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How to Create Elearning Content for Multiple Languages
February 8, 2017 - By: - In: Test and Assessment Translation - Comments Off on How to Create Elearning Content for Multiple Languages

Have you ever seen elearning courses that were created in English and then translated into other languages as an afterthought? Chances are the results weren’t altogether pleasing or effective for learners, and psychometrics be damned.

The good news is that if you know your company’s elearning course will need to serve multiple audiences in multiple languages, you’re already ahead of the game. You can produce an elearning course that best serves everyone by keeping the following tips in mind.


Ensure that the strategies or learning styles you or your company intend for this course will work across the target languages and cultures. If you’re not certain, enlist the help of an expert to make that determination.


When you’re ready to write content, keep the translation process in mind. Try writing short sentences and short paragraphs, and limit the number of adjectives used. Also, consider using bullet points where appropriate.

Aim to be as culturally neutral as you can. Cultural references, colloquialisms and jokes don’t translate well (and often don’t add more than they subtract) for elearning courses that will be translated into multiple languages.

Look to reuse text whenever you can. When writing English in English only, it’s no big deal to tell the same story in different ways. But prices add up quickly when that same concept is translated into a bunch of different languages. The key to controlling costs in translation is to build a strong translation memory. Seeking out the same phrasing whenever you can will have a big impact when the cost of each unique phrase is magnified in many different languages


Some languages will require more space to say the same thing, while other languages will need less space. Make sure you incorporate a good amount of whitespace into the layout to easily allow for text expansion as well as other character sets and text orientations.


Photos, illustrations, diagrams and other graphics can bring elearning courses to life and help students better understand more difficult concepts. However, you will need to carefully select the graphics. Aim for cultural neutrality, or be prepared to replace some of the graphics for certain target cultures. For example, some cultures would not want to see photos of feet included in an elearning course. Enlist the help of an expert when in doubt. In addition, try to avoid adding text to the graphic files themselves. This will save time and expense during the translation process.

Elearning in Multiple Languages

Would you like more specific assistance with your elearning course? Responsive Translation specializes in helping companies bring better training and education to global audiences. If you have questions about how we can help you, please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or

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