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For any company with a global network of staff and customers (which is most of us these days!), eLearning translation can present a complicated challenge. But thanks to new tools and technology, like automatic closed captions on learning videos, it’s much easier to meet the demands of your learners all over the world.

When it comes to eLearning, finding the right translation services provider has historically been a major headache for businesses, with the challenge exacerbated when multiple languages are involved or the content itself is particularly complex.

But auto-captioning and then translating those captions on learning videos is making things a lot easier for L&D teams.

Badges from different countries to illustrate the concept of eLearning translation

The Growing Need for eLearning Translation

The number of potential languages that training departments need to be translated into is growing: by 2027, experts predict that enterprises will need to translate content into 62 languages in order to reach all potential audiences1. This includes an increasing number of “niche” languages needing to be served in order to reach small but fast-growing economies.

Translating into major languages is a necessity for any business with global ambitions. For many organizations, English eLearning is the de facto language but that could change. The number of people speaking Mandarin Chinese—around 848 million—easily dwarfs the number of English speakers, at just 335 million2. Being able to provide learning content in other popular languages, such as Spanish, Arabic and Hindi, is essential for many organizations.

Harnessing the Power of Third-Party eLearning Translation Services

Artificial Intelligence-enabled tools have become game-changers for translation. Recently, translation services such as Google Translate have made significant breakthroughs, to the point where they are trusted by around 500 million people each month3.

Machine translation algorithms and a deluge of data arriving from search engines, social media, and e-commerce websites have helped to drive their efficacy and popularity4.

With modern learning tools, like a good cloud-based video learning tool, you can instantly translate your content into more than 100 languages. Google’s speech-to-text and translation services power this through state-of-the-art Neural Machine Translation. This sophisticated technology has brought about a level of translation capability that is accurate enough for many L&D professionals to bring traditional eLearning translation services in-house. This is especially handy when it comes to auto-captioning learning videos and then translating those captions into dozens of other languages.

An example of auto-captioning in a video eLearning tool

An example of auto-captioning in a video eLearning tool

How Have eLearning Translation Tools Transformed the Process?

It’s not uncommon for organizations to wait days or even weeks for their video learning content to come back from translators. This time lag is frustrating and prevents them from delivering the latest information to learners. It also requires a significant investment of time and money.

However, video learning tools that include translation capabilities can dramatically reduce the time and effort translation takes—while still maintaining high accuracy. These solutions might not be 100 percent effective yet, but their accuracy is extremely high and improving all the time.

An eLearning authoring tool which has learning video translation ‘baked into’ the product as standard can be extremely useful for L&D teams. The resulting quality of eLearning translation will serve almost all training programs, even highly specialized ones. Relying on Google Translate to pick up every nuance of, for example, high-level legal phrasing might be somewhat ambitious. However, its overall effect on training programs has been to make content accessible for a truly global audience.

And there’s so much more that eLearning translation services can benefit from. After content has been processed, it can be automatically transferred to a learning library. From there, learning tools can make the content searchable down to the spoken word.

Having these kinds of features in your authoring tool is an important part of providing training programs that meet modern learner expectations and drive people to actively want to engage with learning.

A diverse group of people from all over the world to signify the importance of localizing content and eLearning translation

What Approach Are Successful Organizations Taking to eLearning Translation?

The global language services industry is expected to grow to more than $52 billion by 20215.
As well as helping you to achieve a wide range of other ambitions, eLearning translation can have a key impact if you want to:

  • Expand your business into different geographic regions
  • Support customers and partner organizations in different parts of the world
  • Help new and existing employees to access material and join in learning conversations.

Organizations who use learning tools that integrate translation services can still retain full control over exactly what different audiences see. That means they can easily perform tweaks such as manually altering captions on learning videos where necessary, or localizing images on eLearning courses so that they’re relevant to a local audience.

For example, they could change content boxes to show different landmarks in particular countries. Or they might choose to change the image of the company headquarters on an introduction screen so that it shows the site relevant to the country the content is being viewed in.

Multi-Language Support is a Feature Your Learning Tools Should Provide as Standard

Translating your eLearning and video learning content shouldn’t be a headache. The days when organizations need to outsource a team of translators to provide all of their video learning translation services are over—as long as they pick the tools that give them the power to do it themselves.

This is a considerable turning point for companies, especially those looking to break into new markets or work successfully across continents. With content conversion taken care of by learning tools and technologies, everyone can benefit.

Flags from all over the world, which symbolize the concept of the video learning translation process

Want to give your business the ability to quickly and accurately translate multi-lingual learning content, including videos? Get in touch today for a gomo demo, or download our ebook, ‘5 Ways to Make your Learning Program Work for You’, which explains how to support a workforce in almost any language.


Additional sources:
1. Common Sense Advisory (2018), ‘Plan for the Future Now: Must-Have Languages for Global Enterprises’
2. Visual Capitalist (2018), ‘A World of Languages’
3. Business Insider (2018), ‘I Travelled the World for 6 Months, and Here’s the Single Best App I Couldn’t Live Without’
4. Digitalist Magazine (2018), ‘From the Business of Language to the Language of Business: The Future of Translation Worldwide’
5. Training Industry (2018), ‘Learning in All Languages: Translating Your Learning Programs’

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