eLearning is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world. It’s one of the gifts the digital age bestowed on us. Before its emergence, education and learning were impacted the traditional way – in a physical setting. However, with the birth and advancement of digital technologies, it was only a matter of time before the education sector was digitized. Remote learning has become standard, and it’s now often used as a complement or a replacement for traditional learning.
Remote learning gained prominence when the pandemic hit, and schools all over the world were forced to shut down. Schools that embraced digital technology before the pandemic widely adopted learning from home. Before we delve into the concepts of DTP (desktop publishing) and LSO (language sign-off), you must first become acquainted with eLearning.
What is eLearning?
eLearning describes a form of teaching that leverages digital technology to instruct or educate students in a non-traditional classroom setting. It can be via a virtual classroom (audio or visual-based learning), an online course, and other digital educational resources. eLearning doesn’t just apply to the education sector; it’s widely applied across several industries, such as healthcare, manufacturing, hospitality, real estate, banking, etc. Its advantage over traditional learning is that it transcends physical space confinements, time constraints, and language barriers. This is where eLearning translation comes in.
The Concept of eLearning Translation
This concept is a necessary application when you’re reaching out to an international or global audience. The scope of your audience will determine the number of target languages you’ll require translation for. For instance, an American preparing an eBook course for the Latin American audience will need to translate his course from English to Spanish.
There are two concepts that are intertwined with remote learning translation – desktop publishing and in-context review or language sign-off.
The Concept of Desktop Publishing in eLearning Translation
As the name suggests, desktop publishing is the process of creating, editing, and structuring digital or electronic documents with a desktop computer. This process involves using page layout software to ensure that the format and structure of the translated/localized content are identical to that of the original content. The result is a document ready to print or use (PDF format). It’s the first quality check on the translated document.
To properly execute desktop publishing, there are certain things the remote learning translator needs to watch out for:
- Ensure that the format of the bullet lists, numbered lists, and other elements such as checkboxes or graphics are exactly the way it is in the source document: For instance, if the original content contains two numbered lists and one bullet list, the translated text shouldn’t have more or less than that. Also, anything that wasn’t added to the original text should not be in the localized text.
- Check for the presence of cut-off translations and hidden messages behind graphics and rectify them.
- The layout style and structure of the translation should be identical to that of the original content.
- Whether in the images or the textual body, ensure that all text is translated. For example, an eBook translated to Spanish shouldn’t contain a single word of the source language.
- Graphics, screenshots, and other media in the source file should be localized in the translated file. For example, if the source language is French and you’re translating to English, screenshots and graphics in the translated content should be in English.
- Check the hyperlinks to ensure they work and lead you to the right destination.
In-Context review in eLearning Translation
It’s one thing to translate text from one language to the other and another thing to translate in context. The text needs to have the right nuances and context. If the teaching style in the source text is instructional and your translated text adopts an interactive teaching style, it’s not translated in context. This is the final quality check in eLearning translation to ensure that the content isn’t just translated but translated correctly.
First, one needs to ensure that the visual elements, such as the headings, layouts, images, or fonts of the translated text, are correctly formatted and edited. This review is done to check for the following:
- Mistranslations of the context in the source document
- Omitted mistranslated content
- Omitted hyperlinks or links that are not properly working
- Errors in typography or the translated language
In-context review is the localization of translated text, and it’s executed by native linguists for correct contextual translation.