Five Tips for Taking Your e-Learning Academy Global
As online learning grows in popularity and sophistication, so does the potential for markets that use it—and all could be targets for your video curriculum.
But before you send your classes to viewers overseas, there are important things to consider, and tips that will make the process run smoother.
MAKE SURE YOU’RE REALLY READY TO GO
A little prep goes a long way. The localization process can be smooth and streamlined or long and complicated—depending on the readiness and organization of the client. As important as it is to be proactive, it’s better not to get the ball rolling if you don’t already have the ball in pretty good condition.
- Is your source material completely finalized? Edited, and proofread?
- Do you have input and sign-off from everyone you need in your organization?
- Are the files - video as well as reference materials (docs and slides) - organized the way you need them to be?
Before sending your eLearning videos for localization, make certain to subtract any files that are not directly involved in the course so you only work with what is needed. It pays to create a streamlined process for your video localization!
ESTABLISH YOUR METRICS OF SUCCESS
How are you going to decide what you’re looking to accomplish—and measure how well it was achieved? Some of your success will be hard to quantify, such as viewer appreciation and word-of-mouth recommendations. But there are other barometers, such as your viewing rate, length of time spent on a particular video or lesson, and engagement seen in share rates and questions posted.
There are other, indirect, measurements you might not have considered. For example, countries where key training and support content has been localized might show significantly lower rates of calling support lines with questions or complaints, and often will see higher rates of subsequent engagement with adjacent content or products. The indirect effects of your localized video content can thus have a positive impact beyond the measurable.
BE AWARE OF CULTURALLY SENSITIVE CONTENTMake sure you have reviewers from each of the relevant countries to check the final product. This will help you avoid embarrassing or offensive misunderstandings through errors or imagery. For example, a logo that means one thing in the original-text country might mean something altogether different, even offensive, in the new target country.
When targeting multiple audiences of learning viewers, avoid using any region-specific information or symbols, and opt instead for internationally recognizable graphics. Be mindful of color schemes: In finance, a number printed in green represents positive growth in the U.S., but not in Japan, where red represents a booming market. Something as simple as a character’s name, if not adapted to the target language can seriously throw off your audience. And remember to edit your course text for colloquialisms that might not resonate in another language.
CONSIDER YOUR SPEED OF TURNAROUND AND SHELF-LIFE OF YOUR CONTENT
How fast do you need the video—and how long will the content be “fresh” and of use? If speed is of the essence (for example, responding to a timely release or certification), you’ll want to ensure that the process requires as little editing and revision as possible, and is done right with less back and forth. Using a specialist tends to result in a cleaner, more accurate video, with fewer mistakes made by machine translation. Similarly, if you are rolling out information that is short-lived and frequently updated, you can’t afford a longer production cycle.
WHO IS BEST EQUIPPED FOR THE JOB
How do you decide whether you should use your existing translation vendor, or look for a video localization specialist? Or maybe a video specialist that can work seamlessly within your existing localization vendor ecosystem? Limiting the process to fewer vendors might seem easier (don’t have to “stop the presses” to on-board a new vendor), but not always better in the long run. If the existing vendor specializes in text rather than video, they might not be as savvy about the nuances of voice, accent, and facial expressions.
Understand your priorities: What is the most important variable in your e-learning video — speed, accuracy, or cost? Can you afford (literally or figuratively) multiple revision cycles? Consider a cost-benefit analysis to see what happens when the project is delayed by changes and corrections — delays that can be introduced by a vendor less experienced in localizing video.
CMI has 50 years of experience providing film, television and video localization including dubbing, captions, translation, and delivery in NY and LA. Get your media to the right place, in the right language, in the right format and on time. Contact us today!