Over the past decade, eLearning has been the solution for effectively rolling out consistent, cost-effective training to geographically dispersed audiences. In response to globalization, many organizations now have a presence internationally, operating across continents and between countries, in several languages. eLearning localization could be the answer for overcoming the challenge of effectively training your global audience.
eLearning Localization: Effectively Train Your Global Employees
First of all, what is eLearning localization? It is the process of adapting online training products or content to a specific locale or market. Translating content into the local language is only one aspect of localization.
- The process can also include:
- Customizing graphic elements to target markets
- Converting content to local formats for phone numbers, dates, addresses, and currencies
- Adapting content so it is specific and relatable to the target market
- Responding to local legal requirements and regulations
The goal of eLearning localization is to give training the look and feel of having been created specifically for a target audience, no matter their language, culture, or location. PulseLearning identifies four key advantages eLearning localization can offer your organization.
1. One core build, global reach.
Localization allows you to cast your training net wide. A single eLearning build can be translated and adapted to offer global reach. Through localization, you can connect with a far wider audience, including those that traditional training methods might have excluded. The benefit is that you have the opportunity to increase the skill base of your entire employee cohort using much fewer resources.
2. Relatable content for increased knowledge retention.
English may be a second language for the majority of your employee base; however, learning in a native language usually makes for more efficient knowledge transfer and retention. As well as translating language, eLearning localization provides the opportunity to adapt the content of scenarios and case studies so they are relevant and relatable to specific cultures and social structures. For example, a scenario showing a salesperson greeting a customer in England will be significantly different to how a salesperson would greet a customer in Japan. Learning the sales process through localized eLearning can include customized elements to connect with learner groups of different nationalities.
3. Efficient and cost-effective solution.
Because the localization process uses a core eLearning build that is adapted accordingly, there is no need to create unique training programs for certain countries or groups. Most of the cost in setting up online training will only be incurred once, rather than multiple times if developing custom programs. Because localization leads to better retention and understanding of information, the need for follow-up training or on-the-job coaching and mentoring programs might also be reduced.
4. Consistent information for all.
By delivering eLearning that uses localization to your global audience, you can provide consistent learning messages to everyone. This can help you implement international best practice standards and methodologies to boost your service excellence. Localization is also an effective method for providing training in new processes or systems that must be implemented throughout your entire organization.
Localization provides opportunities to connect with a globally dispersed learner audience in a meaningful way. It removes the limitations imposed by traditional eLearning products and can assist in increasing your training ROI.