Our series of blog articles about localization in different industries are continuing. We have already described fintech and e-commerce adaptation peculiarities - you can become acquainted with articles in our blog. In this material, our team will talk about e-learning as one of the promising directions for localization and development. E-learning has shown constant growth, especially after the Covid pandemic. Between 2021-2025 e-learning market will increase by 16% ($147.7 billion.) Today 9 out of 10 provide their employees with e-learning opportunities, and 73% of students in the USA want to continue taking online classes.

size of e-learning market

What is e-learning?

To overview this topic comprehensively, let's designate e-learning and what is included in this term.

E-learning contains various materials and systems for online education. It could be SAAS platforms, online courses, LMS(learning management system,) online exam platforms, online training platforms for business, mobile educational applications, virtual classrooms, etc.

What are the benefits of localizing e-learning products?

As well as the most significant part of industries, localization in e-learning is targeted at a few global things:

  • Expansion into new markets. Localization is the tool that allows reach and access to new markets. Covering user groups' different educational needs in various regions enables you to infiltrate a specific area, get more audience, and generate additional revenue.
  • Increase retention and user experience quality. Quality localization is necessary to be the best in the market and successfully compete with others. Precisely this process is responsible for content adaptation - appropriate texts, case studies, and symbols used. Localized materials that fit local educational standards and practices make the content more relevant, contextualized, and culturally appropriate, enhancing learners' happiness with the educational process.
  • Competitive advantage: Investing in e-learning localization can provide a competitive edge in the global market. You raise your reputation as a worldwide provider.

The importance of accurate and high-quality localization for e-learning

You can admit not-precise localization in some materials, like blog posts (it's not desirable but not so critical.) Such an approach will not work with e-learning; you should provide the exact information and translate terms with maximum accuracy. As localization is not only about translation, it's essential to take care of content adaptation. Just because of the different contexts, the cultural references from one region could be un-understandable in another. It concerns texts and visual materials, as well. Precise and accurate translations are crucial for improving customer service, product quality, and effective learning. Investing in professional translators for e-learning localization is important, as cost-saving in this area can lead to negative consequences.

E-learning localization process

Let's overview the localization of e-learning in the example of an educational application - SAAS or mobile, because this type of software includes a lot of different content, so we can comprehensively overview the process. They contain not only courses and materials but reports, setting information, payment data, security data, and documentation for developers, managers, lectors, and users. Also, such systems often provide gamification mechanisms and grade books.

Remember: Firstly, you must build a localization strategy and roadmap with the scope of work and available resources. Think about the local expert hiring who can consult and proofread your linguistic team to avoid mistakes.

So inside the e-learning app, we have different content. Let's highlight its types and best practices for localization:

Interface content.

All the buttons, navigation, main icons, menu, etc.

The main interface constituents should be kept in uniform naming within the project: in the interface, documentation, explanations, and so on. A glossary is considered the better option to solve this task. But, for example, if we use the word "menu" with different meanings, the term base can provide the wrong recommendations - as a result, we need to add more context. In Lingohub, there are a few ways to give the best overview for translators - discussions, context images, terms description in glossary, style guide. In the first case, the developer/translator can leave a comment for a segment, which will be visible in the Lingohub UI. The second option is context images. At the same time you can manually or automatically upload the images/interface's part related to the specific segment, so the translator will see where exactly the content is placed.

context image example

Text educational content.

In e-learning, the quality of the educational content plays a vital role. Make sure that your translators have subject-matter expertise and fluently know the target language. Even if you have the perfect team, you can support them by providing automated functions like prefill, machine translation, and translation memories.

Let's take a look at how this can work. At Lingohub, the prefill function is the main for fast pretranslation. You can set up a prefill, and your team will never start from scratch again. But how will the segments be filled? There are three options - machine translation, translation memory, and existing language. In the context of expanding to a new region, we will overview the first two points.

As the name implies, prefill+machine translation will provide automated translation based on the translation engines. In Lingohub, we use the combined power of DeepL, Amazon Translate, and Google Translate. The couple prefill+translation memory is a bit more interesting. You can set up the translation memory to collect all the translations, and in case the repeated text - it will provide an already approved translation. You can also import to Lingohub the previously translated texts as a reference point.

Interface design.

The next important part of e-learning localization is the adaptation of the interfaces. Based on the language requirements, the length of your text can differ, or the text direction can be opposite. That is why you should take care of the design from the start.

The biggest trouble in this process could be an endless copy-paste of the translated texts and constant communication with translators due to each issue. Also, the designers are always waiting for ready translation and need more time to start their part of the job, which became a bottleneck of the entire process.

To avoid all the issues with continuous copy/pasting, Lingohub has developed the Figma plugin that allows a few clicks to push/pull content between the Figma and Lingohub organizations and test any changes much faster.

figma and lingohub

Cultural adaptation of the e-learning content

In the paragraphs above, we have focused mainly on the operation questions, like how to translate effectively, faster, etc. Simultaneously, you should not forget the cultural nuances that are very important for user experience and the educational process. The meaning of some symbols, icons, and gestures can have an opposite interpretation in different cultures. Bulgaria is known for its unique way of nonverbal communication. When someone disagrees, they nod their head up and down, and when they agree, they move their head right and left. But if this confusion is rather harmless, another may even be offensive to the audience. So what additional things should you care about to avoid misunderstanding?

  • Examples and case studies: Replace or modify examples and case studies to align with the cultural background of the target audience.
  • Date, time, and currency formats: Adjust date, time, and currency formats to match the conventions of the target region.
  • Measurement: The Europeans will be confused by miles, while Americans by kilometers.
  • Remember about the holidays, national celebrations, etc.
  • Respect cultural sensitivities: Avoid stereotypes or content that could be considered disrespectful or inappropriate in the target culture.
  • Adapt language and tone: Consider the target culture's preferred communication style and tone

Best practice: seek feedback from local experts or target audience. Collaborate with people who can look at your product from "the inside." You can hire native speakers to build the style guides, proofread, and coordinate the process. Their input and feedback can help ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the cultural adaptations. Remember this is an ongoing process, and it's essential to regularly review and update the content based on user reviews, cultural changes, and emerging educational trends.

How can Linoghub support the e-learning cultural adaptation?

One of our tools - the style guide - was designed to create a correct and unified viewing of the audience for the entire localization team. A style guide is a collection of standards and recommendations for using specific words, expressions, and terms. By using a style guide, your writing team and translators have access to a reliable source of information, ensuring consistency in translations across all projects. With clear instructions, translators can maintain your company's image and appeal to the target audience while considering cultural differences in different countries.


E-learning localization is a complex task that requires a large amount of time and effort. But the right translation management platform can significantly simplify the entire process and help to avoid issues. If you want more information about how Lingohub can support your business - schedule a quick demo call with our team or try a 14-day trial.

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