According to Forbes, the E-Learning industry will be worth $325 billion by 2025, the amount three times higher than the figures in 2015. Nomadic and freelance work patterns as well as new technology have increased the need both for continued education and for on-the-go methods of learning.
Universities and other education providers are making their courses available to students no matter where they are based in the world, and this often means that courses need to be translated.
Moreover, these courses are increasingly available on smartphones. Numerous language learning apps immediately spring to mind when mobile learning is mentioned and are accessible to anyone who has a smartphone. However, mobile device learning is now also a must-have for many companies and entrepreneurs with international customer bases or global workforce. Gartner predicts that 45% of all businesses will have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy by 2020, and research shows that 70% of learners find mobile device learning more motivating than desktop or tablet learning (Learndash).
Traditional learning course providers, including those in Higher Education, have recently started to recognise the benefits of microlearning, or delivering content in succinct and often interactive bursts. And, of course, the easiest way to deliver microlearning is through mobile devices.
The more global and flexible education becomes, the stronger the need for the translation of all the learning content from English into other languages and vice versa. This includes video and game translation as learning becomes more interactive, and trans-creation and full localisation that are required to ensure that E-learning content is suitable to target audiences.
Mark Twain once said that “the difference between the right word and the almost right word is really a large matter – it’s the difference between lightning and a lightning bug”. When going global and mobile, it is essential for businesses and education providers to ensure that their learning content is translated faithfully while retaining an element of humour and playfulness that makes learning so enjoyable.
Mobile learning is a trend that is here to stay, and can make education accessible to completely new audiences all over the world. It also means high competition and any content that is perceived as dry or boring will be left behind as modern audiences expect ease of use and entertainment to be part of E-Learning. The solution is to work with translators from the very beginning, inviting their input and opinion as the content is put together. This way, cultural quirks and differences are taken into account, and such learning aids as idioms, proverbs, and humour can be incorporated correctly, making E-learning fun and, most importantly, localised for the target audience.
By Maia Nikitina