Top 8 eLearning Localization Resources

Localizing your training is a daunting multistep process. It forces companies to take into account linguistic and cultural factors that they would otherwise take for granted.

For example, say you want to use an image indicating positive affirmation in your elearning course about effectively giving feedback. For viewers in the Americas, even those originally from other countries, the image we take for granted as ‘the archetypical symbol of positive affirmation’ is the ‘thumbs up’ gesture, pictured here. That’s what someone does to nonverbally communicate to a coworker that they’re doing something well, right?

Now, if you’re attempting to localize that training module for a Middle Eastern or South American audience, you may overlook that visual indicator. And accidentally give your audience the wrong, excessively crude, not work appropriate message.

With all of the things to consider when localizing your training – whether online or in person – it can be a bit overwhelming to know where to start. Therefore, we created a list of our favorite localization resources; companies, blog posts, and white papers that will provide food for thought or help in your quest for culturally sensitive, effective training abroad.

  •’s services – This company is extremely knowledgeable about the importance of translation in the larger scheme of localization. Their expertise spans a number of sectors in addition to e-learning, including retail/e-commerce, legal, advertising, life sciences, and manufacturing translation. They have offices all over the world, including a local Portland branch.
  • Knowledge Platform’s “Localizing E-Learning” Whitepaper – This whitepaper takes readers through an overview of the localization process including the components of localization, the difference between internationalization and localization, and the impact internationalization has on localization.
  • CommLab India’s “Translating and Localization” SlideShare – This SlideShare is a good starting point for those interested in translating and localization. The format lends itself to a ‘just the facts’ briefing on best practices, commonly made errors and things to consider as you go about localizing your training.
  • Acclaro’s Top 10 Tips for Training and eLearning Translation post – In situations where you really just need translation services, this top 10 list provides actionable tips for both creating content that is easily translatable, and then translating that content into a fluid, understandable 2nd or 3rd language.
  • TrainingMag’s Internationalizing and Localizing Training Materials article – This article explores how understanding internationalizing and localizing as part of the same process – rather than as separate considerations – is beneficial to elearning authors and learners alike. Reading this article will help you synergistically blend concepts from the above articles to create superior content for a global marketplace.
  • Telecentre Library’s How to Adopt/Localize Training report – With a focus on academic elearning, this report delves into the details of localization in an easy-to-read outline format full of questions for consideration, and instruction.
  • Wordbank’s eLearning, Transcreation and Internationalization article – This article introduces a new concept to the mix, transcreation. For the more tech-savvy elearning authors, Wordbank’s look at how XML, HTML5, and Flash can help ease some of the localization pain points.
  • viaLanguage’s 10 Localization Tips for eLearning slideshow – For just 10 tips, this slideshow is packed with useful information on localizing elearning. Each of the tips listed hinges on their initial ‘goes-without-saying-but-we’ll-say-it-anyway’ tip: take the time to do localization correctly.

Do you have localization tips and tricks that our list doesn’t cover? What’s the best localization advice you’ve ever received? Let us know in the comments.