Creating custom content involves a lot of forward thinking. Sometimes, it is much more than you expect. For instance, the company involved in the elearning course might not be planning to open their doors overseas. But since we are currently in the age of globalization, all companies will eventually go on a global scale. That means there is a possibility that you need to localize your content.
Localizing content is tough already as it is. However, there is a way for you to make easier. You just have to consider these reminders as you create the content that you will use. This is applicable for your website, online training programs, etc.
Here are the things that you have to consider.
Leave room to expand text.
There is custom content that fills the page with too much text. This will ruin the layout in case you have to localize the content for a language that has different characters (e.g. Chinese, Arabic, etc). If there is no room for expansion, the new characters might be condensed. Sometimes, you are forced to compromise and cut out words. Try to avoid this by leaving enough space in your margins for expansion purposes. Too much text on the page will make it look crowded anyway.
Simplify your formats.
Localization will make you redo a lot of things in your custom content. If you created a complex format like the heading has a different color and size while the subheadings are also a different font. All of these might make the localization process time-consuming. Avoid this so you can simplify the task that you have to do. At the same time, you should avoid using something that is hard to edit – like embedded texts or images.
This is more for videos or any materials that will require subtitles. Make sure to keep the important images in the middle and leave enough room at the bottom for the subtitles. That way, the image and the text will not make it hard to read the custom content. You can scale the video or make sure there are spaces around it. When it comes to static images, you need to make way for the changes in the text. As the text expands, you have to make sure the images in the page will not be compromised.
Deciding what to translate and what not to.
It is important to remember that you do not have to translate everything. For instance, the logo and the name of the company will remain as is. The products names should not be translated as well. This will keep misunderstandings from happening. Like a foreign client might mix up product names and it literally gets lost in translation when it reaches your company. References should probably be kept as is to avoid the mix-up. The descriptions and other content can be translated if it will not make the whole thing confusing.
Admittedly, localizing custom content can take a lot of effort. But if you know how to plan the layout of the course, it should be less complex than it should be.
Image courtesy of tiramisustudio for FreeDigitalPhotos.net