The new normal does not only mean that we keep five feet apart from each other, it also means that we are doing much more digitally than ever before. We now take online (training) courses that we previously took off-line. Is this also the time for you to make your (training) course available abroad? Or do you have employees in the UK who don’t speak English? Here are 7 tips for the perfect translation of your online (training) course.

You have lovingly worked on your online (training) course so the translations must also be good. How good the quality is and how quickly you receive your translations actually starts with you. For example, think about how you want to submit the online (training) course to be translated. Do you do that in a text file such as Word or do you export from your CMS to .xliff? In that case the translator can start working on your programme straight away. Does your online (training) course also include videos? In that case, don’t forget to provide the subtitle file for the fastest possible translation. You don’t have one? Then check whether your translator can do this and take a longer delivery time into account. In short; consider what you want to have translated beforehand and what you need to accomplish that. Hard to imagine? Ask a translation agency to assist you.

Plan it well

Haste makes waste. And that also applies to your translation. In one way or another, it is something we often forget. Or we suddenly realise that it is a good idea to launch whatever it is abroad as well and than preferably yesterday instead of tomorrow. A translator can only translate a certain amount of words per day as it requires the utmost concentration. If you have been typing for 12 hours in a row, the quality will drop. Allow for a maximum word count of 2,500 to 3,000, depending on how difficult the text of your online (training) course is. If the course is very extensive, it will not be delivered within a day.

Do you find it difficult to determine which deadline is feasible? Get in touch with a translation agency that employs project managers. A project manager takes care of all your concerns and puts together a realistic time schedule for you. In addition, they are very keen to ensure that your online (training) course will be finished on time. Then nothing stands in the way of your launch!

Only engage native translators

The best translator is a native translator. A native is someone who learned a particular language as a child through a natural language acquisition process. In popular speech; the mother tongue. If we’re talking about a native translator, it concerns a translator who converts texts from a “foreign” language into the mother tongue. Even if you master another language almost as well – you are only native in your mother tongue.

Why native translators provide the best translations? Well:
• Natives have a more extensive vocabulary than “normal” translators, so your online (training) course will include a nice variety of words and synonyms and will make for a more pleasant read.
• A native knows everything about the language that is always developing and often lives in the country where you want to use the online (training) course, so they are fully aware of the current culture – you will not find any misplaced jokes or incorrect examples in your training material.
• Top quality translations; no grammatical errors.
• The native language makes it quite easy for the translator to play with words, to apply nuances and to be able to write in such a way that your online (training) course perfectly matches your target group.
• Natives are aware of the language customs and sensitivities in their country, which helps to give the text the feel it should have (and not make a blunder!).

If things worked out well, you will have put together your online (training) course with a lot of love and attention. So, outsource the translation to someone who will deliver an equally good translation.

Also read: Quote from a translation agency; why tailor-made and what are you actually paying for?

Engage a translator who is a specialist in what you need (or have it done for you)

Anyone who is quite a linguist can call themselves a translator and get started. It’s a profession like any other. You will understand that a lot of people do this. And that’s exactly why it’s important to not just opt for the very first translator to translate your online (training) course. Look for one who is a specialist in your field and who has experience in translating online (training) courses. Would you rather not look for the best translator yourself? A good translation agency has an equally good selection process and knows how to go for the perfect match. In this case a native translator with knowledge of your industry and online training methods.

Some tips to keep in mind when you are looking for a translator:
• Relevant experience and the right speciality.
• Relevant training.
• Experience in the translation industry.
• Does she or he work with a confidentiality agreement?
• Is it someone you want to work with in terms of communication style, speed of response and personality?

Check if the translator uses translation software

If you collaborate with professional translators or a renowned translation agency, they will undoubtedly use handy translation software such as a translation memory. A translation memory is – you’ve guessed it – a memory packed with often repeated words and previously translated sentences. That database belongs to you and will only be used for you. And that provides many advantages:
• Consistent translations.
• Lower investment as repeated words come with a discount.
• Getting your translations done more quickly.

All that’s left to do now is put together an online (training) course. Good to know; good translators never simply copy repetitions. The translation software offers a suggestion and the translator (and reviewer) decides whether the word really fits the context and whether it is correct.

Provide a good briefing

Two things determine the quality of your translated online (training) course; the quality of the translator and your briefing. A translator likes to be aware of your requirements, because only then can she or he meet them. Thus, list all your preferences in a style guide with briefing. Consider:
• Your desired writing style and tone of voice. For example, you’re a fan of puns or you hate exclamation marks, you always write numbers in full and your sentences contain a maximum of 30 words.
• Which specific terms you prefer and which you don’t want to use.
• Who your online (training) course is intended for (and what you know about these people).
• An extensive description of your online (training) course and what you want to achieve with it.

Submit anything that you think will be of interest to the translator. From previously translated material to things you absolutely don’t want (anymore).

Determine a realistic budget

Perhaps needless to say, but cheap is often expensive. And that also applies to translations. A bad translation can sometimes cause serious problems – especially when it comes to medical, technical or legal translations. Or a marketing translation that already damages your image before you sell your first service or product. So determine a realistic budget and consider all of the above.

Before determining your budget, consider what is important to you. Every freelance translator and every translation agency have their own working methods. What makes you feel good is up to you. Do you want…
• A highly educated, native translator with experience in your industry and online training methods, or can it also be someone without specific knowledge?
• Your translated online (training) course to be error-free, thanks to a reviewer and sometimes even a third pair of eyes to check the texts before they go live?
• A translator who not only translates your online (training) course, but also takes your tone of voice into account?

Engage a reviewer

Making mistakes is human. And translations, even with good translation software, are still done by humans. Therefore always have a reviewer in place. A second native translator with the speciality you need, so that she or he can check the translation down to the last detail for any errors. You’re not collaborating with a freelance translator but with a translation agency? Then ask what their quality process looks like and specifically whether they include a revision round.

Having your online (training) course translated? Get a quote within 2 hours!

Have you come to the conclusion that you want to have your (training) course translated? We are happy to help and share our thoughts with you if that’s what you want. Contact us for more information or request a quote for free and without obligation. We will ensure that it lands on your digital doormat within two hours.