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7 translation pitfalls holding back your e-learning content

Published on February 12th, 2020

E-learning has become a crucial tool for businesses and educational organisations, but it’s also become a highly lucrative industry in itself – one projected to reach $325 billion in value by 2025. Aside from transforming how businesses train staff and students learn subjects, the likes of Udemy and countless other brands have made it their entire business model.

To reach those growth targets, publishers need to create e-learning material that not only teaches, but also engages audiences. In a global industry, translation is at the heart of achieving this and poor quality translation can hold back your e-learning content’s success.

Here are seven pitfalls to avoid.

7 e-learning translation pitfalls

To make a global impact with your educational material and engage with learners from all language backgrounds, make sure you avoid these e-learning translation pitfalls:

  1. Settling for low-quality translation: Don’t expect free online translation tools to convert educational material into other languages. Get professional translators on your side to ensure 100% accuracy is always achieved.
  2. Not getting the right expertise: Make sure your translators have proven experience in working on e-learning projects and their unique challenges.
  3. Having no style guide: To ensure consistency remains throughout every piece of content (and their translated versions), you need a style guide in place for content creators and translators to follow.
  4. Failing to localise your content: Translation takes care of the language in your material, but it doesn’t make images, numerical values (dates, times, currencies, etc.) and the visual design of your courses suitable for everyone. Make sure you also localise your content for each language audience.
  5. Not using the right technology: Translation can be a time-consuming process, but using technology like automatic translation, translation memory, terminology management and a translation management system makes all the difference.
  6. Not testing your content on audiences: Before launching your translated e-learning material in the wild, you should first test it on audiences to ensure it’s getting the desired results.
  7. Promoting on the wrong platforms: Even the best e-learning material falls flat on itself if it’s not present on the platforms your target audience is actually using – or promoted on the wrong channels. The right platforms and channels vary from one language market to the next and having a solid understanding of each demographic is crucial.

By avoiding these translation pitfalls, you’ll give your e-learning material the best chance of maximising reach and engaging audiences for a longer period. Discoverability is the biggest initial hurdle e-learning publishers face but keeping audiences engaged for the duration is the long-term challenge every publisher needs to overcome.

The quality of your content is always crucial to this, but this quality will be lost in translation if you make any of the common mistakes listed above.

Ready to go global with your e-learning material?

If you think your e-learning material is ready for the global stage, you can speak to our specialist e-learning translation team for advice on how to maximise reach and keep multilingual audiences engaged.

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Posted on: February 12th, 2020