Introduction To Localising E-Learning Software
Professional e-learning software localisation is complex and not only the localisation service providers, but also the software developers need to understand clearly what software localisation is all about to guarantee that everything will run smoothly. Choosing a quality language service provider is certainly the make-or-break factor for successful e-learning software localisation. Let’s see why only true experts have all it needs to localise your e-learning programs!
The endless opportunities of e-learning software translation
E-learning software is incredibly diverse. It can come in many different forms, including apps, websites, edutainment videogames, etc., and target people of all age groups. Learners can be kids at kindergarten, students, professionals andthe elderly. This flexibility and diversity makes e-learning a suitable tool for all sorts of different educational contexts and purposes. It might be used in games for very young kids, for primary-education classes, for language learning, for staff training, for people with learning difficulties, in distant learning programs, for students with interests in rarely taught subjects, etc. Because e-learning software is convenient for so many different people, once IT developers have created e-learning programs that work in one language, the next logical step can only be to localize them by translating and adjusting them to learners in other locations, so that the software becomes accessible to an even wider audience.
Challenges of the e-learning software localisation process
The localisation of e-learning software requires the expertise of many different professionals, such as linguists, IT engineers, designers, DTP experts, etc. Keep in mind that most e-learning software has a lot of multimedia content, as IT developers rely on the many studies which have shown that content that challenges various senses (through reading, listening, watching, etc.) is more easily absorbed by learners. Developers therefore want to create engaging multimedia experiences for their learners. Such multimedia content localisation is challenging, but it can increase IT developers’ ROI significantly, as long as it is done by a truly professional software localisation service company. Experience has also shown that selecting a localisation service provider that regularly works in the field of education can prove extremely advantageous in the software translation process and increase quality tremendously. But what does “quality” mean specifically in the context of e-learning localisation? Let’s have a look!
Tailor-made solutions – the key factor behind quality in e-learning localisation
As illustrated in the beginning of this article, e-learning programs are incredibly diverse. Because of this diversity, it is critical to find specific solutions for each and every type of software. Let’s look into some of the most important aspects:
– Appropriate tone/style/terminology: As mentioned earlier, e-learning programs can be used for teaching very different types of learners – and clearly each group of learners needs to be addressed in the right tone: For example, an e-learning program for primary schoolsrequires translators to usevery easy language that kids can understand, whilst a distant learning class for university students must use the complex terminology of the relevant field of studies. A good translator will always need to consider who the learners are. When you translate e-learning programs into German, for example, kids must be addressed with the informal pronoun “du”, as the formal “Sie” would sound ridiculous to young learners. In programs for adult learners, however, “Sie” will usually be more appropriate.
– Right solutions for multimedia: Localisation service providers must develop the right solutions for all sorts of content so that the complete software can be localised appropriately. These solutions might include professional voiceover or dubbing, subtitling, etc. As some languages need more space than others, also DTP services might be required to make sure that the design remains aesthetically appealing in the software translation process.
– Culture-specific adaptations: Professional translators need to understand the cultural background of the prospective learners and take it into consideration throughout the software localisation process. For example, dialogues in learning games might need to be adjusted so that they correspond to local cultural norms. In some cases, you should also consider transcreation solutions, for example when you want your software to sound similar to what young learners are used to from schools in their home countries.
elionetwork is a true expert in e-learning software localisation. In two decades, we have successfully provided tailor-made solutions for countless clients and localised their e-learning programs. With both in-house linguists and external translators, we support more than 55 languages. Moreover, if localisation of your software requires expertise by IT engineers, designers, transcreators, etc. rest assured that we have all the resources at hand. Contact us now and tell us about your localisation needs!