Are you training internationally across cultures? For a more effective learning experience, translate and localize your content for your target audiences.
Crafted by Dan Jones
Using one language
The more words you use, the more expensive your translations will be. Write short sentences in the active voice. Use clear, common words consistently. Sift through your existing language to extract the most important concepts that you’re trying to convey.
For example, write “use” rather than “utilize.” And avoid jargon, slang, idioms, and cultural references. Don’t forget to define all initialisms and acronyms too. A style guide will help you produce materials consistently.
Translating and localizing
Your translation and localization service provider will advise you. And in your designs, allow for text or voice over expansion or contraction.
For example, German text and audio narration can require up to 30% more space and time than English.
Garnishing with an expert’s touch
While tools like Google Translate are getting better, you still need an expert’s touch. They’ll make sure that your text is grammatically and culturally correct, your images and screenshots relate to your audience, and your color scheme is appropriate. And they’ll format your dates, numbers, phone numbers, and currencies for each region.
• First, finalize your workbooks, handouts, slides, and videos in one language. Keep them simple and concise.
• Next, use standard design tools and formats such as Word, PowerPoint, and Photoshop. Provide original, editable files, not Adobe Acrobat (PDF) versions.
• Finally, hire professional translators and localization experts.
Although you might deliver your training globally in just one language, your learners will appreciate having culturally-appropriate materials in their native tongue.
Dan Jones is a Switzerland-based modern learning professional. He helps colleagues and customers around the world learn and perform better by creating learning campaigns that combine communications, social collaboration, coaching, self-directed learning, and formal training. An avid “tech geek,” Dan’s become an expert in using technology to design, deliver, and reinforce learning. Find out how he can help your organization. View his LinkedIn profile and contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org