E-learning localization has a lot of moving parts: translation of the text, localization of the voice-overs, animation and graphics, and, finally, integration of all the elements.  But before any of these can take place, it’s important to evaluate the English source version and make sure that it can be localized. Is the content and format appropriate for the culture you are trying to reach?

Cultural consulting before localization begins can provide important information about what is going to work for the target culture. Your budget probably doesn’t allow you to optimize for each culture, and we understand that. Cultural consulting is a preventative measure to fix aspects of the source material that other cultures might find confusing, irritating, or ridiculous.

Read more about cultural differences in e-learning design.
Download our Quick Guide: Cultural Adaptation of E-Learning

A cultural consultant is a native member of the target culture who is knowledgeable about:

  • the learning methodologies that are successful in the target culture;
  • different customs, laws, and geography that may impact course content;
  • attitudes in that culture towards the specific subject involved in the course; and
  • the tone expected (formal vs. informal) by the audience in that country.

A cultural review will examine the course content and design in relation to the target culture, tag material that raises issues, and suggest changes. The review will assess the terminology used, the implications of the course title, cultural differences that might affect how some of the course materials are received (for example, graphics for right-to-left languages like Arabic need to be flipped), questionable assumptions (for example, that there’s an obvious difference between bribes and gifts), and legal distinctions.

Using the recommendations of the review, the course can be modified—portions rewritten, examples and graphics replaced, content reorganized, etc. – before the translation process starts. This helps ensure that the source material is “culture-neutral.”

MTM LinguaSoft doesn’t just translate your e-learning course. With our network of linguists and international cultural experts, we can perform cultural audits and make recommendations that will help ensure a course’s success in a different culture. Of course, getting us involved early in the planning and design processes will help ensure that changes needed as a result of the review are kept to a minimum.

Effective global e-learning requires expert localization.
Contact us for information on processes and pricing.

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