What Do You Need for eLearning Course Localization?

Culturally-appropriate communications, which include localized e-Learning courses, are critical to workforce engagement.

How critical are they?

According to Forbes, companies fail their cross-cultural employees by not providing materials in their native language, or by sourcing low-quality translations. Per the article, “New hires of different cultures feel included and comfortable when they feel like they’re joining a native company instead of a foreign one.”

That said, localizing e-Learning content can be quite difficult. Courses are often complex, incorporating different kinds of media and documentation. And of course, each of these elements has a source asset that you’ll need to provide to your translation vendor.

Which source assets will you need, exactly? The list follows.

1. E-Learning course editing files

Also known as the authoring files, usually with the extensions .story (for Articulate Storyline) or .cptx (for Adobe Captivate). Both Storyline and Captivate have powerful translation tools like text export and pre-localized templates — which you can’t access without source files.

2. Graphics or artwork

Source files in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Camtasia or another design program will give localization editors access to translatable text strings.

3. Audio

While the voiceover narration itself can be extracted out of most courses, it’s important to provide standalone tracks for any music or sound effects to avoid rework.

4. Video editing files

Your course may have videos that require dubbing or subtitling. Make sure to provide any editing timelines in Avid, Adobe Premiere, After Effects or Final Cut Pro.

5. Course storyboards or narration script

Helpful with budgeting and audio recording, but only if they’ve been updated to match your final course.

6. Output or published files

Not source editing files exactly, but necessary for quality assurance. Remember that these files must be downloaded to disk, since your QA reviewer won’t be able to stream from an LMS.

Give your localization team access to all your working files

Ultimately, your translation vendor must have the same assets as your authoring team. That means extensive logging and archiving during development. This is no easy task, but absolutely essential to maximizing your localization ROI. After all, remember the final payoff of this endeavor — an engaged multinational workforce.

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