Localization in Chicago: It’s Everywhere!

As I prepare for my presentationentitled ‘eLearning Localization: Taking Your Learning to the World’ at the upcoming ‘Lectora User Conference’ on Wednesday, 23 May in downtown Chicago, my colleagues will be attending the‘STC (Society of Technical Communicators) Summit 2012’ as Merit Sponsors May 20-23in Rosemont, IL–a short drive away. Additionally, Chicago will be hosting the NATO Summit 2012 May 20-21, during which time an influx of diplomats from around the globe will be ‘bearing down’ to discuss foreign affairs (pun intended to reference one of Chicago’s favorite franchises, the Chicago Bears).

As a resident of the Chicago area for the past several decades, I can’t help butnotice the recent international focus on Chicago. These upcoming events have many parallels, most obviously, the objective tocollaborate and innovate through international challenges by openly sharing ideas with people from all over the world.

To do this effectively, we all have to have cultural understanding and sensibility. As a prelude to my presentation, I will be emphasizing the importance of first understanding that the ‘American way’ of processing, teaching and educating is not the only way to achieve the highest result of absorption in eLearning.

As it relates to online learning (eLearning), I will also outline the three primary approaches for expressing thoughts, ideas and concepts, with the primary objective being to keep one’s target learners at the forefront when developing learning material.

This also helps ensureone’s courses deliver similar outcomes across different cultures.To achieve this, it is crucial that developers understand and consider the how, where, and to whom the content will be directed.

I will discuss hierarchical and egalitarian models within various societies, as well ashow these structures can affect the desired outcome of one’s communications, whether verbal or written. This includes everything from subtle linguistic nuances such as the local jargon and colloquialisms, to helpful hints on simplifying terminology, to risk aversion across different cultures, to what may or may not be required to adequately get your point across, to how the pathway to ‘awareness’is the key to preparing source content. Ultimately, each of these elements has a major effect on translation.

Further, there will be situational stories that look beyond translation and take a detailed look at how local culture might affect the reception and adaptation of a product, service or concept. Again, the underlining theme is ‘awareness’ and analysis which is typically the difference between success and failure–the desired achievement beingseamless cross-cultural communication.

I will highlight ways to strategize from a cultural and substantive adaptation perspective so that potential conflicts with regard to titles, icons, symbols, pictures, colors, numbers, local laws and norms, etc., can be avoided.

Additionally, I will provide helpful information on ways to reduce costs, improve quality content/translations, expand brand recognition and speed time-to-market. The result of all these steps will be a positive international imagefor you and your organization with limitless possibilities.

So if you are in Chicago this weekendleading into next week, expect to feel the global spotlight, not to mention a tremendous amount of traffic.

Session Information:
e-Learning Localization: Taking Your Learning to the World
Wednesday May 23rd 2:30 p.m.- 3:45p.m.

Translating content into multiple languages in e-Learning is just the first step in the process when you have a global audience. This session will make the case for localization, and teach you the important aspects to consider. Learn how to “build-in” rather than “bolt-on” localization in your e-Learning projects.

Experience:
Michael J. Asquith is the Director of Business Development at EC Innovations U.S.A, Inc. He has worked in the localization space for five years working with multinationals in numerous industries.

Expertise:
Michael has extensive experience in the financial industry where he has helped facilitate the concept of true globalization by linking up and recruiting small overseas brokerage firms. With Michael’s solid background in globalization and a passion for international business, he is fast becoming a staple in the localization industry. Michael also holds a Bachelors degree in Marketing from Columbia College.

*Session Information provided by EC Innovations, located as a blog on the Trivantis’ website.


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