In today’s interconnected world, where boundaries are increasingly blurred and diverse cultures intertwine, the demand for multilingual e-learning content is on the rise. As online education continues to gain popularity, the need to cater to a global audience becomes imperative. Developing multilingual e-learning video content is a strategic approach to engage learners from different linguistic backgrounds, ensuring inclusivity and maximizing educational impact.
Videos offer a dynamic and interactive learning experience that appeals to a wide range of learners. They can be a powerful teaching tool if done with all the effective guidelines in mind. Educators can bridge the language gap by incorporating multiple languages into e-learning videos and reach learners worldwide, regardless of their native tongue. This not only enhances accessibility but also fosters a deeper understanding and engagement with the subject.
However, developing multilingual e-learning video content requires careful planning and execution. It goes beyond simply adding subtitles or dubbing existing videos. This article presents a comprehensive guide outlining eight essential steps to effectively develop multilingual e-learning video content. Whether you are an educator, instructional designer, or content creator, these steps will help you navigate the complexities of language diversity and create impactful e-learning experiences.
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- Understanding the Need for Multilingual E-Learning Videos
- Ways of Localizing E-Learning Videos
- Key Steps in Multilingual E-Learning Video Production Process
- Tips for Multilingual E-Learning Content Creation
- Consider “Blue Carrot” Your Trusted Localization Partner
- Wrapping Up
Multilingual e-learning content creation has many benefits, some less obvious than others. Here are some of them.
First, you get greater reach. It is simple math: if you make your content accessible to more people, more people will use it. Depending on what you do, this may lead to a bigger employee pool, better performance of said employees, or more sales of your e-learning courses.
Localized content builds trust and generates engagement. It is much easier for someone to understand content in their language. If the video is good in the first place, translating it to your target audience’s native language will allow them to enjoy it without suffering from the language barrier.
Moreover, localized content helps companies bridge the cultural gap. Cultural adaptation in e-learning helps employees from different backgrounds understand and cooperate with each other.
Finally, creating multilingual e-learning videos pushes us all toward the grand goal of total digital transformation. It is a long and arduous process, but you can pat yourself on the back for helping the world move in the right direction.
There are also universal benefits to e-learning content in general. For example, you will need fewer tutors to achieve the same results. The result is less organizational work and fewer expenses.
It also saves your students travel time because they can attend from wherever. Moreover, with an asynchronous approach to education, they can pick the time convenient for them.
Trust and engagement
No more cultural gap
Access anywhere anytime
👉 As you can see, the benefits are unquestionable. So, how do you make an excellent multilingual e-learning video?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of the process, we need to understand different ways and approaches for e-learning localization.
- Subtitling. Making an e-learning video with multilingual subtitling requires the fewest resources and can be done in practically any video editor, even by amateurs. However, it occupies your students’ visual channels. If your video is heavy with visual imagery that requires students’ attention, it might lower the educational outcomes. We suggest you only use this method for videos with a lot of audial information but no significant visuals, like talking head videos. You might want to change the text on the screen.
- Dubbing. Contrary to subtitling, dubbing is a more resource-intensive method. You must hire good voice-over artists and spend more time recording and syncing the VO. It also frees up the visual channel of your viewers. You might want to change the text on the screen as well.
- Remaking. Sometimes, a video might present content you do not want your international audience to see. There might be too much local jargon or symbols that would be considered inappropriate by your international students. Whatever the reason, sometimes remaking is the most reasonable option. This is the most expensive option since you will be starting virtually from scratch.
- AI localization. New technologies have allowed entrepreneurs to quickly create and localize simple videos into many languages. This saves both money and time, allowing for swift e-learning translation. Unfortunately, the AI voice-over lacks a human actor’s natural tone and expressiveness, but it does not impact educational outcomes.
Whether you are making separate videos for each language or localizing current videos, it might change the pipeline. In this article, we will not be reviewing all stages of educational and training video production but will focus on the specifics that come with multi-language e-learning video translation.
This is the first step in localizing any educational content. Whether you choose to make the video from scratch or localize an existing one, and whether you decide to sub, dub, remake, or localize with AI, it will significantly impact your workflow.
The most important choice is between using AI or not. We are firmly in favor of utilizing new technologies to the best of one’s abilities. Here are a few examples of how you can use it.
Imagine you have a genius professor who knows everything about the subject. However, they are terrible with the camera: their voice falters, they cannot keep steady eye contact with the camera, and their hands are all over the place. Clearly, they lack the necessary training. Moreover, they only speak English, and you have an audience from all over the world. Plus, they are constantly busy, so it is hard to get them to film.
You could go the hard route—train them in all the necessary camera work techniques and teach them to speak different languages. Or you could go the easy way and make them an AI avatar. Tools like Synthesia, Movio, and Elai can take a few recordings of your professor and create a template. You can then create hundreds of hours of content in different languages using that template. These services also typically have an option to automatically generate multilingual video subtitles.
Another case is when you have images with text in the video that you need to localize. Naturally, you can photoshop them by hand, but it is much faster to do so with AI. You need to configure the algorithms once, and they will automatically translate any text on the images for you. It is faster, cheaper, more consistent, and often prettier.
