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Globalizing Your Online Employee Training Programs
February 15, 2017 - By: - In: Test and Assessment Translation - Comments Off on Globalizing Your Online Employee Training Programs

There’s no country like in-country when it comes to growing markets. After all, opportunities in new countries and cultures can open millions of new doors and many new revenue streams. That means training must go global too.

But what you may not know is that existing English-only online employee training programs may not be right for this job, even if your multicultural employees speak English.

Globalizing your online employee training programs can be an effective way to ensure that your global employees do their jobs correctly and achieve lasting success within your company.

What do I mean by globalize? Depending on your company’s goals, target languages, target cultures and budget, there are different ways that you can attain globalization, but here are four of the most common methods.

1. International

The fastest and cheapest globalization method involves creating an international version of your online employee training program. While the content may still be in English, this version likely differs from your existing program in a significant way.

International content is culturally neutral so that it is accessible to and easily understood by the widest number of native and non-native speakers alike. This means that acronyms, cultural references, jokes, colloquialisms, sensitive images, etc. are out.

Because everybody at the firm speaks English, right? Just keep in mind that they think (i.e. act) in their own language.

Creating international content is the foundation for a whole different level of communication with your team… speaking their language.

2. Translation

Translation converts meaning from one language to another. Even the most fluent of speakers of English as a second language still typically learn best in their first language. For that reason, translating international content into each group’s target language will help ensure that those employees learn more effectively. But it may not be as simple as that.

3. Adaptation

Sometimes that translated content has to be changed to be appropriate to the situation, linguistically and culturally. The adaptation process takes translated content further to help global employees get the training they need. To do that, adaptation takes a hybrid approach.

Starting with the international content as a base, the content is then analyzed with the characteristics of the target group(s) in mind. The identified sections are modified or replaced with more appropriate content. This method provides a high degree of flexibility and customization without having to create new training programs from scratch.

4. Transcreation

While this is the most costly method of the four, transcreation gets the message across. Using detailed briefs, content creators from the target language and culture produce new training programs specifically designed to reach your goals with the target audience. Ultra-useful for marketing teams.

As a globalization method, transcreation is ideal for high-stakes training – where topics are complex and/or positive outcomes are vital


At the start of the planning process, you may not yet know what your new audiences will want from the training program. That’s okay. Try to identify subject matter expert allies (inside or outside of your company) that can guide you towards identifying key needs and expectations and which globalization method may be best suited to your company’s particular circumstances.

Would You Like More Information?

Responsive Translation can help you find the right way forward for your company’s online employee training program. Please get in touch at 212-355-4455 ext 208 or

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