The crucial role of translation services in promoting wider access to online learning

eLearning is an industry that has seen massive growth in recent years. Its pace had already begun to pick up at the turn of the millennium as companies began to adopt it as part of their training strategies, and demand worsened further when the COVID-19 pandemic closed facilities. traditional education around the world.

But does this growth translate into equitable access? One of the main challenges in accessing online learning is the content available in different languages. In addition, the cultural background of each audience must be taken into account to create more engaging and effective material for learners.

Translation services can help ensure that a teacher’s multilingual content is accurate and more relevant to their target students.

What are multilingual distance learning courses?

Multilingual remote classes go beyond the traditional classroom setup where they only have one language as the medium of instruction. It also encourages a multilingual approach in teaching the classroom curriculum in a remote environment.

The goal of creating multilingual content is to make it more accessible to its target audience in question. For this reason, educators who engage with international students would seek translation services as it involves various technical and design considerations. In some cases, this can also mean completely replacing sections of content with something more relevant to the target audience.

Changes made by professional translation services when creating multilingual content:

  • Use local idioms and colloquialisms in place of those of the original language.
  • Edit examples and anecdotes to be more culturally relevant.
  • Replace names of people and places to sound more familiar.
  • Conversion of currencies and units of measurement to local standards.
  • Support for special characters and languages ​​that read right to left.
  • Adapt or create a glossary for a specific field.
  • The Importance of Translation Services in Online Learning.

Even though schools have started to reopen, eLearning shows great potential to become a profitable industry. The Global News Wire reported that in 2020, the online learning industry was estimated at $250.8 billion and is expected to reach $457.8 billion by 2026. Like China and Germany, international markets are increasingly investing in this industry and because of this invest in multilingual distance learning courses and programs if you want to attract international students.

The creation of multilingual content for remote classes becomes crucial because language is the medium through which knowledge is transmitted to learners. Thus, the language used in learning resources should be well-designed and geared towards communicating this knowledge in the clearest and most comprehensive way possible.

To better understand this topic, we searched for a translation expert who could share their perspective on multilingual e-learning and the process. We interviewed Ofer Tirosh, the CEO of Tomedes, who has overseen several multilingual e-learning projects for international institutions with his translation services company in different markets around the world.

Tirosh explained that paying attention to the language used in eLearning content improves the learning experience at all stages of the learning journey and ensures that the objectives of the material are met.

He informed us that the benefits of creating multilingual remote classrooms could be summed up in four major points: engagement, learning, consistency and access.

5 Ways Professional Translation Services Make eLearning Accessible

Based on Tirosh’s insights and the information we gathered, we’ve listed some reasons below why professional translation services can make your distance learning courses more immersive and impactful for multicultural students.

1. Promotes better engagement In 2018, LMS provider LearnUpon surveyed 200 organizations that used e-learning platforms in their training strategy. The results were clear: 71% of respondents said their biggest challenge was engagement.

Many factors drive engagement, and language is one of the most important. Having well-designed content does not guarantee the interest of people who speak a different language. Conversely, poorly translated content is frustrating and likely to turn off the audience.

By going deeper and making the content more relevant and relevant, the audience becomes more invested in engaging with it.

2. Facilitates Effective Learning Because translated content is more relevant to its target audience, it is easier to grasp and improves learning outcomes. Translation services can help break down barriers to understanding by speaking directly to an audience on their own terms and helping them arrive at the same meanings more organically, instead of being so strictly bound by the literal meaning of the original text.

3. Ensures Consistent Results Better learning outcomes lead to better performance. This is why a one-size-fits-all approach to learning is not effective, especially when it comes to language. The translation of learning materials ensures that knowledge is conveyed to learners in the best possible way so that they can apply it in practice.

4. Allows equitable access More broadly, it allows eLearning to effectively reach more and more people around the world. As the world becomes increasingly global and digital, new learning opportunities continue to present themselves. By providing translated content, more people will have access to these opportunities at an equitable level.

5. A holistic approach to language Content translation requires a comprehensive and holistic approach to managing and editing content. Here are some of the key factors language professionals should keep in mind throughout the process:

Environmental support. Professional translation services should be aware of the technical aspects of the eLearning platform they are working on and make the necessary adjustments or work with the platform developers to do so. They would also need to know how to manage the software tools used by the project.

Cultural awareness. Learning resources often use familiar cultural references to foster better engagement, but this can be a double-edged sword by alienating learners who do not belong to that culture. It is therefore necessary to adjust the content to be culturally appropriate in order to maintain the quality of these resources.

The project’s objectives. Ultimately, this project aims to educate learners in the clearest and most effective way possible. Translation services should keep this objective in mind for every decision they make when modifying content.

Conclusion: towards wider access to online learning

Current developments in online learning are an exciting frontier that will only expand as humanity’s demand for education increases. Knowledge is an essential resource for navigating our increasingly complex world, and we must create solutions that give everyone a fair chance to acquire it and, in this way, ensure that no one is left behind. . Thanks to translation services, we will most likely see more multilingual content from e-learning platforms and distance courses in the years to come.

Featured image: Katerina Holmesm, Pexels.

Connie A. Bailey