Reaching the point in which a company is well-places to expand globally is a milestone which every ambitious business owner strives for. The benefits can be phenomenal; products and services can be introduced into new markets and cultures, its influence overall widened until eventually, it becomes a globally-recognised brand. For this to happen however, it’s important that certain procedures are put in place for a seamless transition and to ensure the brand travels well. This is particularly true for companies that wish to replicate their current learning and development initiatives overseas, which can in turn prompt eLearning translation.
Lost in Translation
A common problem that occurs when companies branch out into other continents concerns their brand names, logos and taglines. Often, these completely swerve or confuse the target audience intended to be reached, mainly a result of mistranslation. Classic examples of this are when KFC’s slogan ‘finger licking good’ translated into Chinese as ‘lick your fingers off’ and Pepsi’s ‘come alive with Pepsi’ directly translating to ‘Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead’. Obviously, these taglines completely missed the mark, which may act as an indication of just how important nativised eLearning localization strategies are during a company’s globalization journey.
How to overcome obstacles
In-country marketing experts are already equipped with the knowledge and expertise to portray a brand in their home country. If abroad, however, they must be trained accordingly so they can effectively carry out their roles in another country. With this in mind, eLearning is key to absorbing relevant corporate learning content. Some teams, being native to the country, will be familiar with the culture, language and the techniques which grab and engage the target audience. However, if they aren’t, it is vital that these teams undergo thorough training in order for the brand to be well-received.
Digital content technology can be an invaluable tool to deliver eLearning localisation benefits. Information provided both online and offline in a range of formats such as videos, images, texts, audio content and games all make eLearning highly accessible, engaging and a very effective way for employees to acquire the knowledge they need for successful marketing globally. Not only does eLearning of this kind help to keep companies to strict budget restraints, but it also avoids creating more work for the assigned project managers and does not slow down the turnaround times of new localized products.
In-country learning experts recommend a wide array of strategies for effective eLearning, however, these can be dependent on the culture and traditions associated with education. For example, microlearning modules of 2-5 minutes in length have grown in popularity throughout the USA due to their ability to be easily digestible, focusing on a single skill at a time. However these compact, concise bite-sized chunks of information are not highly regarded in Japan, where it is thought a training session should be all-encompassing, delivering all topics at once and lasting at least 20-40 minutes.