10 Considerations to adapt your e-Learning content with cultural-sensitivity in mind

e-Learning localization goes beyond language translation. It’s not simply about finding the right words. It also requires a deep understanding of customs, nuances, and the beliefs that define cultures.

So how do you achieve localized content that effectively respects the complexities of diverse cultures and backgrounds? Here are 10 practical considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Create culture-neutral content: Use International English and avoid idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, or country-specific references. For instance, the phrase: “I dropped the ball”, “Give me a ballpark figure”, “That’s a total home-run!”, may not have an equivalent translation in cultures where baseball is not a popular sport. Translators would need to use their creative writing skills to find expressions in the target language that would convey the same meaning. Expect to pay an additional charge for this kind of service, as some companies consider this task outside of the scope of common translation.
  2. Use compatible authoring tools: Certain authoring tools are better than others at exporting course content in a form that can seamlessly be imported into translation tools. Your localization vendor is the best source for this information.
  3. Examine your target audience: Understand their geographic location, customs, language rules, and restrictions. Check legal requirements and technical awareness of the countries where your content will be presented. Are they able to download and view large files? Are they used to multiple-choice surveys, or do they prefer to respond in essay form?
  4. Provide space for text expansion: Account for languages that may expand text compared to the original English content by providing ample space. An example is the English word “interpret” which contains 9 characters. In German, the word “interpretieren” contains 14.
  5. Choose culturally appropriate images: Opt for neutral images that resonate with the target audience. In some cultures, certain kinds of clothing or a policeman pointing a gun at a suspect could be considered inappropriate.
  6. Avoid adding text into images: Depending on the program used to create the image the text may need to be extracted manually, adding unnecessary costs to your project. If you must add text into images, ask your localization vendor what programs can be ingested automatically into the translation system.
  7. Avoid alphabetizing content: Including text or images that tie a specific English letter to an item may not work for other languages. “A is for Apple” would not work for French (Pomme) or Spanish (Manzana).
  8. Select the right narrator: Consider cultural expectations regarding the narrator’s tone and style to ensure it resonates with the audience. In some cultures, different levels of hierarchy are expected.
  9. Test mobile compatibility: Ensure that the e-Learning content can be accessed on various platforms, especially mobile devices.
  10. Hire professional translators, editors, and multilingual desktop-publishers: Work with native translators who are subject matter experts and collaborate closely with them to ensure accurate and culturally appropriate content.

Consider reaching out to Targem Translations for assistance in making your e-Learning content relevant and culturally appropriate for global audiences.

2024-07-01T23:51:41+00:00 June 13th, 2024|0 Comments

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