Congratulations! Your English eLearning course has achieved such tremendous success that your company is ready to produce the materials in additional languages. Often this request flows from a grand vision--your products and services spanning the globe with clients and students in every continent and every country.
As inspiring as your vision may be, getting there requires careful planning, time, money and strategic execution. Step one for expanding your global market means answering the following question: what language should we translate into?
Here are some tips for getting started:
- Start with the present need. Do you have a client or potential client that is already requesting materials be provided in another language? This is the ideal place to start because the ROI on your translation investment is guaranteed.
- Start with the pending need. This is the next best option when you don't have a client already requesting translation. This is where research and development play a critical role in your company's growth. Knowing which countries and cultures you want to target with your eLearning courses will help narrow and focus your translation goals.
- Consider marketing materials. Selling translated eLearning programs is much simpler when the sales and marketing approaches are united. Many clients start with the translation of their marketing materials (including website) and then proceed to translate the eLearning program once the sale is finalized.
- Roll out languages in phases. The transition into multi-lingual production is quite an undertaking and is best accomplished when rolled out in phases. Begin with the language of most pressing need or benefit, and then roll out additional languages once the first phase has completed. Attempting to roll out too many languages at once can slow down your production times and increase the risk of errors. If this is your first foray in translation, you can evaluate the successes of the project and implement improvements for future languages when the first phase is complete.
- Choose a translation approach. Will you handle written translations with internal resources or will you utilize an outside language provider? While it may be less expensive to handle translation needs internally, a language vendor will possess the experience and expertise necessary to help you foresee and overcome potential translation obstacles.
With some deliberate planning, you can see your vision for global reach realized.