17/09/2021

Content Localization Strategy: Where Should I Start?

Localization allows you to take your content and not only adapt it to the language needs of a new target market, but to their cultural needs as well. When localization is taken into account, content can be more effective, relatable, enjoyable, and has less potential to cause offense. For businesses who see the value of content localization, but don’t know where to get started, there are three easy steps you can follow to start building a content localization strategy. 

Step 1. Choose Your Target Market and Language

In some cases, choosing a target market and language to start with might be simple. You may only have one new market on your list. But larger businesses that are planning a massive global distribution of their product or content may need to narrow down their focus while they create a content localization strategy that they’re happy with.

In this case, a company should begin with their strongest markets where they already have an audience established. That way, they can focus on growing this audience instead of starting from scratch. Understanding your top performing markets can help you narrow your focus. Depending on how large and diverse your target market is, you may need to plan different localization strategies that account for a variety of languages spoken and regional differences. For example, in the midwest of America the word “pop” is used commonly, whereas on the west coast the word “soda” is used to refer to the same type of fizzy beverage. If your target market is extremely large, there is the potential to use content localization to really narrow your focus and cater your content and services to a very niche target market. 

Step 2. Choose Content to Localize

While you will likely want to localize all of your content when launching in a new market, you need to choose where to get started. You can localize everything from mobile apps, to video subtitles, to ad copy. When choosing where to begin, you should start with your top-performing content. Whatever content has performed best at engaging with your audience and is getting the most attention is where you should focus most of your efforts.  

If after looking at your best performing content, you’re still unsure of where to start, you can leverage international SEO (search engine optimization) insights. You can use SEO as a tool to learn more about what type of content people are searching for in your target market and can discover which parts of your content will be most relevant to them. 

Step 3. Choose the Right Translator

During any content localization project, choosing the right translator is of the utmost importance. You’ll want to work with a translator that is not only deeply familiar with the target language, but the target culture. Hiring a native translator can provide valuable insight to a localization project, as oftentimes native translators have the best insight into what makes their culture tick. The right translator will also help you create a solid content localization process that grows and improves over time. They can create a database of any cultural nuances, local industry jargon, and market-specific phrases that you’ll need to keep in mind for future localization projects in that market.

The Takeaway: Prioritize Content Localization Smartly

Remember, it’s important to narrow your focus when creating a content localization strategy. At the end of the day, localizing every last bit of content you create might not be possible (at least not in the immediate future). This is why it can be so helpful to prioritize which content will get the most out of content localization. Determining your key target markets, choosing the right content, and finding a great team, can all help you create a content localization strategy that will help you reach your goals.  

09/09/2021

What is a Translation Glossary and Why Do You Need One?

Translation glossaries act as an index of a company’s approved translations for specific words, in both the source and target language. In short, a translation glossary is extremely helpful for ensuring language consistency and accuracy across multiple projects. Let’s break down everything you need to know about what translation glossaries are, how one can benefit you, and how to use one.

What is a Translation Glossary?

A translation glossary can come in a few forms, but serves the same purpose, to help eliminate any uncertainty in the translation process, while increasing consistency and decreasing the amount of time and money it takes to complete a translation project. 

Translation glossaries vary greatly and can be very sophisticated or they can be nice and simple. A spreadsheet that tracks terms can do the trick to start. This spreadsheet can then later become a termbase that integrates with CAT tools. This is when translation glossaries are their most useful, as translators don’t have to keep searching for terms, they just pop up in the CAT tool when they appear in a text segment.

What are the Benefits of Having a Translation Glossary?

There are a few benefits associated with translation glossaries that shouldn’t be overlooked. 

1. More productivity. Translation glossaries can help streamline the translation process, as the translator won’t have to spend time researching to find the equivalent of terms that are already included in the translation glossary. This productivity boost trickles down to the editing phases as less reworking is needed because the right terms have already been chosen and there is a high level of consistency. 

