit text that is embedded into an image. So, when you come to translate and localise your eLearning content, your translators will be unable to change the text. This will leave you with the option of either redesigning the graphic or leaving it in the incorrect language version.

Images with the text in the wrong language will be ignored by your learners or, worse, seen as a sign that you do not care enough to localize your eLearning materials fully.

Avoid using text on graphics wherever possible. If they cannot be avoided, ensure you plan to localize all versions of the image to the correct language.

Poor Quality Translations

When pressured to quickly make an entire eLearning programme multilingual, you may be tempted to save on localization costs by using lower-quality translation options.

This could include running your materials through online machine translation tools without follow-up from a human expert validator or choosing to go with a cheaper translator who is not an expert in the target language and can’t provide native-quality translations. Perhaps you are working with a platform that doesn’t provide a term-based memory for all your specific terminology and phrases.

While these may seem like cost and time-saving processes, you will lose out in the long run as poor localization is rarely well received. eLearning that has been poorly translated is less likely to be completed, and the cost of creating the course is wasted.

Failing to Account for Layout

When you change languages, you need to consider the different amounts of page space each language needs. Some languages are more condensed than others in word length and character size which will fit differently in your design.

Hebrew, for example, usually takes up less space than English. Whereas German often requires much more space as it has much longer words than need to be placed, so they fit and are readable on the page.

If you do not account for this by using a DTP specialist and a translator together to find the best fit for the page, you may find that your eLearning materials look far less attractive and engaging after they have been translated.

Use eLearning Localization Experts to Avoid Common Mistakes

When you put a lot of effort into creating an engaging and informative eLearning course, you don’t want to ruin your hard work by releasing a poorly localized version. Using eLearning design experts will ensure that your multilingual learners will also receive the best quality training.

Do you have eLearning materials that need localization? LanguageWire has in-house DTP experts and translators who can help you avoid eLearning localization mistakes and get the right content to the right audiences as soon as possible. Get in touch with us to find out more.

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