Localisation of Learning
This page provides links to some resources that are concerned with the localisation of global e-learning solutions.
Articles in date order, most recent first.
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"The challenge was significant: simultaneous 7-language localisation of Click2Learn's Aspen v2.1 product with only 11 weeks to get it done. This ultimately meant that over 1.5 million words had to be translated, edited, integrated back into the application, and tested - all within 9 working weeks."
Added: 23 September 2003
A case study from welocalize
"The Web has brought e-learning to all parts of the globe. Your students may be across town or across an ocean. How should you write so that learners around the world or from different cultures can easily read and understand your instructional materials?" Marilynne Rudick and Leslie O'Flahavan
Added: 21 March 2003
A number of tips for making e-learning universal
"Localizing a Web site-converting it for users in another country or culture-and globalizing a site-optimizing it for users from many countries or cultures-can be complex projects, and it's easy to overlook one or two seemingly small things." Thomas Pack, EContent, January 2003
Added: 27 February 2003
Summary - "So, although globalization and localization projects can be expensive, complex undertakings, the good news is that global success is possible even for companies with limited resources, if they just pay more attention to the words and images they use on a site in order to facilitate a more global understanding of econtent."
"Local Goes Global" is a downloadable e-guide which shows you how to decide which courses will benefit from localization, common causes of offence and cultural misunderstandings, when to use classroom training and coaching, how to select specialists and plan your localization to take into consideration regional attitudes and hardware. ." e-learning guru Publications
Added: 27 February 2003
Free sample available. Price £25. Options for multiple purchases and telephone consultancy
"When a company decides to globalize its site, the Web team often learns the taboo colors and appropriate dress codes of a given culture, translates the text, and launches. But cultural differences run deeper than visual appearance or language; they reflect strong values. Rarely do globalized sites incorporate the nuances of a culture's social hierarchy, individualism, gender roles, time-orientation, or truth-seeking attributes." Aaron Marcus, New Architect, March 2003
Added: 16 February 2003
Reviewe's Note: A very useful article for those developing global e-learning solutions
"How to translate your website: a 8-day course for non-translators. This simple eight-day e-course will guide you through the process of web site translation. With information, solutions and useful web sites, you will be ready to have your web site translated in any language in eight days! You can also use these tips to translate software, marketing materials and documents. You will receive an email every day for the next eight days!"
Added: 15 October 2002
Also a book to purchase
"Responding to the rapid global adoption of its e-Learning software, Blackboard Inc. entered into an expansive partnership with Welocalize to implement an enterprise-wide globalization plan related to the Blackboard Learning SystemTM. Focused on further empowering Blackboard's clients, partners and Building Block application developers, the partnership will directly affect how e-Education is deployed and offered around the world and allow educational institutions abroad to tailor the e-Learning process to their local pedagogical approaches"
Added: 10 September 2002
A case study from Welocalize (localisation services vendor) (in Word doc format)
"Going global with your e-learning solution? Here are some tips from Eriksen Translations on how to plan your project." Debbie Folaron, Learning Circuits, August 2002
Added: 28 August 2002
"New York University's School of Continuing and Professional Studies asked Eriksen Translations to localize its Virtual College user interface and 14 online certificate program courses from English into a universal Spanish for learners in Spain and Latin America"
"The Internet may be helping us to become one great big, global family, but we're a family that still has trouble communicating (don't they all?). As members of this family we want to be able to communicate in our own language and in terms that we can relate to. While it may be efficient for us to share the same, vanilla e-learning content, the fact is that it simply doesn't work. If e-learning is to reach its full potential, it cannot remain the exclusive property of the English-speaking world. In this article, Clive Shepherd examines the increasing importance of localisation for e-learning and looks at what's involved if this is to succeed in bringing new audiences for our content." Tactix, July 2002
Added: 7 July 2002
Some facts about localisation and localisation resources
"Translating e-learning courseware into other languages is only the first step to taking that courseware to international learners. Throughout the planning and design stage, internationalization has to be an organic part of every decision. There are dozens of challenges in the typical project. Here's a checklist to get you started." Bjorn Austraat, eLearning Developers' Journal, 4 June 2002
Added: 8 June 2002
Starts with useful definitions of globalization, internationalization and localization before addressing the issues
"Red is considered a lucky color in China. It's the traditional shade worn at weddings, the color of "hong baos," the money envelopes given on the Chinese New Year, and the predominant color of the national flag. How unlucky, then, that a U.S.-based company planned to use red flags as warning signals in an e-learning course intended for Chinese students. Fortunately, someone noticed before it was too lateRed is considered a lucky color in China. It's the traditional shade worn at weddings, the color of "hong baos," the money envelopes given on the Chinese New Year, and the predominant color of the national flag. How unlucky, then, that a U.S.-based company planned to use red flags as warning signals in an e-learning course intended for Chinese students. Fortunately, someone noticed before it was too late." Ann Quigley, eLearn Magazine, April 2002
Added: 10 April 2002
Some of the things you need to take note of when globalising your content
"You probably have heard the mantra by now - e-Learning is a global phenomenon. In fact, some of the primary advantages such as the cost savings of e-Learning on a national level become even more dramatic when you take it to an international level. At the same time, you may be asking "where do I begin?" in developing an international e-learning initiative." A report from Brandon-Hall to download for $545
Added: 10 August 2001
Creating e-learning solutions that can be used globally requires some thought, this report addresses the major issues: cultural and localisation, translation and language, technological and administrative. You can take a look at the Executive Summary before you buy
"The promise of an IP-enabled world is transforming the learning paradigm. With this shrinking world comes the challenge of making learning fit a more diverse crowd by considering the cultural and technical implications of designing, developing, and deploying content for global audiences." Russ Borman, e-Learning magazine, July 2001
Added: 16 July 2001
With content now being created to be distributed globally, this article shows you how to "avoid making cross-cultural boo-boos"
"The most basic principle is that elearning tools developed in the U.S. cannot automatically be used by learners in other countries without considering a number of cultural and technical issues." JD Eveland, LiNEZine
Added: February 2001