2. Reduced costs. Not only will the client receive the finished product more quickly, but they’ll save money too as they won’t need to send the text back to the translator if they realize they prefer other terminology than those chosen by the translator. They can also avoid the costs associated with incorrect terminology usage in critical documents (like medical or legal) that can have negative repercussions.

3. Brand consistency. No matter what type of project you’re working on, a brand should aim for consistency across all channels and communication methods. This creates a better customer experience and cuts down on confusion. Using a translation glossary can help ensure consistency across all projects.

What Should Be in a Translation Glossary?

The answer to this question depends on each company’s unique needs, but generally translation glossaries house specific terminology and their approved translations in a target language. Names, acronyms, and trademark terms may also find a place in a translation glossary. These glossaries are especially common in technical fields with niche terminology like medical, manufacturing, or legal industries. 

How Do I Maintain a Translation Glossary?

A translation glossary should be treated as a living document that is always evolving. After the initial build, you should update it with new phrases that help reflect your company’s latest preferences. This should include any “non-translatable” words that you would prefer to keep in their original language, which may be the case with product names. Adding these terms to the glossary can be especially helpful when working with a new translator who isn’t super familiar with your company preferences.

05/08/2021

3 Major Benefits of Working with Diverse Suppliers

Diverse suppliers are businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by either an individual or a group that belongs to a traditionally underrepresented or underserved group. These groups can include minority-owned enterprises (MBEs), woman-owned enterprises (WBEs), and businesses owned by minority groups such as LGBQT individuals and veterans. Hiring diverse suppliers provides businesses with a lot of benefits that many people may not be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at what the advantages of working with diverse vendors are. 

Allows for More Innovation

The more diverse a team is, the more access to varying perspectives and backgrounds you’ll gain. When you’re looking for creativity and problem solving abilities, working with experts that stem from different cultures or who have unique outlooks can be invaluable. 

Alongside the benefits that come along with hiring a team that has varied experiences under their belts, diverse vendors have the potential to deliver a highly effective client experience. Because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller in size, they are often more innovative, agile, and responsive than their larger competitors.

Illustrates Your Business Values to Clients

If diversity and inclusion are important values to your company, when you hire diverse suppliers, you are not only putting action behind your words, you’re signaling to your clients what your true priorities are. Diversity is a sign of a healthy and inclusive culture, which can be very appealing to both prospective clients and employees alike. 

Thanks to increased access to information via the internet and social media, it’s easy for potential clients and customers to learn if you truly put your money where your mouth is. While you shouldn’t only hire diverse vendors to prove to outsiders that you practice ethically, support diversity, and champion sustainable practices, doing so does benefit your branding and reputation. 

Economic Benefits

There are financial benefits associated with hiring diverse vendors. A study from the Hackett Group found that 20% of spending directed toward diverse suppliers delivers at least 10% to 15% of annual sales. 

Once again, because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller businesses, the businesses that hire them can benefit from their size. Smaller businesses usually have less overhead than larger businesses do and can be more competitive with their pricing and more flexible with their services and product offerings. 

It’s also important to remember that diverse suppliers have influence in the communities that they represent and working with them may open up new market shares in their communities.

Insight from a Diverse Supplier

Terra Translations is proud to be a diverse supplier and to be committed to diversity and inclusion. At Terra, we believe that diversity is not the goal, but is the means to a more inclusive and just workplace that has the ability to perform better than less diverse competitors. 

According to Terra Translations’ CEO, Marina Ilari, there is very little diversity in top management in the translation industry as a whole. From the top twenty largest language service companies, there is only one female CEO. “What is more surprising is the fact that the majority of translators, interpreters, and linguists that perform the linguistic tasks within the industry are close to 70% women,” Marina explained, “In some regions of the world, such as in South America, 94% of graduates of translation degrees are women. It has always surprised me that this women-driven industry would not see more diversity at the top. It’s important to bring more diversity to leadership roles in the industry, and I would like Terra’s inclusive and diverse team to help bridge that gap.”

