Anyone who has traveled extensively knows that cultural differences can be found in every corner of the world. To assume that all Spanish-speaking countries are similar in look, feel and culture would be ignorant at best. Why, then, are so many eLearning courses created with this type of mindset seemingly being the driving force? Regardless of what may serve as the answer to this question, there’s no getting around the fact that localization matters.
Taking the time to design and provide eLearning courses that are culturally correct and targeted to the right audience is no longer an option for companies looking to get ahead. Here are a few reasons why eLearning localization should not be overlooked.
Localization Decreases the Chances of Offending eLearners
When you create content for a global market, there’s no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach. Take this route, and you’ll be offending potential end-users left and right. Localization allows you to target a specific audience by tailoring content in a way that avoids cultural insensitivities by taking into account colloquialisms, politics, religious practices, customs, etc. As one might assume, this can have a huge impact on eLearner retention and profits overall.
Localization Allows You to Reach a Broader Audience
According to a report by Docebo from March 2014, “The worldwide market for self-paced eLearning is expected to reach $51.3 billion by 2016.” The key item to notice here is the phrase “worldwide market,” which takes into consideration far more users than just those located in North America.
The amount of eLearning materials that go out to non-English speaking countries is nothing to scoff at, and ignoring this potential for growth will keep you from ever reaching a broader audience. Localization is the answer, as it takes the reigns off of where your eLearning materials could potentially end up in the world.
Localization Improves the Reliability of Your eLearning Materials
User experience is an important part of eLearning, and cultural relevance and sensitivity can play a large role in the user experience. In order for eLearning materials to be truly effective on a global scale, people need to be able to understand them in practically any language. When you put work into neutralizing language and improving localization, the course at hand instantly becomes easier to comprehend for a worldwide audience. Compare this with eLearning materials that aren’t properly localized or maintain their American-centric terms and phrases, and the differences in global user experience are impossible to ignore.
The Bottom Line
If you’re setting out to create non-offensive content that fits into the global market, you can’t assume that everyone has the same cultural nuances as one another. Having a team of professionals localize and translate your eLearning materials and ensure they aren’t “American-centric” can get you a lot of mileage. Especially when you consider just how easy it is to offend employees or lose potential customers by being culturally insensitive. Fortunately, Ingenuiti is here to help.
It’s time to start developing your course content with the international end-user in mind. The importance of localization isn’t going away, and it’s only going to be more prominent going forward. Contact Ingenuiti today to learn more about our eLearning localization services.