What is Gamification in E-Learning and Why is it so Important?

Who doesn’t want to play a game at work or in school? Of course, life can’t be all fun and games, but when it comes to e-learning, games are all the rage. More specifically, gamification in e-learning is a popular and very effective learning technique. In fact, a University of Colorado study discovered that users of gamification during the learning process scored higher in both fact- and skills-based learning assessments. Gamification also helped improve retention rates when used in workplace learning.

Let’s break down exactly what gamification is and how to use gamification in e-learning.

What is Gamification?

The term gamification refers to the usage of the mechanics, dynamics, game thinking, and aesthetics found in games. The objective of this technique is to improve user experiences, as well as boost the motivation and engagement of the user. Because these techniques can blend fun with effectiveness, they’ve found a natural fit in e-learning systems. Gamification can help engage users, motivate actions, promote learning, and encourage them to solve problems. All of which can help the user understand and retain the educational material better. 

What are the Key Elements?

There are several design elements that suit the needs of gamification in e-learning, such as:

  1. Point systems
  2. Badges
  3. Trophies
  4. Customization
  5. Leader boards
  1. Progress levels
  2. Progress tracking
  3. Challenges
  4. Feedback
  5. Social engagement loops

All of these elements are intended to encourage the user to engage, boost both motivation and retention, and lead to an overall more positive learning experience. This technique takes advantage of the competition instinct most people possess and encourages productive behavior.

Why Does it Work for E-Learning?

A 2015 study in the Journal of Computer Sciences found that when gamification was offered in an online informatics course, students who enrolled in the gamification version of the course performed better and retained more than those who took the course without gamification techniques included. 

The learning process requires high motivation, which is something gamification design elements can assist with in e-learning systems. Gamification stems from the basic concepts of gaming. A game is a goal-focused activity with reward mechanisms in place, which is what makes playing them so satisfying. By utilizing gamification in e-learning, you can allow the user to undertake specific tasks to achieve a desired goal (which in this case is learning the material). Tracking and rewarding their progress is possible as well, which can help improve motivation and engagement. 

Widening Horizons

One way to create extremely engaging e-learning content is to make training materials available in multiple languages to accommodate your staff’s diverse needs. Allowing employees to learn in their native language can help improve retention and engagement, while simply making learning materials easier to understand and digest. 

When implementing gamification techniques in translated e-learning materials, it’s important to choose a partner with experience in the target language and the subject matter of the educational materials. Being familiar with how games and their mechanics work is important too. In this respect, experience with video game localization and transcreation are crucial to the success of implementing gamification techniques in e-learning materials.

Terra Receives Focus on the Future Award for Its Employee-Centric Culture

Terra Translations was established as a family business over 25 years ago and is currently operated by second generation CEO, Marina Ilari.  Over the course of the company’s history, leadership has always been aligned to make employees the number one priority.  Like many new businesses, the first few hires were friends and family. “This created a very special atmosphere within our team that we have been able to maintain as the years passed and the number of employees grew.  Our company culture is based on ‘family first’ values that are extended to every member of our team,” said Ms. Ilari. 

Terra Translations is the proud recipient of the Focus on the Future Award in the True Colors category for maintaining an employee-centric focus by managing the health and well-being of their workforce. 

Terra works diligently to ensure that everyone feels that their voice is being heard and valued. It is a culture of quality.  This focus on quality is not only applied to the work the company does in the field of linguistics, but as well as the quality of relationships with employees, clients, and community.  Supporting employees’ whole being serves as the basis of a strategic, financial, and successful human capital strategy. This has resulted in employee loyalty and an extremely high retention rate.  Especially during these unprecedented times of uncertainty, Terra encourages companies more than ever to embrace their most precious assets: their people. 

However, this commitment to a strong culture and people-first attitude has not always been easy. Maintaining a strong family culture within the company presented many challenges as the company grew, especially considering employees work remotely. The Terra team is spread across four different countries and even prior to the current global pandemic, every employee worked from a home office; the team only meets in person sporadically for audits, trainings, and an annual event. This unique work environment creates flexibility for employees to work from anywhere in the world, and for Terra, the company can hire the best possible talent without being limited to a geographical radius.

As many companies were forced to adopt a work from home environment beginning in March 2020, members of the Terra team are often asked how the company has been able to maintain a family-friendly culture while expanding the team and working virtually.  “It takes a lot of hard work and determination from company leadership. Our values of quality, care, loyalty, and a deep commitment to family and community are present in every decision we make. Leadership in our company are thought of as ambassadors of our values and make a constant effort to listen and value each employee, promote this culture for new hires, and constantly share the history and vision of the family business,” said Ms. Ilari.  Decisions to safeguard the culture of Terra are not easy and, in some cases, can potentially impact profitability. However, time has shown that when a company can support and value employees and community with a broader focus than just profits, the company continues to grow stronger and more profitable.

