Education through various types of eLearning delivery mechanisms is an area of instruction that’s likely to become more prevalent going forward. eLearning’s efficiency, cost-savings, and effectiveness for certain types of learning and instructional applications, make the continuance of this trend very likely. Various statistics on eLearning are published in the linked eLearning Industry article.
Once eLearning material is created, its usefulness can be multiplied many times over by translating it into other languages. Generally speaking the cost of creating eLearning material is the majority of the investment, translation is a leveraging factor that is comparatively less costly.
So when there are good reasons to translate eLearning materials a question is where to go for help. There are companies that offer translation services, some specialize and have more experience in the translation of eLearning content. We suggest the following evaluation criteria when considering potential vendors/partners in connection with translating existing or to be created eLearning material.
1) When you need information or have questions about translation services a fast and efficient response can be a big advantage. Project pricing and scheduling questions can be especially time sensitive for some eLearning translation projects.
2) Leading translation vendors will have an extensive roster of experienced, native-speaking linguists with a variety of specializations so the best suited translator resource can be assigned to each project. Experience translating eLearning materials specifically can be important, but subject matter qualification is often even more important.
3) Human translation by native speakers produces the highest quality translations. A structured quality control process such as proofreading by a second linguist is important to ensure consistently high-quality translation results.
4) Leading translation services vendors will be price competitive although the lowest priced vendor might not necessarily be the best choice. Below market pricing can mean less skilled translators or insufficient quality control procedures.
5) Leading translation vendors will exhibit professionalism in all aspects of their business, from client communications to project quoting, and in each touch point with their clients. Companies that exhibit care in their operational details are also likely to be detail oriented and implement quality control procedures in the translation process.
One risk mitigating option when beginning a project with a new translation vendor is to do a smaller project as a test. A successful project together can raise confidence levels for pursuing additional future projects.