Want to electrify your eLearning training courses with attention-grabbing audio video translations and dynamic content? Translation companies working in the eLearning space are acutely aware of the fact that the cost of translation services can go up considerably when adding translated audiovisual eLearning materials. After dealing with other translation issues like text expansion or reduction (English text often takes up more or less room than text in other languages), embedding text in images (avoid that) and using the correct file formatting and coding, if your heart is still set on adding (or preserving) the audiovisual features of your eLearning training modules, here are 7 audio video eLearning localization tips that can save your company time, money and technical worries.
1. Prep eLearning Audiovisual Translation Script(s) with Detailed Directions
When handing over your eLearning course materials to professional language translation services, you can speed the eLearning localization process along by providing your vendor with an original script (this way your translation service won’t have to transcribe material), as well as your original audiovisual source files. Add detailed directions as well, explaining the tone (friendly, academic, serious, etc.) of the voice actors and audio style you prefer, if you favor male or female voice talent, if you want subtitles in addition to dubbed content, and any other audio visual preferences you might have. By being clear from the beginning, you can reduce translation costs, minimize recoding time, and limit technical delays.
2. Limit the Amount of Audio Video Translation Content
If possible, limit the amount of audio video translation content you use in your eLearning modules. Yes, we know the audio video translation sections of eLearning courses help make training sequences more engaging through lively interactive human (video and voice over) elements — but dealing with these features ultimately creates more work for professional human translation and voice talent teams, thus increasing the cost of translation and recording services. Don’t get us wrong, audio video content can be a wonderful addition to your eLearning courses, but use it strategically and sparingly, if and when possible. In other words, avoid verbosity and only use more, when more is more.
3. Watch Out for Culturally-Specific Images
When relying on audio video content to boost the efficacy of your training materials, try to work with translation companies that know that certain terms, phrases and images don’t always translate well across cultures. Localization performed by professional human translation experts can help adapt your eLearning audiovisual content to fit the dress, language and communication norms (which can vary widely) of different societies. For example, if you had video or animated clip of a hardworking cowboy on a cattle farm talking to the camera, that probably wouldn’t go over well in many parts of India where Hinduism is prevalent and cows are sacred. You get the idea here.
4. Review Voice Talent and Audio Recording Quality
Before signing off on an eLearning localization project, listen to some sample recordings of the voice talent your localization service is employing for your audio video translations, and check on the audio recording facilities (ask for recent audio samples and links to past projects) as well. This way you can be confident in your choice of translation companies. Work with the voice actors you want to represent your brand, and nail down the overall tone of the materials you want to publish while guaranteeing professional sound and video recordings at the same time.
5. Syncing Multimedia with Audiovisual Translation Scripts
Audiovisual localization can be tricky because translated audio might not always match the timing of your original multimedia content. And just like making a great Hollywood movie, preparation pays off here. Investing in a stellar (and detailed) script that provides clear and concise direction about how to proceed (in addition to providing your localization service with an original script) will help your translation team create a blueprint with transition timestamps that take into account differences in translated audio text lengths. This will allow for better (and hopefully faster) synchronization of translated audio recordings with your video content.
6. Subtitles versus Dubbed Voice Overs
When building translated eLearning modules, you’ll have to decide if you should go with subtitled content, or opt for voice overs. This decision naturally affects the cost of translation services. For some regions, subtitles (less expensive) might make more sense, but for other areas where people are more accustomed to dubbed content, you’ll hold your audience’s attention better with voice overs. In a few cases, you may opt to do both! Ultimately this is a decision you can make on a case-by-case basis with the translation company, which can provide you with expert, regionally specific advice.
7. Work with Native Speaker Subject Matter Specialists
It’s a must that when delving into eLearning localization, subject matter specialists who are native speakers of the language you’re translating into are involved in the localization process. These linguistic experts may inform you about legal and procedural differences (business protocols, regulations, corporate culture, etc.) existing in the country you’re localizing for, suggest information should be added or discarded, work on localizing for different dialects, and give your team a better sense of how your audiovisual translations and eLearning localization efforts will be received by target audiences in-country, on the ground.
The translation and localization of eLearning assets can be a daunting undertaking. Its complexities however can be broken down by involving the right team of native translators, in-country voice talents, professional recording equipment, specialized audiovisual engineers and technicians, the latest tools to process and store the translation and audiovisual assets and a competent and experienced project manager that understands what the full process involves and is able to execute under time pressure, set budget and outstanding quality demands!
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