E-Learning Localization

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The world of technology, project management and linguistic excellence operate in close harmony at RWS.

One of the most interesting ways we see this is in the work we are regularly asked to do on E-learning projects where modules need to be localised for staff training. The wide range of content we see on these projects makes this interesting work, with examples including corporate codes of conduct, staff environmental & sustainability training, insurance risk training and pharmaceutical cleaning and validation training.

The nature of our work in this area can be varied with a strong emphasis on being flexible. For some projects, we manage the complete workflow, including the localised software build and testing. For others, we need to work closely with a client’s team to make sure our part of the process (localisation of content, images, voice recording and animation) is delivered on time and integrates seamlessly with the overall project. In all of these projects, we manage the cultural adaptation of the content and advise on appropriate use of images, colour and necessary content adaptation for the relevant market.

One recent Japanese localisation project we worked on demonstrates this need to combine technical engineering, project management and linguistic skills to deliver an end-to-end service.

Initially developed in English using the Articulate Presenter authoring tool, our remit was to create a fully functional localised version that mirrored the original. Our teams worked together to deliver the various project stages and deliver a SCORM compliant build which our client was able to use. This project was successful because the team could bring together the technical engineering skills with excellent linguist services and manage the approval and version control stages to deliver a finished project on time.

However, some clients prefer to manage the software engineering aspects themselves and we also work on many projects as part of our client’s team. In these instances, we adapt their approach to work in the client’s LMS or CMS systems or work with extracted files.

Being able to work flexibly and having the technical competence to adapt our approach to different client requirements is certainly a key part of our localisation service and makes for very interesting projects.

Using Video to Overcome Global Language Barriers

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At RWS we have seen a substantial increase in the use of video communication to reach global audiences.

By 2017, video will account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic, according to Cisco. [1]

The potential reach of video is peerless and it is naturally engaging. It is therefore no surprise that it is increasingly being used by global HR and Communications teams to encourage employee engagement. [2]

Video production costs have fallen significantly in recent years and solutions are available for companies to keep information private through internal video hosting and/or by creating Vimeo or YouTube accounts granting access to a select group of members only.

Benefits of localisation

  1. Leveraging your investment in video communications to overcome language barriers and reach a broader audience. Only 6% of people in the world speak English as a first language.
    2. Localising video to achieve a better understanding and more engagement. Customisation of content via translation, localisation and the consideration of cultural nuances tailors the content specifically for the target audience and will enhance the viewer’s experience and understanding considerably.


At RWS we provide a range of video and multimedia localisation services:

  1. Transcription: Transcription work should be performed by a trained transcriptionist and the method of transcription used will depend on the intended use of the transcription e.g. will the transcription be used for reference only, or will the transcription also need to be time-coded so that it can be used to create a voice-over script or subtitling document?
  2. Transcript translation: Our translators are native speakers who are equipped to translate your video transcription files
  3. Subtitling: subtitling can be done within the same language, for the deaf and hard of hearing (also called captioning), or across languages, for foreign-language film and television. The subtitling task is challenging because subtitles are limited in space and time. The result is that the content of the dialogue has to be cut down to fit in the subtitles. Not only that, but the content has to be translated, and the subtitles also have to be ‘spotted’ or timed carefully to match the dialogue.
  4. Voice-over:  A native-speaking, professional voice talent will use the translated content to record a voiceover audio track. The audio on your source video will be muted and replaced by the voiceover track. You can choose your voice from a database of trained and experienced professionals, either a male or female voice.

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/small-business-network/2014/jan/14/video-content-marketing-media-online

[2] https://www.hrzone.com/community/blogs/anish-patel/how-video-can-help-hr-with-effective-internal-communication