eLearning Localization: Videos and Virtual Reality

by Nicholas Strozza

typing on laptop

More organizations are taking advantage of new technologies that help make training and teaching a global audience easier and enjoyable.

The development of multilingual eLearning courses once had the reputation of being complex and time-consuming, which is why many organizations may feel intimidated by the task. However, eLearning Localization is not as challenging as you may believe, especially when you work with an experienced translation organization like Interpro.

Benefits of eLearning Localization

eLearning Localization has many benefits, and there are some great statistics to support that claim. When workers use eLearning tools, they demonstrate a 50% boost in productivity. Additionally, businesses save between 50% and 70% in costs when utilizing eLearning (where training and instructors are involved).

In addition to the obvious managerial benefits, employees are beginning to take a more active role in identifying next steps for personal and professional development. This is a great chance for organizations to take advantage of the online learning phenomenon by enabling worldwide, self-directed learning. The global appeal of eLearning has made localization not only possible, but necessary.

In our experience with creating multilingual courses, engaging visuals are essential. In fact, 65% of all people are visual learners, so videos and Virtual Reality technology can be especially helpful tools that make that make eLearning Localization more effective.

Videos

Video is a widely-used communication tool in today’s visual and tech-driven world. In eLearning courses, specifically, videos are ideal for presenting conversations, interviews, or graphics so that the content can be the most effective for each unique culture and/or language.

When it comes to localizing a video for an international audience, you have two main options: voiceovers or subtitles. The third option is to re-shoot the video using multilingual actors, but this is rarely done due to time and cost, especially if you’re creating an eLearning course in multiple languages. The type of localization you choose for your videos largely depends on your budget and project timeline.

Each option has pros and cons, but regardless of how you choose to localize your videos, there are a few best practices we like to keep in mind as we work with our clients:

  • Keep content neutral: Create a script with language that is neutral (avoid regional phrases or local slang) so that content is easy to translate and will ultimately save you time and money.
  • Transcribe with a time-code: A detailed time-code is essential to accurately line up voiceover audio or subtitled text with the actions on the screen.
  • Leave extra space: When translating into other languages, the amount of text may grow substantially. So it’s key to keep language concise.  
  • No tight shots: You need to avoid shooting the video too close up with quick transitions because it can be difficult to insert a new language into the video if there’s no extra space (visually or auditory) to work with.
  • Save the source file: Save the source files for any graphics or animations included in the video to edit and translate. Any pieces that can provide further explanation will only benefit the learner.

Virtual Reality

Many (if not most) eLearning courses contain video. Virtual Reality (VR), however, is not yet commonplace in the eLearning world, but has the potential to  be an essential tool one day, especially when training international learners.

VR is the term for a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment that can be explored and engaged by a person. The obvious benefit is that when learners are immersed in a learning experience, they have a greater chance of becoming fully engaged with the content.

VR allows learners from different countries and cultures to learn in a “hands-on” manner that may not be available in real life. It can transform learning environments into exciting and sociable environments that increase learner engagement, comprehension, and motivation.

Localization matters here too, of course. VR environments must be accessible and appropriate for a global audience, and that will require intentional content and translation (similar to the best practices previously outlined). Although it’s becoming more popular, it’s still mainly a possibility rather than a reality due to cost. However, this does not minimize the benefits for global eLearning courses.

By making eLearning localization a priority, especially with tools like video and VR technologies, you will ensure sure that your content is both seen, heard, and experienced in the most effective way possible.

Nick Strozza

"Working at Interpro allows me to be part of a talented team where we are collaborating together to exceed our client’s expectations for each project."