The use of physical textbooks and physical learning material is gradually moving towards redundancy. It is the internet and the reliance on e-study material that’s causing this disruption. And, why wouldn’t this happen? Books may not be reaching every corner of this world, but the internet is. People are increasingly using the internet for everything, out of which education is but one.
Now, this isn’t just a change, but a revolution and the revolution is popularly known as E-learning and training. E-learning is quickly gaining pace on account of its availability, the massive database of knowledge that it hosts, and that too in various languages, or to be precise, in the language of the user. Of course, that’s possible only through translations, and which constitutes our focus here. Yes, E-learning and training translation is an emerging branch of translations that has achieved immense popularity in recent years and will continue strong for a long time to come. It is a revolution that has spread across the entire world. But, of course, as every service sector would have, there are major players here as well. Some of the largest players in the E-learning and training material are the United States, India, China, and South Korea. All these countries have been major contributors and adopters of the E-learning revolution, and are only strengthening the concept by the day.
The Need for E-Learning and Training Translations
When it comes to E-learning, it must be remembered that it is the learner that’s the consumer, and therefore, everything done on the translation front must be done from the viewpoint of the learner’s benefit. Obviously, ease of learning is one benefit, however, there are many other benefits that E-learning could result in. It is those benefits that would determine the need for E-learning in the modern context.
E-Learning helps save a considerable amount of cost otherwise incurred in facilitating the space as well as the physical study material to learn.
The study material is available at all times, and the information remains with the students for a lifetime.
Updating the course curriculum online is simpler than updating on any other physical medium of learning such as textbooks, etc.
Students can access E-learning data everywhere, even when they are on the move.
E-Learning and Training Translation Challenges
Education is one of the most fundamental elements of the society we live in. Therefore, E-learning translations play an extremely crucial role. Nevertheless, as every piece of translation would have it, E-learning come with their share of challenges to deal with. Here are some of the most common ones out of them.
Language challenges are the most challenging ones. E-learning involves translating for various languages across the globe. While some languages might be grammatically similar, some may be absolutely different. For instance, translating a text from English to Japanese would be quite a challenging task, given that the grammar of both these languages is different, the script is different, and also other elements such as punctuations, sentence structuring, sentence length, the order of the words, etc. are all different. And, if these challenges weren’t enough, the dialects of every challenge pose another set of challenges for E-learning translators. This requires a seasoned education translator who’s worked for translating various types of documents, and that too in various languages.
Availability of Different Scripts, Alphabets and Numbers
While writing English alphabets and numbers is a routine, incorporating the unique ones involved in other languages such as Norwegian, Russian, Arabic, and many other Indian languages could be a challenge. Here, it is important that E-learning platform supports multiple languages and showcases the letters and numbers in the most appropriate manner. A platform that doesn’t support this feature would not fully serve the purpose of translations.
International as well as Domestic Cultural Challenges
As an E-learning and training provider, you’d be reaching learners from the remotest parts of the country. While differences in the culture are one aspect, differences in various cultures of the same country are another important dimension. While a sentence, a word or an expression might be deemed appropriate for a particular culture, the same could be considered to be offensive for another culture within the same country. It may not go well with the local population, thereby resulting in hostility, and eventually resulting in nothing, but expenses, without any returns.
E-learning and training aren’t confined to readable content, but extends to developing video subtitling and audio translations. When it comes to audio translations, the most common challenges are pronunciations, audio pitch, accent, tempo, and the appropriate emphasis on words, sentences, etc. as per the local culture.