Localize Your Online Course to Make the Most of it
E-learning and localization are the two buzz words ever since the internet has broken the walls. Used together, these words are of great importance. It is the era where learning in online, and everything online is localized.
So if you have an online course, the next step is to get it localized.
What is e-learning localization?
Before we jump onto the tips and tricks, let us first briefly review what e-learning localization means.
Localization is the process of adapting your course to the culture of your target market. This includes translation of the entire content from text to images, even names, symbols, incidental references.
The point to make the course look and feel as if it belongs originally to the target market.
But, Why the Need to Localize?
That is a fair question. After all the whole world can speak and understand English, right? Wrong.
The English-speaker sector of the world’s population is less than even a quarter. Which means that you are leaving out almost 80% of the potential customer base.
The need to localize is greatly depicted in a statement by Nelson Mandela where he says that a language that a man understands gets to his brain, but his own language is the way to his heart.
Everything is Easier in Theory
With all the big talk it might seem that localization is easy only in theory. While it may be a long and elaborate process, localization is not so hard if you are ready for it.
It does get a tad bit tricky if localization is an after-thought and not integrated into your course from the start, but even then the effort is worth it.
What are the Benefits of Localizing an Online Course?
The efforts made in localization are not without its benefits. Here are a few of them just to give you an idea.
- A Broader Audience
There are people all over the world looking to learn what you are teaching in your course. There are also people that cannot access that information because of the language barrier.
They could have the course in their hands and it will not benefit them.
Thus, localizing the course will help you reach out to the other 80% of the population that has a native language other than English.
Imagine the increase in revenue that you will get when you tap into the major sector of the market.
- Become a Global Brand
Localization pays off in more than just the revenue. It also pays off in terms of reputation.
When you localize your course, you make your place as a global brand in the world.
An effective localization can strengthen your build respect and credibility for you.
Localization also shows that you have great respect for diversity, and that helps you get through to the local markets.
- Boost Knowledge
The whole point of online courses is to make knowledge easily reachable. In that light, what will make it more reachable than being in a language that the market understands better than any other?
Learning in their own language not only helps them understand the course better but also helps them retain information more effectively.
Consistent and Reliable
When people learn a course in their own language, they develop a better understanding. This prevents any kind of miscommunication or inconsistency in the information being shared.
Overall, this helps in bringing you credibility and make the users trust and rely on you.
How to get it Right?
Effective localization needs careful planning. Here are some tips in accordance with the phases of the project to help you pull it off and have a great start.
- Identify the scope and deliverables of the project accurately. This includes identifying the set of languages that you need to localize. Every language has its own unique character, and thus the effort required varies as well.
- Identifying the scope includes the user interface, content, video, and audio, character images, glossary, help, etc.
- Take into account the text word count, mode of delivery, and the number of test cycles for an accurate estimate for all the languages.
- Make sure to select a design that is localization-friendly.
- Make the user interface friendly and inviting regardless of the language
- Images and Graphics should be easily replaceable.
- Have extra space for the characters of languages that are more expanded than others
Master Course Development
- Keep in check the cultural difference.
- Actively decide the colors, some cultures have different meaning affiliated with a certain color.
- Gestures are not always universal, make sure they are used correctly and appropriately.
- It is wise to use neutral content instead of something specific in order to prevent any kind of offense.
- Make a list of things that are not to be localized.
Translation and Audio Recording
- The best option is to hire a professional translation service provider for translation and voiceover.
- Encourage the local people to review your course. Urge them to review in their native language.
- Take every language in balance. Focus on one language at a time.
- Make sure you test the course extensively to see what the users will face.
- Take into account all the different electronic devices that they could use.
The internet has done half your work for you by making it easier for you to reach everyone around the globe. How you reach out to them and how you engage and retain them is entirely up to you.
The best way to help your course reach its full potential is to localize it. It is best to plan for localization while planning for the course and not as an after-thought.
When done right and effectively, it can help you reach a bigger audience, engage with them, gain trust and reputation in the international market.
All you have to do is keep a few things such as the tips mentioned above in your mind during every phase to reach the true potential of your course and make the best of it.