As a women-owned translation company that employs workers from around the world that come from a variety of backgrounds, we’ve found we can provide better client services because we’re a diverse supplier. 


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15/07/2021

What is Translation Memory Alignment and How Can I Use It?

Technology can sure come in handy sometimes, especially in the translation industry. CAT tools are one such piece of technology that can make translation work faster and more accurate. CAT, which translates to “Computer Assisted Translation”, is a term that can describe software used by translators to improve their efficiency and quality. A translation memory (TM) is just one feature of CAT tools, but is an important one. A TM serves as a database which stores previously translated text such as words, phrases, and sentences. Despite how useful a TM is, clients may not always have access to one. Let’s look at why that may be and how the issue can be remedied through the use of translation memory alignment. 

Why a Translation Memory May Not Be Used

Using a TM with previously translated text is extremely beneficial to achieve consistency in style and terminology throughout all translated materials, but in some cases clients can’t provide linguists with TMs. This means that neither translators nor clients can leverage prior work when translating new documents. 

There are a variety of reasons why a TM may not be available for use. It could be because the linguist wasn’t using a CAT tool at the time they began translating documents for a client. In some cases, the client may simply not have access to a TM file utilized by a translator they no longer work with and who did not deliver the file during their handoff.

Regardless of the reason a TM may not be available, if the original files and the translated versions are at hand, this inconvenience can be quickly overcome.

Where Translation Memory Alignment Comes In

For those who want to utilize a TM, without having to start from scratch, translation memory alignment allows for the user to import two files representing the same text in two different languages and align the sentences side by side to generate a TM file. This process allows you to build a repository of translation units that will be saved to the TM and can be utilized in future translation projects. 

The translation memory alignment process can be completed through different tools. Most CAT tools offer their own alignment feature, but there are others in the market as well that specialize in this process.

A Personal Touch

Some alignment tools will generate a report with a “quality score” that gives an indication of how successful the alignment was. Translation memory alignment projects should always be performed by a linguist who knows the two languages being handled. The linguist will check each segment and approve correct matches or fix incorrect matches in order to perfect the TM. Human work will help ensure the alignment is 100% correct. This intervention is especially helpful when dealing with documents that have complex formatting that can lead to accuracy issues during the alignment process.

30/06/2021

How to Measure the Quality of a Transcreation Project

In business, the stakes are often high. Many times, you have only one chance to nail important business objectives, such as entering a new market, and failure simply cannot happen. This is often the case with projects that require transcreation. For some business objectives, a literal or more straight forward translation can get the job done. When it can’t, that is where transcreation comes in. 

One of the main challenges of transcreation is measuring quality. Doing so can be more difficult than when handling a more typical translation. Transcreation requires a level of creativity that is difficult to measure. Addressing quality while the transcreation process is actually happening is imperative. While quality standards will vary from client to client, there are ways to work towards general quality standards during the transcreation process.

The Transcreation Brief

Before a transcreation project even begins, steps towards quality assurance must be taken. The transcreator can get a strong start on the project with a solid brief that provides context on the purpose of the content they will be transcreating. For example, a marketing campaign will have different transcreation requirements than a movie would. Understanding the purpose is key, as transcreation projects don’t require a word for word translation, but instead aim to adapt a piece of content to have a similar meaning while conveying the same feeling in another language. 

While the brief should encourage flexibility and creativity, it must give the transcreator clear guidance on what direction to take. Who will be reading the final text? What was the original purpose of the text? Why does it require transcreation? These are all important questions that require answering in the brief. A brief can also share brand values, how the client hopes their brand to be perceived in the target location, and what the desired approach to break into a new market is. 

The Timeline

Transcreation is not a project that should be rushed as it can involve a high level of research and creativity to master. Providing a transcreator with a clear timeline without expecting rushed work can help ensure they manage their time in a way that leads to a quality final project. 

