• Rick White - Director of Client Services

4 Tips to Achieving Accurate eLearning Language Translations

The success of any eLearning course can be directly tied to its learner outcomes. Learner outcomes are at the heart of every piece of eLearning content, making it incredibly important to ensure messaging is appropriate and relevant for all learners, no matter their location or native language.


That’s where our eLearning translation services come in. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating your eLearning content to ensure the highest quality translation possible.


Understand how your learners interact with the content


No matter how engaging your content may be, you may not reach your specific learner objectives if your learners have a hard time understanding what is being taught. Understanding your audience’s approach to learning can make all the difference between a successful course and one that fails to connect.


You may be wondering how exactly you can find common ground among your learners when your course needs to reach audiences across multiple countries and languages. Our localization project managers have experience working with learners around the globe and are familiar with learning needs across cultures. We’ll be able to provide some suggestions on how to properly localize your content so it is appropriate for your audience.


Prepare your content with international learners in mind


Before you even start your eLearning language translations, it’s important to take a step back and remember who you are writing the content for. Before you even start writing, consider who you are writing for and envision how your content will be received. Known as internationalization, here are a few guidelines to get you started:

  • Avoid idioms and colloquialisms. Each culture has its own unique phrases and sayings, and it can be difficult to translate their meaning properly. It’s best to remove any casual language like this so your readers don’t become confused when taking your course.

  • Use simple language. The more basic and simple you keep the content, the easier it will be to translate it!

  • Be consistent and avoid redundancy. Try to limit the number of synonyms you use, as this can be redundant and make your translations more complicated than they need to be.


Develop a glossary and style guide


Your glossary and style guide will help your linguists stay consistent when it comes to your brand’s voice, industry jargon, the specific names of products, and terms that do not need any translation.


As a part of our eLearning language translation process, your project will have two linguists. One will take the first pass at your material and will translate and localize the content into the target language. After they are complete, the material is given to a second linguist to edit. While both linguists will be native speakers of the target language, having a well-defined glossary and style guide is crucial for consistency for everyone working on your project.


Invest in multilingual DTP


Your learner outcomes may be compromised if your eLearning material is not localized. Simply translating isn’t enough - you’ll need to professionally format your content to meet the different cultural standards of your learners.


While every language is different, here are some formatting and graphic changes that our multilingual DTP team can help with.

  1. Adjusting layout designs to accommodate longer languages such as German. Typically, German text is about 30% longer than English, so accommodations will have to be made so the text can fit properly within the course materials.

  2. Modifying images for alignment with character-based languages including Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.

  3. Adapting left-to-right texts into right-to-left languages.

  4. Ensuring images, colors, and other graphic elements are appropriately localized and are not offensive to the target locale.


Language Intelligence provides customized, end-to-end eLearning translation services so your message can be received by learners all over the world. For more information on how we can prepare your eLearning content for global distribution, click here.