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Authoring without borders

Authoring without bordersThe cost of translating, localizing, and adapting content, whether in labeling, training, regulatory or marketing, usually ends up being directly proportional to the lack of forethought during the authoring phase.

Here are a few tips - some obvious, some not - that you can use now to see immediate returns in your translation budgets and timelines:

  • Stay away from humor
  • Avoid idiomatic expressions, references to local current events, sports references, etc.
  • Carefully consider tone
  • Avoid too much content on each page
  • Minimize the number of graphics that contain text
  • Make content consistent
  • Be sensitive to cultural differences
For more actionable information, download ForeignExchange's related white paper E-learning without borders.

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  1. Thomas Kis-Major said...
    Excellent advice - all points. I wish all my outsourcers would work through them with their clients before I get the assignment.
    Paulina said...
    I agree with some advices, yet I would not say that humour, local references or cultural allusions should be avoided. I think that it is translator's job to be able to translate such things. That's actually the fun of it. If you cannot translate an idiom, consider a language-teaching job...
    Andres Heuberger said...
    @ Paulina: You are right, of course - that is the fun of it! But it's amazing how often translations (and translators) get tripped up by funny and idiomatic expressions. And since clients' primary objective isn't to to entertain me or you, they're probably better served just to stay away from this type of content.
    winston5760 said...
    Although the learning process should be enjoyable and it is entertaining in its own way, comedy is not part of the process. One persons comedy can all to often be another’s insult.
    Anonymous said...
    @ Andres: OK, I get your point.
    @ Winston: I do not really understand what your comment relates to, but I assure you that language learning process should and must include comedy, for various reasons. When teaching a language, you also teach culture, and comedy is a very important part of it. It is up to the teacher's sensitivity not to offend the students.

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