All employees of an international company should be properly trained and well aware of company policy and values. It is an important factor for business development. Therefore, many companies invest a lot of effort and money in developing online courses to educate their staff. Most often, the official corporate language is English and the training modules are then, obviously, developed in English. However, since research shows that people learn better at their native language, many companies translate the course into the respective language of the country where their employees are located.
Research shows that simply translating the content does not have the desired effect of achieving consistent results among employees in different locations. E-learning localization professionals, who know how to optimize the content, can help to convey the desired message. With the tools of e-learning localization, the main course is adapted to best suit the local branch and reflect the cultural nuances. Below, we will have a look at the meaning of localization and present you five of the most important benefits this service will bring to your company.
What is Localization and Why it is Necessary?
Localization can be broadly described as translating any content into a given language and adapting it to a specific region and culture. According to the definition given by Wikipedia, this is “part of the larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation to account for differences in distinct markets. Language localization differs from translation activity because it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to correctly adapt the product to local needs.” While translation is only textual and focuses mainly on rendering the text from language A into language B, localization also includes non-verbal elements such as images, graphs, symbols, colors, design, formatting, video, etc. E-learning localization can effectively train a broader audience while conveying the same consistent message. When working with professionals in the field, it helps to avoid basic errors since they will spot any abstract concept or subtle assumptions connected to the US culture that will not translate properly into the target language. The e-learning localization is a commitment on behalf of every company to provide the proper environment for the course content so that it can achieve its ultimate goal.
What are the Benefits of E-Learning Localization?
Using e-learning localization is a win-win since it is beneficial for both the company and its‘ employees. There are many industry specific advantages that we could discuss, but here are the top five benefits of localizing your online training modules that are valid for any company.
- One Core E-Learning Course – Diverse Final Product
The tools of e-learning localization allow each company to elaborate one main training course and then translate it and optimize it according to the needs of its employees worldwide. All the basic information is contained in the initial module developed, but the message is adapted to the specific target audience to create a diverse product, specific to each location.
- Cost-Efficient, Broader Reach
Developing only one training module and then localizing it in accordance with the cultural specifications of each target group is a better and more cost-efficient approach than developing different modules. In order to optimize your e-learning course for localization, it is good to follow some basic localization tips while developing. Use simple language free of jargon and idioms, avoid graphs and images with embedded text so that they can be easily replaced, and choose a proper design and platform for your training. When working with professionals in e-learning localization you will find out that it is better to just change an image when giving an example (such as, how to greet a customer or accept a business gift when teaching business etiquette to English and Japanese speaking employees), rather than writing separate training instructions.
- Consistent Information Flow
By means of localizing your training content, you make sure that you convey one, consistent message in all languages by taking into account the specific cultural differences. If your company policy says that it is ok to accept business gifts from customers or partners, the information will be better perceived by everybody if illustrated with the appropriate image. You can put a bottle of wine as a gift example for your French office, but you cannot use the same image for Arab countries, as this would be considered an offense. Simply replace the gift image with perhaps a compass, and you have a consistent message conveyed in the right way – proper gifts are acceptable and recognized as normal company policy.
- Employee Retention and Satisfaction
Providing corporate training is a must for every company and doing it the proper way is a plus for the HR department. When your e-learning course is not just translated into a given language, but properly optimized and localized, it shows a personalized approach and is a sign that the company values its employees no matter where they are located or come from. This will increase staff retention and satisfaction rates. In addition, employees will learn better and easier when the course is in their native language and presents concepts that they are familiar with. That will boost their confidence and self-esteem and will eventually lead to better results at work.
- Improved Brand Image
Your company brand image will benefit if you optimize and localize the internal training courses you offer to your employees. The process of e-learning optimization positions your company as one that pays attention to cultural differences and values its employees “because of” and not “despite of” their diversity. This will gain you the respect of both partners and customers and will eventually increase your market share and improve your return on investment percentage.
Contact ICD Translation today and get the best assistance for your e-learning localization process. Our dedicated professionals will be more than happy to answer all your questions and provide proper personalized solutions.