The Back Translation Process

The back translation process involves giving the translated version of the text to a separate independent translator who has not seen the original text. They then translate the new text back into the original language. Their results will help ensure clients that the meaning of the source text was not literally lost in translation. 

Back translation is a quality assurance step that can be useful in certain scenarios such as when content requires a high level of control because semantic errors can have consequences. Or when a client doesn’t speak or read the target language, back translation can allow them to check the accuracy of the translation by themselves.

How to Measure Success

While the goal is to achieve quality during the transcreation process, there are post-publishing measurements that can check if the transcreator accomplished the intended effects and purpose. Pre-publishing, there are tools that can be used to measure readability. Post-publishing measurements require more collaboration though and can involve human intervention. Changes to text can sometimes be made post-publishing, so using the following methods to test quality can provide value.

  • Seeking an objective corroboration that examines sales and site traffic data. 
  • Employing a third party editor or reviewer. 
  • Hosting market surveys and focus groups.
  • Undertaking blind A/B testing. 

At the end of the day, the ultimate “quality test” can be uncovered through the feedback the client receives or the bottom line results of the project. If feedback is positive and the expected results arise, the client can have confidence that the transcreation project was successful.

16/06/2021

Spanish: A Gendered Language Seeking to be More Inclusive

In recent years, the term “Latinx” has been proposed — and begun to come into use in the U.S. — as a shift to a more inclusive Spanish language when it comes to gender. In other countries of Latin American and even in Spain, people are also looking for ways to be more inclusive. In order to understand why some people are arguing for a shift towards gender-neutral or non-sexist language, it’s important to look closer at how gender works in the Spanish language and how the language can evolve. 

How Gender Works in Spanish

In the Spanish language, all nouns have a gender. Other words used in conjunction with nouns agree in gender as well, so articles and adjectives are also gendered. Typically, masculine nouns end in an O and feminine nouns end in an A. Spanish is not the only language structured like this. Spanish is just one of many gender-based languages that defaults to a generic masculine ending. If the gender of a subject is not specified or known, or if the noun is representing a group with both masculine and feminine members in it, then the masculine ending will be used. For example, in Spanish the word for boy is “niño” and the word for girl is “niña”, but when you have a group of children of mixed genders, the word used would be “niños”. 

Inclusion of Female and Non Binary Individuals

Those who are fighting for more inclusion of women and non-binary individuals are changing how they speak and write. In many cases, they are replacing the masculine O and the feminine A with a gender-neutral E. Let’s look at how this may work in practice. The default word for the word friends is “amigos” (which is masculine). Those looking to make changes in the language are using “amigues” instead. 

Not everyone wants to see these changes made. The Royal Spanish Academy in Spain wants to leave the current gendered structure of Spanish as is. From their perspective, the default masculine plural is intended to be inclusive and represents females as well as males. 

It’s important to highlight, though, that without making formal changes to the language, there are ways to make Spanish more modern and inclusive in everyday life. It does take a little bit of creativity, but workarounds for avoiding using default masculine nouns do exist.

How Should Translators Proceed?

When it comes to translation work, should translators observe the norm or adapt? There is no one correct answer here. Who your audience is will largely influence whether or not you should stick to the traditional structures or should adapt to these modern solutions to making the language more inclusive. 

Language is a living entity that changes and evolves over time, it does not remain stagnant. There is room for change, the question is, is your audience ready for that change? While the Royal Spanish Academy may say no, plenty of young individuals are fighting for change. Take your target audience into account when deciding how you want to communicate your message. Will they be more likely to engage with your content if you make gender-neutral changes or will that push them away? Sticking with what your audience is most comfortable with may not please everyone who comes across your content, but will hopefully keep the base of your audience happy. For a translation project to be successful, you need to aim to deliver your message as effectively as possible, so consider how you can make that happen.

