This is Part 5, the final installment from our series Five Best Practices for the Translation of eLearning Content.
Consider Initial Review for Localization
When translating an eLearning/training project, prioritizing client review is a way of avoiding delays and unforeseen costs due to changes made mid-process. It is always a good idea to begin with an initial review of content in the target markets and locales. This is important to ensure that the material created works in the markets and locales it is targeted for. In addition to writing material that translates well, it is also important to choose a platform that will produce the desired product and ensure that the authoring tool will support the desired languages, specific fonts, and right-to-left text.
It is also imperative to do cultural and subject-matter research while writing, to create content that will be appropriate and accurate across cultures, and then review that content to be sure it fits the client’s desired message and product. A review of both the content and the format by subject-matter experts in the target markets will help to keep things running smoothly once the eLearning translation is underway, and avoid costly changes and delays.
Consistent Review of Audio Materials
Audio is one feature that can greatly improve an eLearning/Training product experience, but can also complicate the process unless great care is taken. First, it is important to create a final script before any recording begins. This eliminates the need to rerecord any changes, which can increase costs and delay production. Next, it is important to choose vocal talent while carefully considering clarity, tone, and dialect.
It is important that consumers can understand the speaker well, and that their speech matches the desired tone of the content. Incremental client review of audio content can ensure that any desired changes are made as early as possible. It is much more expensive to make changes while in process, since this will automatically require more time recording or rerecording content.
Prioritize Expertise in Client Reviewers
Following translation, the client has the option of completing a client review. It is very important that the material is checked by subject-matter experts who are fluent speakers of the target and source languages to ensure that the client’s desired message and tone come across in the translations. The goal of the previous reviews and the steps taken in writing and preparing the content is to minimize the number of changes that come back from review. So, ideally, client review is a final check to make sure that the product is exactly up to standard, rather than a full review step for major edits to the content or audio and visual components. It is also important to provide a list of end specifications before the final product is generated. Prioritizing communication between the client and the eLearning translation provider and taking steps to prepare and review content throughout the entire process helps to ensure that the final product is the desired product.