eLearning Localization: Why Learning in a Native Language is the Most Effective

eLearning courses are effective only if they reach the learners. eLearning trainers put in maximum effort to create courses that resonate well with the learners. While the trainers take extreme caution in how the content is delivered, one important factor that needs to be considered is the language of the course delivery. Though English is considered the global language, learning in one’s native language helps the learners to understand better than in any other language.

What is eLearning Localization?

Since English isn’t the native language for more than 71 percent of internet users, it is becoming necessary to deliver eLearning courses in a way that is understandable by all learners. eLearning localization is the process by which the eLearning courses are adapted to another language, culture and demography so that it makes the intended impact for the learners.

There is no point in creating informative courses that eventually can’t be understood by its target audience. Therefore, to make sure that your course is comprehensible by the target audience, localization of the course will make it more relatable and ensure it has a uniform reach to all its audience.

There is much more to eLearning localization than just the translation of courses into different languages. In eLearning localization, in addition to the translation of the courses, it has to be made culturally appropriate–any references to particular cultures or related to a specific group of people also has to be edited. For example, in the simple case of road sense while driving, the side of the road on which one drives differs according to the country one is in. The video has to be adjusted to these changes so that it looks like it is specifically made for the particular language.

To effectively include eLearning localization in all your courses, include the localization process at the initial stages of development. eLearning localization will be most effective when it is made a part of the course development and not added as an accessory at the end. This will help in tuning the course with graphics, images, videos, expansion or contraction of texts based on translation to other languages and references to certain cultures to suit the global audience.

Why is so much importance given to eLearning localization?


Learning in a native language helps people understand quickly and efficiently

Everyone has a special connection with their native language, which they have developed from an early age. Therefore, speaking or listening in one’s native language comes naturally in comparison to a foreign language. Even though one may be proficient in a foreign language, the comfort with which one can learn, understand and connect on a better level comes only with the native language.

eLearning courses in native languages will promote easier understanding and better absorption of the knowledge. Also, users can quickly learn without much strain when they learn in their native language. The references to concepts and specific terms in the local language will prompt learners to clearly comprehend the concept easily and improve workplace productivity.

Learning in a native language helps in higher knowledge retention

Most people think in their native language. When people are learning in another foreign language, they will have to understand the foreign language, translate it to their native language and store the details, which may become a bit tedious.

Also, recent research carried out by psychologists at the University of Chicago suggests that “using a foreign language reduces vividness of mental imagery.” This is mainly attributed to the brain, which can get drained when it has to come up with mental imagery in a foreign language. This significantly affects the effectiveness of knowledge retention or even the ability to completely understand the context of the eLearning course.

But, learning in the native language enables users to easily grasp and store the information at ease.

Practical courses are best explained in one’s native language

When you have accident- or safety-related courses, or courses for workplace harassment, for example , native language is the best form of communication to get the message clear to all audiences. These are the courses that give important information and impart the practical steps that need to be understood well and recalled rightly.

So, for these kinds of courses, it is important to clearly deliver the content of the course and encourage the audience in remembering the information. Therefore, a native language will come in handy to connect easily with the audience. Learners will be able to understand and remember important concepts and pieces of information without misunderstanding or leaving out important pieces of information.

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