Best Practices

Why Hire eLearning Localization Services for Multilingual Training Content

Most companies didn’t think about globalization before designing their corporate training curriculum. Maybe you hired instructional designers to conduct training in English, and you’ve gotten years of good use out of those modules.
Gabriel Fairman
2 min
Table of Contents

Most companies didn’t think about globalization before designing their corporate training curriculum. Maybe you hired instructional designers to conduct training in English, and you’ve gotten years of good use out of those modules. You never thought to design an elearning curriculum that could be deployed to users in Germany, Colombia, or mainland China.Now that your enterprise is going global, you realize quickly that elearning content is incredibly difficult to localize—and you don’t have the tools you need to do the job.From on-screen text to graphics, subtitles, and video scripts, elearning content is multilayered and complex. If you’re not equipped for the challenge, it can be nearly impossible to localize your training content successfully without significant costs. By hiring experienced elearning localization services, you can stay well within budget and address all of the other challenges of multimedia localization.

Why You Should Hire eLearning Localization Services

While an in-house localization management process would be costly and time-intensive, the right partner can help you navigate the major challenges associated with elearning localization without the significant drain on your resources.

eLearning Localization Is Technically Complex

Multimedia localization is the most complex kind of localization we’ve come up with yet. Compared with localizing software, multimedia localization requires three times as many steps and involves a whole new set of best practices. If you did all of this work in-house, you’d need to carefully consider the following elements:

  • On-screen text. Creating quality translations and making sure your text layouts can handle text expansion for languages like German or right-to-left rendering for Arabic.
  • Graphics and images. Removing any embedded text, translating the content, and retouching images as needed to accommodate for text coverage. Also, choosing images or icons that are culturally sensitive and appropriate in context.
  • Video subtitles and scripts. Translating video scripts in an idiomatic way, as though a native speaker were chatting naturally with viewers. Translated scripts and subtitles are often stiff because of low-quality translation—and this happens because cheap and quick translations aren’t done with the care of a playwright or screenwriter.
  • Voiceovers. Voiceovers are very expensive and inherently hectic to produce. One small mistake in translation or a necessary update could result in hours of work tracking down voice talent and reworking recordings. It’s also important to have a voice strategy that doesn’t rely on one person—because as soon as that person is gone, your localization project is dead in the water.
  • Engineering and production. Once all the translation work has been done, you need engineers on deck to synchronize new voice tracks and embed localized content into your learning system. They’re probably busy working on the next English module. Are you going to have to beg for their time and then be strapped for resources when errors arise?

A ton of technical work goes into localizing elearning modules for each new target language. Most learning departments simply don’t have the resources to maintain a full-scale content localization management system to handle the load.

Professional Tone Differs From Country to Country

More than many other types of content, elearning requires you to be really careful with tone. Without a comprehensive system for quality-controlled translation and in-market review, it’s easy to end up with elearning content that alienates your international audience.According to Wyzowl research on video marketing, 83% of consumers find an informal voice more relatable and persuasive in videos—but 75% have felt annoyed or alienated by voiceovers and were discouraged from buying a product. With elearning, you’re marketing more than a product. You’re educating employees and end users around the world about your brand. It’s crucial that you strike the right chord.An experienced elearning localization service partner will facilitate the market research and quality assurance that it takes to differentiate professional tone among your target locales. Together, you’ll identify the necessary places for content adaptation so the learning experience will feel authentic for every user. While adaptation can get expensive, the right partner will share your focus on ROI and help you streamline costs.

Company Success Abroad Depends on eLearning

In most cases, elearning content relates directly to crucial company success metrics. Some of our enterprise clients use elearning to build company culture abroad and to make sure employees in remote corners of the world feel connected to their corporate identity. Others use elearning to convey universal standards for operational effectiveness and safety. They’ve figured out an operations model that works all over the world, and they rely on high-quality localized training content to ensure the customer experience is optimized everywhere.Because elearning content matters—a lot—it needs to be localized professionally. Experienced localization partners can help you create content that’s sensitive to the local realities of users in other countries while honoring your core identity and brand messaging. Those two elements—local realities and your brand identity—need to be balanced very carefully. An expert localization firm can help you develop content that serves both purposes and keeps your corporate identity intact as you go global.

eLearning Localization Alone or With A Partner Can Be Costly

Finally, if you’ve already been working on localization for a website, app, or software, you understand the hefty staffing costs and administrative overhead that come from doing localization in-house. eLearning localization would cost infinitely more. It’s not like handling a document, a layout file, or even a mobile app. With multimedia-based elearning, multiple content elements are layered on top of one another and then embedded in a separate learning system. There are too many expensive pieces to this puzzle.A good content localization service can help you track expenses, keep costs low, and maximize your returns. Rather than multiplying your localization workload by 20 different target languages at once, you might be counseled to prioritize the sweet spots where localization matters most.Another benefit to outsourcing your elearning localization is that a good partner can assist you with the periodic updates that you know will be necessary in the future. The right company will have a full network of translators and voice artists at hand to help your localization process play nicely with your budget, ensuring sustainability over the long term.

Choosing the Best eLearning Localization Service

When it comes to international instruction, sending a manual to distant stakeholders is just not enough. Your employees and end users abroad need high-quality localized content to help them learn about their role in your company’s global success. Excellent content localization services are the best way to make sure these learning experiences are positive and meaningful. Before you invest in localization, make sure you have a strong partner who can keep the localization strategy moving forward in a timely fashion and at a reasonable price.If you’re looking for a way to localize your multilingual training content effectively and efficiently, consider partnering with Bureau Works. We’ve been down that multimedia path many times. Our infrastructure is already set up to handle all the unexpected changes that come with complex elearning projects, and our 100% API-based localization platform makes multimedia content much simpler, faster, and cheaper to localize. We can help you transform your elearning curriculum so you can educate your international workforce, stay true to your brand identity, and claim an even greater share of the global market.

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Gabriel Fairman
Founder and CEO of Bureau Works, Gabriel Fairman is the father of three and a technologist at heart. Raised in a family that spoke three languages and having picked up another three over the course of his life, he has always been fascinated with the role language plays in identity and the creation of meaning. Gabriel loves to cook, play the guitar, tennis, soccer, and ski. As far as work goes, he enjoys being at the forefront of innovation and mobilizing people and teams together toward a mission. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Gabriel was honored with the 2023 Innovator of the Year Award at LocWorld Silicon Valley.
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