26/05/2021

The Translation of IEPs: 101 

Ensuring their child receives a quality education is something almost every parent strives for. This is a universal goal. Now, imagine if a parent could not participate fully in their child’s education. You can see how damaging that disconnect could potentially be. Especially if their child has a disability that affects their educational needs. This is why it is undeniably important that Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) are available to students and their parents in a language they can clearly understand. Let’s break down the basics of what you need to know about the translation of IEPs and why it matters. 

What is an IEP?

An IEP is a written statement that maps out an education program that was specifically designed to meet a select child’s education needs. If a child receives special education services, they must have an IEP that will serve two purposes. First, it should outline reasonable learning goals for the child. Second, it should highlight the services the school district will provide for the student. The IEP will be reviewed annually in order to determine whether the educational goals are being met or if they need revision. 

The IEP will examine not only a student’s weaknesses, but their strengths as well. It will set goals for the student and educators to meet and ideally will help foster the success of the student. All IEPs must contain information such as: 

  • Detailed analysis of the student’s current academic performance and challenges faced.
  • Reasonable annual goals for the student determined by the school and parents.
  • What special education and other services are available to the student, such as working with a supplementary aid.
  • How often the student will be separated from nondisabled children for educational or extracurricular purposes.
  • A plan for how the student can take part in state and district-wide testing.
  • A schedule of services and modifications.
  • An assessment of how progress toward annual goals will be measured. 

Why Would an IEP Need Translation?

It is essential that Limited English Proficiency (LEP) students and families have access to properly translated IEPs. An IEP is a foundational document for students with special needs who require additional educational support. Not only should the initial IEP document be accessible to students and parents in a language they are proficient in, but other language support should be provided to them. Such as interpretation for IEP-related meetings or translated documentation throughout the life of the program. 

The Legal Responsibilities Associated with the Translation of IEPs

When it comes to making accessible IEPs a reality to LEP students and parents, we have Title VI to thank. This civil rights law determined that federally-funded school districts and state educational agencies have to provide language assistance to LEP students, as has the Equal Opportunities Act. As the United States has declared IEPs are vital to the education process, LEP parents of children with disabilities must receive proper and timely access to complete oral interpretations and translated documents when necessary.

 


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19/05/2021

How to Prepare Your Localization for Success

Navigating the localization waters for the first time can be scary. You may be launching your product or expanding your services to markets that are unknown to you. And while it can be quite challenging, the benefits and the growth that it can lead to are worth it. Having a roadmap before you embark on this endeavor will definitely give you a peace of mind. Here, we lay out some steps that will guide your localization project and ensure a smooth process.

1. Analyze the Project 

Before actually starting a localization project, it’s important that you first identify what steps will be necessary according to the specifics of your project. Translation companies can help you accomplish this and establish the right workflow for the project. It’s also advisable to analyze the target market to ensure that the translation and localization efforts would make sense. You should also study whether internationalization services are required or not. To come up with the right strategy all of these factors should be taken into consideration.

2. Select the Right Team

Everyone on your localization team will play a key role in the success of the project. The team selected should have expertise on your subject matter field and should be well versed in the language and cultural idiosyncrasies of the target market. 

You should strive to maintain a long term relationship with them. Your team will be your most valuable asset as time passes, because they will learn how to handle localization projects in line with your preferences. Ideally, your localization team should consist of a project manager, translator, editor, and quality assurance manager. 

3. Create a Style Guide 

Consistency is key! You need to specify your desired tone, style, preferred units of measurement, and other key language details so that linguists can study those preferences beforehand. That way, when they begin working they will know exactly how to translate those materials from the get go. This will help avoid spending time going back and correcting text that is not aligned with your preferences.

Creating a translation style guide can help improve the quality and speed of a translator’s work and will encourage consistency.

