Practical advice for localising your e-learning material

To make it easier to localise your e-learning material, be careful when creating it. Adopt these good practices!

Cultural references

Think about the cultural aspects in your text and make sure the content can transpose well into another language and culture, without creating an unpleasant reading experience.
However, if you need to retain a strong cultural grounding, you should be aware that it is possible to transpose the material, but it might require a transcreation, rather than a translation. A transcreation is a thorough adaptation that makes the text culturally appropriate for your readers.


Avoid long, wordy paragraphs. Use bullet points or numbered lists. Avoid using too many acronyms, as they make the text difficult to read. Do not use complicated jargon, as this can create ambiguity and therefore cause misunderstanding.

Using images

Images that work well in a presentation for a British or American audience, for example, might make no sense in other countries. Therefore, choose images carefully or be prepared to change them if the translator points out any cultural discrepancies.
Wherever possible, avoid including any text in your images. Translating text inserted in images is expensive (compared to translating the same text if it appears outside the image), whether this task is carried out by translators or graphic designers. Reworking images takes substantial time to preserve the image and add the new text.

Choosing fonts

Choose fonts wisely. Fancy fonts can create problems when translating the text into languages that use non-Latin alphabets, such as Asian languages or Russian.
Use Arial or even a Unicode font, so the translated text displays correctly. This way, you will not need to convert it.

Managing formatting

Well-spaced texts are easier to remember than dense texts, so leave space between lines and paragraphs. Do not overfill your page.
This is crucial if you are hoping to translate it.
In fact, some languages (German, for example) will take up more space than the source language because of their structure. Asian languages, which are based on characters, also take up more space. There are also languages that are more concise and express the same idea in fewer characters.
Maintain a balance between the space taken up by the text and the space around it to support languages with different densities without needing too much additional work. The reader’s gaze must have enough space so that the text is reader-friendly, and it should not become completely lost in the page, as this could also be unpleasant for the reader.

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