Localization of Multimedia Learning Content in the Energy Industry

512830771Global energy companies have ongoing training needs for their remote workforce, relying on expert training curriculum and extensive libraries of training materials in subjects ranging from human resources, compliance, health and safety and equipment operation, as well as other industry topics.

Delivering these training courses to an international workforce can often be a legal requirement. If training has not been conducted correctly, then the outcome can be fatal. The energy industry involves a lot of complex, highly technical machinery and equipment, which is often used in adverse conditions, for example oil rigs, operated by a workforce that speaks more than one language.

Quite often this training source content has been originally developed for a monolingual English audience and the need for translation arises as an afterthought, which poses some challenges in the translation process. Training content in the energy industry often contains multimedia, predominantly audio and visual (AV) elements.

Successfully delivering a turn-key product for AV productions involves several important factors from a project management standpoint which must be driven by the language service provider (LSP). The LSP must work closely with the client, collect the right information and review the source AV images, sound and transcript before any studio work is completed. Before any re-recording takes place to produce localized versions, there are a number of steps which must take place to ensure the successful localization of AV training materials:

STEP ONE: INFORMATION GATHERING. The first key step is to obtain important information before starting any AV localization activity:

  • Target languages and audience (particular countries or even regions within)
  • Company terminology and glossary
  • Correct pronunciation of technical terms in that language
  • Locally accepted pronunciation of name of the company and brand products
  • Female or male voice choice

STEP TWO: SCRIPT. The translation of the script and its flow is of particular relevance in AV productions for complex subjects. To successfully localize training programs from source to locale, you must work with translators who are highly specialized in script writing and trained to detect culturally appropriate language for the target audience. Generating a straight translation of the source script will not fully (or correctly) localize the content for the target audiences.

The translator working on the new localized scripts must have the images of the video prior to translation to ensure proper language flow and that new words and phrases are suitable for the visuals.

STEP THREE: IMAGES. It is often recommended to adapt and localize images, for example certain colors or images may be of particular sensitivity affecting the overall intended message.

STEP FOUR: VOICE TALENT. At this stage, samples of the voices selected for production are sent to the client for in-country selection approval process before the recording takes place. This step is critical, as it will save time and cost at a later stage, ensuring the client is satisfied with the voices selected before the voice-over takes place.

STEP FIVE: REVIEW AND APPROVE. Finally, the new translated script is sent by the LSP to the company for internal review and comments before bilingual talent works on the recording at the studio. Once the translation is completely approved by the client, the voice-over will take place. If the material and language combination is of particular complexity, we recommend a language monitor to be present during the recording. Even at that stage, the flow of reading the script may need to be slightly adjusted to obtain a perfectly seamless product in the foreign language. Languages with 30% expansion factor tend to crowd the audio or present difficulties in the synchronization of images. At this point, the presence of an experienced language monitor will make the difference to resolve this in a linguistic appropriate manner but once again, without losing the original intended message.

There are some growing trends in the localization of learning materials, such as text-to-speech, which have been developed to minimize eLearning localization costs and increase turn-around speed for producing vital multilingual training materials. An experienced LSP will have good use and access to the latest technological innovations and methods for learning localization.

Localizing high impact content in the energy industry requires specialized languages services that can assure quality and speed are aligned to the desired outcome. In an industry as complex and fast moving as the energy industry, it is vital that clients work with an experienced LSP that has knowledge and access to the right technologies and expertise to help deliver multilingual training programs to an off-shore and international workforce.

Cristina Didone, Welocalize Advisor

Read Cristina’s debut on the Welocalize blog, Translation is Key for RFP Writing in the Oil & Gas Industry

Click here to find out more about Welocalize’s language services to the oil & gas sector.

cristinaCristina Didone was the CEO and founder of CD Language Solutions (CDLS), which was acquired by Welocalize in May 2014. Cristina has over 20 years of experience in the language industry and has particular expertise and knowledge about the energy sector. In this blog, Cristina talk about some of the key steps needed to ensure successful localization of audio-visual (AV) learning materials for global companies in the energy sector.