;   Medical Translation Insight: Culturally accessible e-learning - ForeignExchange Translations

Culturally accessible e-learning

Medical translation is an important part of culturally accessible training for device and drug companiesThe current issue of ASTD's T+D publication contains an article on the importance of cultural analysis in the development of effective global e-learning efforts.

This is one of those deceptively simple things: Everybody knows that they should design training modules so that all trainees, irrespective of their culture, are able to learn the same materials with a similar amount of effort. However, it's also one of those areas that's hard to do.

e-learning courses are notorious "cultural artifacts", full of cultural references and values. And this is about more than just language. Cultural "gotchas" often are more subtle - religious, moral, and educational influences all come to bear.

But while cultural challenges transcend language, translation issues are often the most obvious manifestations. As with many forms of writing, the main culprit is usually ignorance. "I didn't know that this course would be translated" usually results in a course that is hard to translate.

This same attitude usually leads to localization difficulties as well. Americanisms and date/time formats are hard enough but for drug and device companies, e-learning courses often deal with very specific subjects. Course designers need to anticipate local differences in laws, financial standards, office setups, work rules, etc. etc. etc. when developing materials for multi-cultural teams.

As biopharma and medical device companies are looking to their global staff to do more with less, they are realizing that culture is a critical limiting factor to the success of their e-learning efforts.

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1 Comment:

  1. Will Thalheimer said...
    Here's some research on how to use Culturally-relevant scenarios in learning.


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