How to Develop Localization-Friendly E-Learning Courses

How to Develop Localization-Friendly E-Learning Courses
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Teaching individuals who speak languages other than English aren't difficult if specific elements are addressed when developing the e-Learning curriculum. With the right interface, the teaching materials can be localized to fully benefit those who are taking the class.

Localization of the learning materials allows the student to learn in their own language instead of simply having a class converted from one language to another. By localizing the content being taught, students are able to do more than just memorize the information being presented. They are able to learn it, understand it, and use it as effectively as possible. You can even transcribe those e-learning resources for distribution to students whenever that is required.

Make Sure the GUI Is User-Friendly When It Comes to Localization

With a Graphic User Interface, it's important that all keys of the interface be labeled in the student's language or be printed with symbols that are universal and easily understood by students of any language. While some translation may be necessary, it's imperative that the student feel comfortable when using the interface. For keys like Play, Record, Pause, Stop, etc., use an interface where the symbols are used instead of the word. Because the symbols are understood by almost everyone in a classroom setting, the student will be able to utilize the interface almost immediately without wasting with translations.

Minimize Printed Text Over Images

When it comes to using printed text to explain photographs, charts or other types of visual media, try to use minimum text that's placed directly over an image. By doing so, it would save time that would otherwise have been spent cleaning the images and making them more universal. It will also help to make the images more friendly when it comes to localization and e-learning curriculum. Make each image as clear as possible without any distractions that could take away from its overall educational value.

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Respect the Culture and Remain Neutral

When developing any course that is intended to be used by many different nationalities, you must remain neutral when it comes to symbology and the use of specific colors and gestures. What is friendly and acceptable in one culture may be rude and unprofessional in another. When developing a curriculum for a specific target audience, your first step should be to learn as much about the culture and the people you can. This will give you a newfound respect for their traditions and help you adapt the e-learning curriculum to their specific culture and traditional values. Try to maintain as neutral a tone as possible and remember to encourage respect and understanding when it comes to working in an intercultural environment.

Also Read: Top 7 Hybrid Learning Challenges for Students and Possible Solutions

Define What Doesn't Need to Be Attributed to Localization

It's also important to learn what is and is not affected by localization. Specific items like the time and date are formatted in much the same way across the globe, requiring little research to localize them to certain regions. If it's your responsibility to identify elements that need to be localized or translated, enlist your employees and allow them to help you determine what elements, such as currency or units of measure should be localized for the benefit of those taking the course.

Hire Native Speakers for Each Language Course

When a person is trying to learn something, it's easier for them to comprehend the information and be able to utilize it effectively if the person doing the teacher is presenting the information in their native language. While a person may be fluent in a different language, it doesn't mean they have mastered the tiny nuances that make it easily understood by someone who has spoken it since birth. The key element of an e-learning localization is to present the content in the student's native tongue. It gives them a better grasp of the concepts and allows them to embrace it more fully than if the information was funneled to them through a translator.

When it comes to online translation services, e-learning localization is much more than just translating content and various types of information. It involves making the information easy to understand in the language the student understands and has full comprehension of. Transcription requires a high degree of accuracy that can only be achieved if the person taking the class is capable of understanding the lessons being taught. Localizing the content brings the information to them is such a way that it isn't merely memorized, it's understood fully and completely. As with any type of online translating service or teaching service, comprehension and fluency are two of the most important concepts a student should be able to take from the experience.

Also Read: How to Develop Localization-Friendly E-Learning Courses

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.