4. Create a Glossary and maintain terminology 

Alongside a style guide, creating a glossary (also known as a termbase) is a great way to ensure consistency and can benefit both parties. With a termbase, linguists can work faster knowing that the terminology included is already approved. A termbase is a database where terminology is managed and published and it contains words and expressions that have specialized meaning. The terms included — that may be prominent in any customer-facing materials — can be technical, scientific, market-specific, or political. 

You can ask the linguists to build the termbase with the important terminology or you can select the terms and work with them to find the most accurate equivalents in the target language.

5. Use technology to your advantage 

When it comes to localization, technology is on your side. Both CAT tools and quality assurance tools can make a localization project more streamlined, more accurate, and more effective. Select a CAT tool so that your team can make the best use of them while translating. CAT tools segment the text that requires translation and then present the segments in a way that is easier and faster to translate. Using a CAT tool has many benefits, as they can help increase productivity, catch mistakes, achieve consistency, and eliminate repetitive translations. 

For an even higher level of quality control, you can utilize a quality assurance tool, such as Xbench and Verifika, that instantly performs quality checks of bilingual files or translation memories. Many quality assurance tools can check for the accuracy and consistency of the following elements: spelling, grammar, number or tag mismatches, missing translations, formatting, repeated words, double spaces or punctuation marks, untranslatable terms, and inconsistencies throughout the text.

6. Maintain a Translation Memory

Once you’ve picked your CAT tool, it’s time to start building and maintaining a translation memory that stores all the translated material. A translation memory is a database that can store text that was previously translated and can help support the localization process by improving the quality and consistency of a translation project and making the work faster to complete. 

7. Define and Measure Quality

It’s important to identify what quality means to you, so you can set clear expectations that the localization team can strive to meet. Understandably, accuracy will be an important factor, but accuracy doesn’t guarantee quality. The final text must reflect the meaning of the source text accurately, have the same intended effect, and should accomplish all project parameters. When it comes to localization, accounting for cultural differences is important as well. All clients will have different ideas of what quality means to them, so it’s important that you lay out your expectations before beginning a localization project so your translation team knows what standards to work towards. For example, a commercial project that is customer facing will likely have much greater quality needs than internal documents will. 

8. Handle Queries and Avoid Miscommunication

One of the best ways to ensure that throughout the whole process you have open lines of communication that lead to the best results is to communicate effectively with your team. Query sheets can be a great tool to achieve this. A query sheet acts as a centralized location where those working on complex translation projects can organize any questions and comments from all parties involved in the project. Doing this can not only help ensure accuracy and efficiency, but it can help keep the client and the translation team on the same page.


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05/05/2021

Hispanics, Latinos, and Latinx — Are They the Same?

We live in a very big world that is full of diverse and rich cultures, places, and people. There are many differences between our many cultures that we should celebrate, but far too often overlook. One such example of letting lines blur too easily, are the terms Hispanic, Latino, and Latinx. All three of which tend to be used interchangeably and incorrectly. These three terms are not the same and necessarily don’t represent the same groups of people. Let’s explore what each of these terms means and the one unifying factor that links these different groups together. 

Hispanics vs. Latinos vs. Latinx

Before we look at what unites these different groups, let’s look at how they differ and where some of the confusion about their differences may stem from. In many cases these terms overlap, but they do mean different things. 

Hispanic. The term hispanic is used to refer to those that come from a Spanish-speaking background and does not reflect their geographic location. 

Latino. This term does in fact relate to location and not to language. In order to classify someone as Latino, they generally need to come from the geographic region of Latin America. The term Latino includes people from many areas in Central and South America, alongside the Caribbean. In many cases people identify as both Hispanic and Latino, as both terms apply to their backgrounds. For example, someone from Brazil is a Latino, Latina or Latinx because they are from Latin America, but their language is not Spanish, it is Portuguese. Whereas someone from Colombia is both a Latino, Latina or Latinx and also Hispanic (because they speak Spanish).