What is Quality in the Translation Industry?

Quality. One little word that can mean so much. We strive for quality in every area of our lives. From award winning entertainment to organic food ingredients, who doesn’t prefer things to be top notch? We’re first taught how to produce quality work in school. Receiving a good grade on a paper or exam is a pretty clear indicator of a job well done. After school though, things can get a bit murky. 

Once we enter the workforce, the expectations of what quality work means can vary greatly. In the translation industry, quality work is the key to not only keeping clients happy but to producing effectively translated texts. 

Quality in the Final Translation

Accuracy is of course an important component of creating a quality translation, but accuracy alone does not guarantee quality. The translator must ensure that the final text properly reflects the meaning of the source text, has the same intended effect, and accomplishes all project parameters. 

During the translation process, there are three types of errors worth keeping an extra sharp eye on. Errors of meaning which encompass using incorrect terms or forgetting to add or remove a word. Spelling and grammar errors can add unnecessary confusion. And last but not least, errors of compliance that may relate to a brand’s specific style guide or language fluency.

Another important aspect of a quality translation is whether or not the text meets cultural standards as well as linguistic ones. A literal translation can literally get lost in translation if the translator does not account for cultural differences such as pop culture references, humor, politics, and values. 

Quality in the Process

While quality is subjective, there are certain procedures and processes designed to help linguists produce quality translations. For example, per ISO 17100, it’s required that at least two linguists work on the translation. One translates and the second reviews the translation. For certain projects, it can be beneficial to work with three linguists so that there is a final proofreader ensuring quality. These procedures help keep translation teams on the path to quality. Terra Translations is certified in ISO 17100 which provides the framework for our team to certify quality management procedures.

Similarly, following respected professional standards, like ISO 9001:2015, is helpful for ensuring translation quality. ISO (International Organization for Standardization) develops standards for a variety of projects and translation companies can follow their set standards in order to enact a quality control method. The ISO standards are typically updated every five years, which helps certified firms continue to produce high quality work.

Terminology-Management-What-is-It-and-Why-Its-Needed

Terminology Management: What is It & Why It’s Needed

Let’s talk about communication. See what we did there? All jokes aside, communicating is one of the most important things we do in our daily lives. On a bigger scale, proper communication is especially vital to organizations who deal with the public in one format or another. Nowadays, organizations can operate in a multitude of different linguistic communities. Each of which can require the use of different languages. Achieving the highest quality communication in a variety of languages demands professional translation services. Top tier translation professionals often utilize a proactive approach that includes terminology management in order to ensure effective communication.

What is Terminology Management?

When it comes to translation, terminology management can guarantee the usage of correct terms in all materials and communications that come from an organization. Terminology should be consistent across all areas of a company, such as in product development and distribution. 

In order to successfully manage terminology, one must collect the terms that are of specific interest to an organization. For example, a medical device manufacturer may utilize highly-specific medical terms. An engineering firm would need to master the translation of terms relating to materials and mechanical processes. Once the translation team collects the appropriate terms, a vital part of terminology management surrounds documenting the terms properly. In other words, identifying definitions, usage guidelines, product associations, and parts of speech. Terminology management can also guide both writers and translators towards using consistent language.

What is a Termbase?

An important part of terminology management is having a robust termbase. A termbase is a database where terminology is normally managed and published. Termbases can contain words and expressions that have specialized meaning. For example, these terms can be technical, scientific, market-specific, or political. The terms can also be ones that are prominent in any customer-facing materials. Such as slogans, names of products, features, programs, parts, and packaging.

Termbases are commonly used within CAT tools, which can come in handy during the translation process as it allows translators to review just one document while working. During the translation process, the software can identify and highlight any terms that are already in the termbase. The translator can then review the suggested translation that appears in the termbase.

By utilizing a centralized termbase, writers and translators can work towards ensuring appropriate use of language throughout the organization. When working without a termbase, you risk editors having to work through language problems with only their personal knowledge as a guide. This can lead to missing inconsistencies and issues with text. 

Termbase management combines terminology work and database administrative tasks that support the systematic collection, description, processing, presentation, and distribution of information about the terms and linguistic units used throughout an organization. Parts of speech, grammar, context, usage notes, and definitions of terms can find a home in the termbase.

What are the Benefits of Terminology Management? 

Translators and writers clearly benefit from the usage of terminology management. These guides allow them to work quicker and increase accuracy. Those benefits can reach every area of an organization. Proper terminology management can help improve productivity, profitability, customer relations, and the public perceptions of a brand. Not to mention, you can potentially increase safety and lessen opportunities for confusion amongst your customer base. Consistency can also help improve an organization’s professional reputation. Which is why it’s important to treat managing terminology as an ongoing project. As language and the needs of the organization evolves, it’s important that terminology management improves as well.