When hiring translators, even with significant experience in your field, you need to understand that they are, first and foremost, translators—not leading experts in your profession. They are going in practically blind when doing any localization. They might have some idea, but unless you teach something extremely basic in your field, they are likely to misunderstand the process.
That is why you want to work with your localization team and help them as much as possible. For starters, explain who the target audience is and what goal you want to achieve with your course. Moreover, you have to explain how the subject works to the best of your ability. If you are teaching your students to use a new app or tool with your e-learning video, let your localization team use it first. They will be more in the context of the project and better understand the subject, thus, providing a more faithful translation.
Finally, encourage your team to ask questions if they do not understand the subject. Good teams will typically do it independently, but showing your willingness to cooperate is vital.
Now that you have decided on your approach to multi-language e-learning video translation and have given your team enough context, you can begin the process. First, you have to lay the groundwork.
Educational videos typically contain loads of complicated terminology. For your video to stay consistent, you and your translators need to create a glossary of terms.
This also goes for style guides: since you will be working with multiple international teams, you must ensure that the videos adhere to the same style. To avoid unnecessary micromanagement, you should develop style sheets.
Only after that, can the actual translation process begin.
This is the bread and butter part of the translation process. Your team will present you with multilingual video scripts in the target language and translate all materials in the video, such as text on images, graphs, etc.
It is standard practice to do QA of the script and the materials. The translating agency usually does it, but you can also participate (if you know the language) or invite a third party to assist you.
At this stage, all text is turned into actual media. Whichever method you choose, this is the stage when you implement it. You add your subtitles, voice-over, or completely remake the video, just like you would when normally producing a video.
With all the text translated and video produced, it is time to look at the product again. This time, you will be looking at the final draft, so pay special attention to the tiniest details: if you miss something after that, there might not be a second chance to change something after delivery.
The client or their SME typically does this quality evaluation, but the localizing agency’s in-house expert can also do it.
When all is said and done, your video will be delivered to you in the agreed-upon format. Typically, they will be delivered as SCORM files that most LMS systems can use.
Speaking of delivery, we can deliver expertly-crafted e-learning content in multiple languages in record time. to get started on your project immediately!
Creating multilingual content is a massive undertaking that has many unexpected challenges. Here are some tips to avoid common mistakes when developing complex e-learning video content.
- Your style guides should be as detailed as possible.
Having five pages of requirements is better than getting a video that does not fit your vision. Add information on the tone of voice, text formatting, target audience, teaching goals, etc.
- The project brief should also include culture-specific requirements.
For example, you can request the localization agency to remove any offensive symbols, signs, or music from the video. You can also ask them to hire actors from the national background of your target audience if you are making separate videos.
- It is easy to overlook abbreviations when creating glossaries.
Do not make this mistake.
- When subtitling for e-learning videos, leave extra blank space for subtitles.
All languages have different word lengths. For example, English words are, on average, 8.23 letters, while Greek, German, and Mongolian are significantly longer (10.92, 11.66, and 11.94, respectively). It is always better to make a bigger font than have no space when doing multilingual video subtitling. The same applies to placeholders with text on the screen.
- Word length can also affect dubbing.
For this reason, you should create script timings, and your VO actors should strictly adhere to them by speaking faster or slower.
- Try to look at your content through the eyes of a foreign viewer.
You can do some quick googling to get a gist of the local culture or invest in teams that will do more extensive research.
These are just the most essential tips. For even more helpful tips and tricks for setting up your localization, read our guide on planning e-learning localization.
As seasoned localization experts specializing in educational video production for businesses, Blue Carrot understands the intrinsic relationship between AI and video production. Recently, we were approached by a client seeking assistance in developing a vast multilingual e-learning course comprising numerous hours of content.
Given the client’s urgent timeline and budgetary constraints, we opted to employ Synthesia, a powerful tool that expedites the process while remaining cost-effective. Our calculations revealed that video production using this approach was 5–10 times faster and more affordable than traditional filming and editing methods. In a remarkable example, we successfully created over 70 hours of educational media across five languages within a mere two-month timeframe, encompassing translation and media production. We leveraged DeepL and other computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to enhance our efficiency.
Naturally, our client was ecstatic with the outcome as it precisely met their needs and enabled them to scale their business effectively.
If you require high-quality educational videos, look no further than Blue Carrot. We possess extensive experience in utilizing both manual techniques and cutting-edge AI-powered tools. Additionally, we are proficient in crafting live-action as well as animated videos.
👉 Seeking a more comprehensive solution? We offer end-to-end creation of educational courses, encompassing audience research, educational goal setting, program design, media production (including videos, Storyline Articulate content, handouts, etc.), and assembling focus groups to evaluate and refine the final product. Furthermore, we excel in providing all kinds of e-learning translation services: from multilingual video captioning services to complete remakes and anything in-between.
Developing multilingual e-learning video content is vital in today’s interconnected world. It allows for broader reach, inclusivity, and enhanced educational impact. By incorporating multiple languages into e-learning videos, educators can bridge the language gap and engage learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
However, creating effective multilingual content requires careful planning, multiple talented teams, and thorough quality assurance. With these essential steps and tips in mind, educators, instructional designers, and content creators can successfully navigate the complexities of language diversity and create impactful multilingual e-learning experiences.
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