Any experienced translator knows that translation is more than just word-for-word substitution. The art of translation takes cultural knowledge, creativity, and aesthetics. If any one of these things is lacking, the final product just won’t be the same as the original.
When it comes to translating e-learning courses, this challenge is elevated to another level. Not only do e-learning translations require skilled translators, but the nature of online courses often makes additional challenges like voiceovers or reformatting necessary. That’s why, at SpokenHere, we have taken the time to develop a thorough five-step system for translating e-learning courses. Keep reading to learn more about these steps and how they contribute to our uniquely exceptional translations.
Step 1: File Preparation
We never enter into a project without first organizing the material and developing a plan. This ensures that no important text or audio documents will get “lost in the shuffle” during the translation process. For an online course to retain its integrity after translation, all parts need to be properly formatted and finished. This crucial step organizes our raw materials to produce a more efficient, accurate, and high-quality translation.
Step 2: Translation
Next, we get to the heart of the matter: translation. Utilizing native speakers and trained professionals, our text translations perfectly capture the essence of the original text. When translating a course, it is important to keep the language as close as possible to the original text to ensure that the information is still factually correct and easily understandable after translation. Not only does our vocabulary have to be spot-on, but also our grammar and syntax.
Step 3: Voiceover
Many e-learning courses make use of videos, podcasts, or other audio supplements. In our process, we also take the time to thoroughly translate these materials and create an audio voiceover for each segment. The voiceover process involves first creating a transcript of the original text, then translating it into the target language. Finally, a native speaker voice professional will create a quality recording of the text using our advanced recording equipment. While the translation is crucial, the quality of this equipment is equally as important.
Step 4: Engineering
A large part of online translation has to do with the visual element, and this is no less true for e-learning courses. Online content is created to fit certain screen widths, orientations, and heading sizes, which means that translations must fit the original spaces provided by the client. One of the most common tasks in the Engineering phase is reorienting courses to work with a language written right to left, such as Hebrew or Arabic.
Step 5: Quality Check
Finally, we make sure that the content is understandable for the target audience–native speakers. All of our e-learning translations are reviewed by native speakers who understand the nuances of the language and are able to judge if we have accurately captured the meaning, tone, and style of the text. If any of these areas fall short of the reviewer’s expectations, it is our responsibility to make any necessary changes to the content before sending it to the client. Quality reviews also include analysis of the aesthetics of the web page when translated into another language, making sure that the course is still visually appealing and intuitive.
All five of these steps are crucial for high quality translations of e-learning courses, which is why we put in the extra work to perform all of them at the top level. At its core, online translation is a balancing act of preserving the original tone and style of the text while also fitting the culture of the target language and keeping the page physically appealing. With these five steps, any translator can excel at both.