Top tips on how to manage translated projects (part 2)

Spicy Learning Blog
The Team
Saffron Interactive
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Continuing from last week's blog post, Anne-Claire has put together another five top tips to help avoid your e-learning projects getting lost in translation!

  1. Is the translator qualified?

There are too many people out there who speak several languages and advertise themselves as translators. If you’re looking for quality, check whether they’re registered with a professional body. Do they have a university education in the foreign language(s) they claim to be proficient in? At least if they’re certified or qualified in some respect you can be ensured that they have high standards and a strong sense of ethos.

  1. Does the translator have relevant experience?

Choose someone whose previous experience is relevant to what you need. For instance, if you need to translate a course about security at work on a boat construction site, a translator with an understanding of engineering terminology would be most suitable. If, however, your next project is about turning a particularly difficult piece of legislation into an interactive course available to all employees within an organisation, you should look for someone experienced in translating creative writing.

  1. Localise (not localize!) the language

Make sure your translator understands the local culture and language of the learner. An English course for a British audience may use different terminology and idioms than a course designed for an Australian or American audience. And the same applies for other languages such as French and Portuguese!

  1. Respect the course’s original style

As well as defining the learner, also take care in briefing the translator about the tone and style of the course. It’s a waste of time writing high quality English content for a course that’ll be translated into six languages if that isn't also reflected in the alternative languages.

  1. Get straight to the point

Have you ever noticed how the English section of an instruction manual comprises less space than other languages? So do bear in mind that most translations from English will usually contain at least 30% (or even 50%) more words, and that those words may be longer than in the original text. (Consider that speed limit in English can be translated as Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung in German!)

As parts 1 and 2 of my tips should impress on readers, it takes much more than a dictionary to be a good translator and translators are not made overnight. Stay tuned on the Spicy Learning Blog for part 3 of my translation tips!

About Spicy Learning Blog

The people at Saffron are passionate about elearning. We are not interested in adding to the mountain of dull, mind-numbing ‘e-telling’ that often masquerades as elearning. We want your people to be inspired, to be energised, to make the right choices and to take action. This is why we are in business.

As well as consistently producing award-winning elearning, over the past two years we have pioneered mobile learning, social learning and blended learning. We are always exploring the possibilities offered by new technologies and methodologies to create bespoke solutions, tailor made for the organisation and the learner.

Our business is based on our belief that learning is natural, that a love of learning is normal, that real learning is passionate learning and that learning should be fun. This idea values questions above answers…creativity above fact regurgitation…individuality above uniformity…and excellence above standardised performance. However we evolve, you can rest assured that all our learning solutions embody these principles.

Saffron is the proud recipient of these awards: 

  •  Top 20 Gamification companies List 2014
  •  'One to watch' Learning Portals Company Watch List 2014
  •  Instructional Designer of the Year 2013
  •  Learning Technology Solution of the Year 2011
  •  Best Custom Content 2010
  •  Instructional Designer of the Year 2010
  •  e-Learning Project of the Year 2008
  •  External Project of the Year 2008
  •  Most Innovative New Product in e-Learning 2007
  •  Most Accessible e-Learning Solution 2005
  •  Young Professional of the Year 2005



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