Dictionary.com defines eLearning is as “distance learning” or “computer-based learning.” In this context “eLearning translation” is a category of service offered by translation companies when there’s a need to make eLearning content available in a language (or languages) other than the language it was originally created in.
eLearning translation services can be applied to text based materials, animations, videos, and audio content. There are often options for the approach for eLearning translation depending on the type of eLearning content. Video content for example can be translated by adding target language subtitles for voice narration, or a new voiceover track in the target language can be recorded and dubbed into the video. Given these two options, applying subtitles is the less expensive approach since there’s no need for hiring a voice talent to produce a new audio recording in the target language. Translation of the existing script content is required in either case, whether it’s applying via subtitles or recorded as replacement audio content.
Sometimes elearning content is contains and presented to learners via a special software application. Articulate 360, Storyline 360 and others are examples of these. However, elearning content can be made available in a simple MS Word document and still qualify as eLearning content under the above definition. So the category boundaries of elearning are determined somewhat by the purpose of the content and also its delivery mechanism, whether through an electronic device or the internet.
The category of eLearning translation services is likely to continue to grow and expand for language services providers over the next several years. It’s a market segment that has our company’s attention and we plan to continue this category of work going forward.