Making ELearning Courses Translation Friendly


Many companies focus their translation agency efforts on marketing collateral, websites and social media, but in today’s global world, it’s just as important to make sure your employees in Thailand and Germany have access to the same quality training as your employees in Kansas or New York. Enter web-based eLearning, an effective way to get everyone on the same page without needing to fly trainers around the world.

Articulate, a leader in eLearning solutions, has recently released Storyline, making the design of interactive online training courses even easier. Here are some 3 quick tips to get your creative juices flowing; read our recent newsletter article on maximizing online training courses for even more tricks.

1. Create a global design right from the start

Complex and media-rich online training courses are definitely engaging, but they also mean more assets that must be tracked, translated, and localized for your new target languages. Your base design should make future translations streamlined; simplicity in graphics and design will make your life simpler when translating into Japanese, French, and Spanish for your new flagship stores.

One easy tip is to avoid graphics with embedded language — translating these can be costly because every language will need to be redesigned. And, of course, tailor the amount of time and investment to the number of people the finished learning module will engage. Core company values remain the same, like “Saksmanship” for Saks Fifth Avenue, and are worth more investment than seasonal product training.

2. Give your text plenty of space

Over and over we see clients try to cram way too much text into a small space; eLearning modules are no exception. This said, design your slides and scenes in your Articulate Storyline course with text expansion in mind. Depending on the new language, your copy might expand up to 50%! The handy translation features for import, export and customization of your course are also worth exploring before finalizing your base text. These video tutorials will help you manage your XML documents (the preferred format for most experienced translation agencies); there’s even support for right-to-left languages such as Hebrew or Arabic.

3. Think outside the template box

The library of course design templates available for Storyline is excellent and can help you save time in your course design. However, just as language translation has its quirks, so do images and icons. Stock photos might not work with your new target audiences: hand gestures and colors alone have a wide variety of connotations that might alienate instead of educate your employees. Work with an experienced translation team to ensure that your entire course, not just the text, is translating your message properly.

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Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


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