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Global eLearning: 4 Translation Tips for Better Employee Engagement

Global eLearning

Employee experience in the workplace is a priority that is not going away any time soon. One of employers’ biggest opportunities to help create a good experience is with their training program.

When global employees learn new concepts, hone their existing skills, or take workplace training courses, they consume a lot of very specific content that should be in their native language to encourage full comprehension and engagement.

Translated content used to train employees, such as eLearning courses, videos, and manuals, needs to ensure that the end user is getting the most out of their learning experience. A lot of the effectiveness of eLearning courses depends on the quality of the language in the training materials.

So how can you create effective translated eLearning materials? Below, we explore some key areas to consider when providing multilingual training content to your employees.

Tip 1: Identify internal bilingual resources

Training and educational materials typically contain industry-specific or proprietary terminology. And who can tell you how these terms are used day-to-day? No one is better than your organization’s bilingual speakers.

When you start to define your eLearning training infrastructure, your bilingual employees can be a valuable resource. Consult with your bilingual employees, using their experience to help you understand subjective preferences in terminology. Once you have a list of their preferred terms, you are ready to move on to tip 2.

Tip 2: Glossary & style guide development

A language services provider (LSP) will typically take a first pass at developing a glossary and style guide that contains subjective, meaning-sensitive terms, and any proprietary terms with a range of meanings. Your list of preferred industry terms that your employees helped develop will be a key component of this. Best practices for the development of both style and glossary guides require an in-depth approach with feedback from multiple stakeholders (check out our eBook on the topic to get the details).

If you still are uncertain on how to get this going, your LSP will have the expertise to get the process started and coordinate with the bilingual speakers in your organization, to have them review the LSP’s initial translations in the glossary and style guide.

Tip 3: In-context reviews – linguistic & functional

In addition to ensuring you have a group of reviewers you can depend on for linguistic reviews, you can create effective eLearning materials by conducting a functional review as well. A functional review checks the translated content in the context of the eLearning course itself.

Your LSP will ensure the content they translate into target languages is structured in a way that fits within the course. This is part of the localization process.

Some languages, like German, expand when translated from English; sometimes languages contract in translation, such as Asian languages. While an initial review by in-country users in your organization will nail down the content and any subjective uses, an in-context review will ensure that the language flows well within the course itself and functions as it should in all internet browsers.

Tip 4: Localization with accessibility in mind

It’s also necessary to provide training content for employees with varying accessibility needs. Courses with visual content and spoken components need to be assessed for whether they are accessible to each of your employees. For example, visual content may need image descriptions and captioning; any spoken components should be paired with captions and/or a transcription.

Keeping these requirements in mind as you begin to design your courses will reduce the costs down the road and ensure that all your employees can learn in a way that best suits them.

If you enjoyed this post, try some of our other posts on eLearning & Training.