Latinx. While the term Latinx is relatively new, it is becoming an important term used in conversations about gender equality and inclusion. Spanish is a gendered language, which means words are associated with the female or male gender. A Latin American woman is a Latina and a Latin American man is a Latino. Latinx has appeared as an alternative to be inclusive of people who don’t associate with either gender. Essentially, Latinx is a gender-neutral alternative to Latino or Latina. If someone is Latino, they are also Latinx and vice versa. The primary purpose of this term is to be inclusive of people who don’t consider themselves to be female or male.

A Diverse Presence in the US

The US Census Bureau counts anyone who says they are Hispanic as Hispanic, which allows residents to choose how they identify. As cultural norms evolve surrounding what it means to be Hispanic, Latino, or Latinx in the US today, this enables those self-reporting to identify as they see fit. As of July, 2019 it was estimated that almost 61 million Hispanics lived in the U.S. accounting for 18.5% of the nation’s total population. 

What Unites Them

Ultimately, all of these terms are labels and very wide labels at that. Within each label, there is so much diversity and many countries of origin that fall under them. Sometimes, the only thing that unites these groups is a shared language — Spanish. In the US, many Hispanics from different countries are united by their shared language. Because all these Spanish speakers of different nationalities coexist in the US and interact with each other and with English speakers, the language has and continues to evolve and adapt. The Spanish language one can hear in the US is known as US Spanish.


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28/04/2021

Microlearning 101: What It Is and What the Benefits Are

With countless schools and offices having to operate remotely in 2020, and people spending more time at home than ever before, e-learning can provide invaluable education opportunities. Whether a college student needs to finish their course requirements, a retiree wants to pass the time learning a new skill, or a business wants to train their employees, e-learning can come in handy. Even once social distancing comes to an end, our very digital world can greatly benefit from e-learning tools. To make the most out of these tools, there are techniques like gamification and microlearning that course creators can take advantage of. Microlearning for employee training in particular has some benefits worth examining. 

What is Microlearning?

Before looking at the benefits of utilizing microlearning in training, it’s important to understand what microlearning is. Microlearning is a short format for content that is intended to drive a specific learning outcome. Most often, microlearning is seen in e-learning platforms hosted on smartphones, computers, and tablets. One of the goals of microlearning is to make the content learner-centric, easily accessible, and quick to consume. 

Essentially, this is an educational approach that focuses on providing small learning units that only include the necessary amount of information required to help the user meet a certain learning goal. 

What are the Benefits of Microlearning?

Before adapting microlearning techniques for e-learning content creation, you may want to know what the benefits are. The three main benefits are better engagement, retention, and saving time and money. 

Regarding engagement benefits, the numbers don’t lie. From the get-go, employees are more likely to be engaged in microlearning. According to Software Advice survey, 58% of employees stated they would be more likely to utilize online learning tools provided by their company if the content was broken up into multiple smaller lessons. 

When it comes to engaging with the content, shorter e-learning modules can help take advantage of an employee’s focus limitations. The University of California Irvine found that on average employees work for just 11 minutes before they typically become distracted by outside stimuli such as emails or phone calls. During those 11 minutes, employees tend to work on very short and quick tasks that last about three minutes. Microlearning can provide busy employees with the option of making e-learning work for their hectic schedules and environment. Not only can microlearning allow the user to engage fully in a lesson for a short period of time, but because the lessons are easier to complete, they can retain the content better. 

Saving time and money on e-learning content is a nice perk. According to the author of 3-Minute E-Learning, learning architect Ray Jimenez, PhD, microlearning can actually decrease development costs for training courses by 50% and can increase the speed of developing them by 300%. This is because this digital form of digestible content is much easier to reuse and refresh than more traditional in-person training. Another benefit of having shorter bits of content is that it can make it faster, easier, and more cost effective to localize your training to your employees’ native languages. Being able to adapt e-learning content to different languages and cultures through localization can create a better and more effective e-learning experience.


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