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7 Tips To Choose The Right eLearning Translator For Your eLearning Course

22 October 2018

Translating your eLearning course gives you wider global reach. But how exactly do you find the right eLearning translator to localize your eLearning content and make it easily digestible?


How To Choose The Right eLearning Translator For Your eLearning Course

Translating your eLearning course may take a bite out of your L&D budget. However, the benefits are usually well worth the investment. Translating your eLearning course not only gives you access to a wider audience, it also establishes your brand as a global eLearning expert. Establishing this eLearning expertise requires more than basic Google Translate. Your translated online course needs to be technically, culturally, and contextually accurate. Establishing credibility begins with finding the right eLearning translator, so here are 7 helpful tips to choose the best pro for the task.
 

1. Get References

Before any major hire, it’s a good idea to get feedback from your eLearning translator's previous clients. Ask your eLearning translator to provide a list, and look for brands within your niche. eLearning translators that have worked with recognized institutions are a safer bet. Check in with those references to verify that they’re genuine. To ensure your fact-checking is effective, don’t get a contact person from your eLearning translator. Instead, get the official contacts of the institution. Contact that individual directly and speak to their Human Resources department. You could also speak to the person in charge of personnel.

2. Request A Sample

Depending on the level of translation your eLearning course requires, getting free work might be a challenge. If it’s technical, intensive work, no reasonable professional will give you a freebie. You can, however, request a paid sample. Give your eLearning translator a small mock-up of your eLearning course content and have them translate it for a fixed fee. This gives you a good idea of their style, speed, and familiarity with the topic. You can test out their work and see whether they’ll be a good fit for your eLearning project. Make sure the sample is as close as possible to the actual eLearning project. There may be stellar samples in the eLearning translator’s portfolio. However, obtaining your own sample helps to ensure that they are familiar with your eLearning niche or subject matter.

3. Inquire About Their Must-Have Resources

Technology offers numerous platforms that help people do their work. Mathematicians have calculators. Editors have Grammarly. And we all use GPS. When it comes to eLearning translation, available translation tools range from Google Translate to Zanata. Ideally, you’d like an eLearning translator with a high level of fluency, so that they can accurately convert your online training material. Even proficient speakers use translation tools to help them tackle work-related tasks. Find out which apps your prospectuses. This will give you an idea of their abilities and level of expertise. You could ask them to do a brief live demo, proving their proficiency at working with these translation tools.

4. Look For Subject Expertise

The best kind of eLearning translator would be one who is an expert in your subject matter. They would be well placed to accurately capture jargon. They can pick up nuances and ensure clarity and conciseness. However, this could be a tall order. In such cases, find an eLearning translator from that general field, then pair them with a Subject Matter Expert. If the Subject Matter Expert is an English speaker, they can still help to clarify industry-specific terms and offer alternative English wording. This will ensure the language conversion is more technically accurate.

5. Seek Professionals

In theory, anyone that is multilingual can work as an eLearning translator. In reality, professional translators have a vocabulary that is beyond street level. If you speak a foreign language, you can ask for food, water, or directions. If you’re a proficient translator, your linguist knowledge extends beyond conversational topics. Ensure that your new hire is a recognized professional by checking their credentials and employment history. You could also throw them in at the deep end by simulating a task. For example, ask them to translate an excerpt from your eLearning course that deals with more complicated ideas and concepts.

6. Focus On Native Speakers

Native speakers have an added advantage in eLearning translation. While expatriates can learn a language well enough to use it in corporate settings, they lack the advantage of culture. A native speaker will appreciate richer nuances, and can bring out tone in addition to just facts. They can also incorporate cultural elements that make eLearning courses more meaningful and resonate better with online learners. While slang is not necessarily encouraged, a native eLearning translator can toe the line between corporate consciousness and comprehension. They may also be more aware of regional differences in policy. Some of these will need to be adjusted in the online training material.

7. Request An Itemized Cost Breakdown

Ultimately, it all comes down to the eLearning budget. Can you afford your eLearning translator of choice? Does their experience and eLearning expertise warrant the investment? It’s best to request an itemized estimate that features all of the fees involved. For example, the number of hours they expect to devote to the eLearning translation project and how much they charge per hour, as well as any additional software they’ll have to purchase for the job. You can also inquire about the cost of revisions or eLearning content updates after the fact. For instance, if you need to amend your compliance online training course to accommodate new regulations.

Virtually anyone that speaks more than one language can promote themselves as an eLearning translator. However, there are certain hints you can use to make sure you hire the right one. Ask for referrals, with a bias towards well-established brands. Request a paid sample or a live demonstration. Target native speakers who are professionally registered as eLearning translators. If you can’t find subject experts, pair your eLearning translator with an English-speaking subject guru, so they can strike a balance. Follow these 7 easy guidelines and you’ll be on your way to establishing yourself as a multilingual authority in your eLearning field.

Adding subtitles to your eLearning course can offer learners the chance to more easily acquire and absorb the subject matter, which should be reason enough to consider doing so. Read the article Top 7 Tips For Effective eLearning Course Subtitling to discover how you can reach more potential online learners by adding subtitles in your eLearning course.

Are you looking for an eLearning translator for your upcoming project? Use our free online directory of eLearning Translation Providers to find, choose and compare the eLearning Industry's Top eLearning Translations Providers.