The Impact of the Hispanic Population on the US Workforce

As of 2018, hispanic workers make up 17.5% of the US labor force and that number is only expected to rise in coming years. As the US workforce becomes more and more diverse, it’s important that employers adapt. Embracing diverse employees, and their needs, can be greatly beneficial. Research has found that businesses that prioritize diversity more than other companies can see larger financial returns. 

Hispanics are the fastest-growing U.S.-born segment of the population. From 2014 to 2060, a 115% growth in the US Hispanic population was expected, meaning there is an increasingly greater need for employers to celebrate diversity. 

The Changing US Workforce

As the Hispanic population grows in the US, it’s easy to see how the Hispanic presence in the workforce will grow. This shift will be even more palpable once the Baby Boomer generation phases into retirement. In 2016, one out of every four Americans under the age of 18 was Hispanic, with 66,000 Hispanics turning 18 every month. This means that the Hispanic youth will be quickly replacing less diverse workers from the Baby Boomer generation as they retire. 

With more than 83 million people born between 1982 and 2000, the millennial generation is much more diverse than past generations. Around one-quarter of all millennials are Hispanic and the number of Hispanic millennials, and the projected rapid growth for the overall Hispanic demographic, are expected to be catalysts for significant changes to the U.S. workforce. 

Embracing Diversity at Work

The US working world will continue to evolve, there is no doubt about that. Employers have to capitalize on the value their workforce can provide and they can do so by providing proper resources to their employees. Embracing and encouraging diversity is beneficial to all parties and is necessary to effectively compete in a global marketplace. A movement for change in 2020 has changed America for the better, especially when it comes to promoting fair hiring practices and diversity in the workplace. There are ample diverse workers available for hire with unemployment rates so high, so now is a prime opportunity for companies to commit to hiring a more diverse workforce. 

Hispanics workers can help address expected workforce skill shortages if they have the proper tools and support to make these achievements a reality. Compared to other millennials, Hispanic millennials are more likely to search for a workplace that makes them feel comfortable and where they see a long future. To begin the process of prioritizing diversity and ensuring that all employees feel respected and supported, businesses can adopt diversity and inclusion programs. These programs can help foster loyalty, which is a trait millennials tend to lean towards if they feel valued.

If organizations make the effort now to have a more diverse workforce, the future will look very promising for them, as they will attract and retain workers that are loyal, eager to learn, and who are able to evolve as technology and trends evolve.

Linguist Profiling What Makes an Ideal Candidate for Post-editor

Linguist Profiling: What Makes an Ideal Candidate for Post-editor

The implementation of machine translation (MT) impacts the localization workflow with increased rates of productivity because it reduces delivery times and costs. But it also has other consequences, like redefining the traditional roles that language professionals assume in the industry, such as editor, proofreader, or translator. 

One of the most requested tasks in the MT workflow is post-edition, the process of improving a machine translation output. Only certain professionals stand out in this task. They are a specific type of editors that have the required technical, psychological, and linguistic skills. Let’s find out what you need to be an ideal post-editor. 

Papers please

First and foremost, a certification in translation, language studies, or linguistics is a must in the profile of a post-editor. If not, as per ISO 18587:2017, the post-editor must have at least five years’ experience in translating or post-editing. These are requirements that intend to guarantee  translation service providers work with top-quality professionals.

A whole lot of competences

A quality-oriented translation workflow is rooted in  the proper selection of the professionals involved in a project. This is also the case for MT workflows. The following list summarizes the competencies that are part of the ideal post-editor profile. 

1  Translation competence
2 Linguistic and textual competence (source language and target language)
3 Research and information processing skills
4 Cultural knowledge
5 Technical competence (MT systems + CAT tools)
6 Domain Content Knowledge

Post-editors are, like any other translation professional, proficient in both source and target language and culture. They know how to conduct efficient research of terminology and manage the information. Also, they master the specific domains, since this implies an expert understanding of the source text. 

Lastly, post-editors must be skilled in IT resources, like CAT tools, but also be acquainted with MT systems. The post-editors that fulfill the required profile know MT models (neural, statistical, example-based, rule-based) and their differences. Furthermore, they are aware of the most common errors in each system. Thus, they can manage more efficiently their attention and spot mistakes quickly.

The two A’s: Aptitude and Attitude

MT workflow

There are differences between the profiles of MT post-editors and TEP editors. Both are  detail-oriented linguists, but in addition post-editors must be fast and efficient, implementing minor and quick changes in the short time provided for the edition. 

Moreover, a salient feature of post-editors is their predisposition or flexible attitude. Sometimes language professionals are reluctant to the implementation of MT. But MT is just one solution in the fast-growing translation industry, whose core business remains the same, regardless of its growth or of the MT implementation. Successful post-editors are confident and creative, and they adapt willingly to the new roles the industry has to offer.