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E-Learning Localization Tips

I ran into an interesting article about tips for localizing e-learning projects.

While I thought this information in this article was very good information for anyone who needs to localize their e-learning projects, the one exception I have is when they write about the issues of language translation text expansion.

20 tips for localising your elearning pt2 - Training Journal Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:15:00 GMT

Training Journal20 tips for localising your elearning pt2Training JournalThe most usual problem found when subtitling a video or slides is that the original film has been edited precisely to match the English. This causes the same problem of text exp ...

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The process of the translation is in fact the absolute lynch pin for success or failure for all foreign language media projects; especially video which can be a large part of e-learning.

My argument here is that a successful outcome pivots on the approach and STYLE of the translation.

A literal, technically accurate, word-for-word translation will usually be longer than the English. But there are, in fact, techniques that translators, who have to experience of working with adapting translations to video, can apply to make sure this doesn’t happen.

Translating for video demands a colloquial or “spoken-word” approach. This is truly a matter of translation style:

A “great” media translator will smooth out any awkward, hard-to-read sentences, changing the literal to a properly conversational tone for the target language.

One of my best Spanish voice talents. Roberto Mendoza, who is also an expert interpreter and translator summarized this best:

“Translating for video needs to be written for the ears, not for the eyes. It should feel as though the script was written in the target country, not translated into the target country’s language.”

There are two benefits to this approach.

First, done well, it is the way people actually speak. The script has a natural flow. It feels and sounds right, making it easier for the voice talent to read and the listener to understand.

The second benefit:
A colloquial approach helps make the translation shorter, more efficient and, therefore, more accurately timed to match the original English audio.

This can all be done without changing the context of the message.

To learn more about why this is true get our newest publication "Insider's Guide To Translating Foreign Language Video".


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