eLearning Translation: Effectively Train Your Global Workforce

eLearning affords innumerable benefits from convenience, to flexibility, to impact. No longer the purview of tutors and homeschool families, eLearning today is being used by savvy companies to train employees around the world in an affordable and cost-effective way.

Workers – who make up most modern learners – can enhance their skills and increase their knowledge without ever seeing the four walls of a classroom.

Besides training staffers, creative organizations have found ways to use eLearning as a medium to achieve awareness, retention, loyalty, and of course, revenue from customers and affiliates.

As demand for eLearning solutions soars, the global economy is making eLearning translation more relevant than ever.

What is eLearning?

eLearning is derived from “electronic learning” and refers to delivering education via the Internet. While millions of Internet users turn informally to the web to learn new information, eLearning is a method of delivering formalized education online.

eLearning is as old as the Internet, dating back to the 1980s, and even earlier. However, it wasn’t until the late 1990s that people began to realize eLearning’s true potential. Elliott Maisie, a provocative, engaging, and entertaining researcher, educator, analyst, and speaker, coined the term “eLearning” in 1999, validating the concept with an official name.

The flexibility of online learning means students can learn from anywhere in the world, as long as they have a reliable Internet connection. Some eLearning resources can be delivered asynchronously, allowing users to access the lessons at a time most convenient to them. Digital resources can be revisited again and again, allowing users to learn at their own pace.

Delivering eLearning in the Student’s Native Language

In the Information Age, a company’s chances of success skyrockets when it has a well-trained workforce. eLearning provides a path to keep employee training up to date without the expense of running in-person seminars. Employers can also offer access to eLearning platforms as an employee benefit, giving workers a way to expand their skills and climb the corporate ladder.

When your workforce is spread across the globe, eLearning becomes more challenging. By offering training in a single language, you limit the ability of non-native speakers of that language to take advantage of the educational opportunity. Translating eLearning materials into multiple languages levels the playing field for monolingual employees.

Even employees who speak English in addition to their native tongue benefit from eLearning translation. Bilingual people grasp information presented in their mother tongue more quickly, and are more likely to retain it. The cost savings your company realizes by implementing eLearning evaporates if your workforce struggles to understand and apply what you’re trying to teach them.

That said, when it comes to education, a poor translation can be worse than having no translation at all. Free AI-based translation solutions have little or no understanding of cultural nuance, and comedians like Jimmy Fallon have made a game from making fun of the most outrageous translation bloopers. But what’s funny on “The Tonight Show” is frustrating in an online class.

Quality eLearning translation delivers lessons in a way that helps the audience learn the material. It takes into account cultural references, idiomatic expressions, and metaphors, and translates them so they make sense to the learner. Video and audio translations include high-quality voiceover recording as well as text, making the lesson accessible to more people.

eLearning Translation Makes Education Accessible

The COVID-19 pandemic forced all levels of learners, from kindergarteners through Ph.D. candidates, to embrace online education. If anyone still doubted that learning could be delivered 100 percent online, 2020 put those doubts to rest.

Fears that a quality education cannot be delivered online proved groundless. In fact, 2020’s global experiment in eLearning demonstrated that the medium has a variety of benefits. Students can learn at an office during standard working hours or at home in their pyjamas after the kids have gone to bed. Recorded lessons can be viewed as many times as needed to make the lessons stick.

Accessibility features like captioning and alt-text make lessons accessible to learners with disabilities. Translating eLearning materials into multiple languages is another accessibility measure, opening the learning experience up to non-native English speakers.

Our world is now a global village. eLearning translation helps international team members, clients, and students absorb your content without relying on a translator. It bolsters corporate branding by demonstrating your company’s commitment to inclusivity.

Choosing an eLearning Translation Provider

Choosing the right partner to assist your company with eLearning translation can make the entire process of translating training materials smooth and headache free. Here are some of the qualities you should look for in an eLearning translator:

  1. Localization ability. How can you make sure your eLearning content delivers value and not jokes? When you partner with a high-caliber translation provider, the quality of your materials is assured. Professional translators localize cultural references so that the finished product delivers the educational results you intended.
  2. Format flexibility. You shouldn’t have to waste time reformatting your source files in order for your translator to be able to work with them. A serious, professional translation company will work with all types of source files, and will make sure the translated material works across all eLearning software platforms.
  3. Publishing expertise. Your translated materials should be delivered to you ready to go. Choose a translation provider who handles the finer details such as engineering, publishing, voiceovers, and complete course validation. Localized courses should be published to match the settings of the original English course, including SCORM-compliant publishing versions.
  4. Scalability. Globalization of the business community shows no signs of slowing down. Currently, you may only need your material translated into one language. Down the road, you may need to add another, and then another. Choosing a translation provider who offers services in several languages from the start will keep you from having to start over every time.

eLearning has been quietly revolutionizing education for decades. The global pandemic punched the accelerator on its growth, and there’s no indication that it will let up any time soon. Remaining competitive in the global marketplace means training a global workforce, and eLearning translation is the fastest and most effective way to meet those learners where they are.