Most jobs require training, which is especially important in industries like healthcare, manufacturing, mining, and those where a lack of hazard awareness may put workers and others in danger.
When employees are non-native English speakers or considered LEP (Limited English Proficient), the need for training in their native language is not only recommended but required by law. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) provisions specifically mandate employers to verify that employees truly comprehend the material. Completing the training is not enough.
The most basic way to approach this issue is to give your LEP employees the documents they need in their native language. Beyond that, there are more efficient means to ensure a higher level of comprehension of the material.
It’s been shown that online training has significant advantages over other forms of learning, especially if there are added elements that make the experience interactive and engaging. For example, a quiz at the end of the presentation can be a great way to gauge the learner’s understanding of the subject.
e-Learning Components that Need Localization
Organizations differ in how they develop e-learning training and what they choose to include. However, some features are common to most programs. The main components that need localization to provide your LEP employees with a useful experience include:
- Content and narrative: Translate all screen text, including speaker notes in PowerPoint presentations. Make sure to provide your vendor with editable files so these can be ingested in translation systems.
- Text in images: On-screen graphics may contain text that needs to be translated. Keep in mind that some images may not be editable. In this case, your vendor will need to extract the text manually (e.g., from PNG, JPG, or Adobe Illustrator files). Most InDesign files are indeed editable. Your vendor will need the full package, including fonts and linked assets so Desktop Publishing can be performed in the target languages.
- Subtitles or closed-captions in videos: Subtitles are on-screen dialogues that accompany the audio-track, while closed-captions are full transcription of the media audio-track (dialogue, sound effects, music, etc.). These can be sent to your vendor in different file formats, such as SRT or VTT, to be localized in the target language. Depending on your budget, you may choose voice-over or dubbing. This service includes a voice-talent to create an audio track of the video’s spoken content, then syncing the translated track with your video content.
- Navigation and action buttons: Examples of these include “NEXT”, “SUBMIT”, “CONTINUE”, and other action related items that help the user navigate the course. As with embedded graphics, the text in these graphics will need to be extracted, translated, and reinserted.
There are other aspects to consider when localizing content for different audiences. Adjusting or changing these may help avoid something that could be offensive or may not work with certain cultures. These include:
- Icons or symbols
- Photos and graphics
- Dates, times, measurements, currency
- Color schemes
- Play on words / puns
Even though online courses are a great way to train your LEP employees, they should be just one piece of your company’s comprehensive Corporate Safety Culture. Signs, labels, and procedural documents should also be made available in your employees’ native languages.
At Targem Translations, we are experts in e-Learning localization. If you have online training or other documents that need to be localized, Targem Translations has the experience to make the process seamless, and time and cost-effective. Contact us today to get started.
Silvia Carvalho, Head of Localization at Targem Translations