The e-learning market surpassed $315 billion (£294bn) in 2021 with forecasts estimating an impressive 20% compound annual growth (CAGR) from 2022 to 2028. As one of the few industries to benefit from the global Covid-19 pandemic, the e-learning market is bolstered by multilingual demand.
As companies recruit and train a growing number of people from different language backgrounds, the need for multilingual courses and training material increases. This is a key driver for the e-learning translation trends we are going to explore in this article.
Before we bring e-learning translation trends into the equation, let’s take a moment to discuss some of the biggest trends across the wider industry. We have analysed predictions across industry figures and experts, and found the following trends mentioned repeatedly:
- Mobile learning
- Interactive content
- Virtual and augmented reality
- Adaptive learning and personalisation
- Artificial intelligence
These wider trends have a direct impact on the e-learning translation trends that we are discussing in this article.
As translation technology continues to improve, it can take on a bigger role in the business area of e-learning translation. Professional translators can use machine translation to handle the first draft with increasing accuracy and jump ahead to the post-editing phase where they check, correct and approve the final translations.
Meanwhile, translation memory automatically saves translated content and reuses it where repetition occurs. This maintains consistency and saves translators from repeating the same work. Meanwhile, terminology management enhances consistency further by creating a translation glossary for the most important phrases that matter to each business and company.
Immersive learning experiences are crucial for achieving the best outcomes: course completions, passes, high scores, retention, etc. When learning providers and companies create courses for multiple language audiences, delivering e-learning content in a learners’ native language is a key part of the delivery of this, but we also have to observe emerging trends outside of translation.
For example, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are taking on a bigger role within digital learning every year. We could reach a point where driving tests, medical training and a variety of other learning experiences are carried out using this technology and each application by default raises new translation and localisation challenges.
E-learning translation already includes several elements also found in in-game localisation but the increased gamification of online courses brings more of these elements into play – as with emerging technologies like AR and VR.
Gamification rewards learners with points, badges and other recognitions for completing tasks and achievements. When rewarding these micro-achievements, publishers can motivate learners to work their way through courses and keep them engaged. Publishers of this type of courses can also include more gamification elements to create an even more immersive experience. These include characters, mini-games, challenges, leader boards and head-to-head competitions, vs other learners.
With multilingual e-learning content, translation is the first key step in personalising experiences for learners. However, publishers can look beyond languages to personalise courses further and increase engagement. The fact is that some people retain information more effectively from certain types of learning formants, while others may perform better with alternatives.
For example, some learners may perform better with video content while others prefer static visuals they can use at their own pace. Likewise, for others, their life circumstances could mean that frequently listening to audio content while commuting, exercising and doing odd-jobs around the house is more time-effective for them, rather than having to sit down and interact directly with courses.
By offering variety, learners can personalise the learning experience to suit their preferences and circumstances. Of course, each learning format requires a different translation approach, so this needs to be taken into consideration when incorporating personalisation.
The biggest e-learning publishers will benefit most from tapping into advanced translation technology which often requires more funds in order to experiment and innovate. With bigger budgets and more ambitious goals, the companies and publishers of e-learning and training materials that place more investment into translation technology, will maximise efficiency and achieve better ROI. This in turn will allow them to expand even further into new exciting markets.
Essentially, this will feed into greater coverage for regional languages and, in some cases, this might see minority languages receiving support as they start to get involved with the gaming industry. For example, instead of just simply supporting Spanish, publishers will be in a position to include regional languages such as Basque, Catalan and Galician.
The online learning market is expected to continue its run of impressive growth over the next 6+ years and e-learning translation is going to be a contributing factor to this change. For any business currently discussing both small and large(r) plans for the year ahead that entail the delivery of engaging e-learning experiences, our e-learning translation specialists are here to help you maximise efficiency and boost multilingual learning and engagement.
To discuss your e-learning translation goals and objectives for this year, please complete the form on our contact page.