Localized Learning Content Impacts Multilingual Students and Global Audiences

ThinkstockPhotos-467262442Welocalize works with many clients who produce e-learning content intended for global audiences, both internal and external. E-learning can be quite complex content, interlaced with various forms of multimedia, including video and audio. Without proper localization planning, it can present challenges in effectively reaching a global audience. The story of Khan Academy is one that demonstrates the value and importance of multilingual planning and how good content can truly make a world of difference.

At the 2015 Marketo Summit in San Francisco, California,  Salman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, shared valuable insights about the reach and impact of global learning. Khan’s presentation demonstrated the importance and impact of online learning through the experiences and interactions of Khan Academy around the world.  He also advocated how important it was to make education and learning content available to wider, multilingual audiences.

Where did it all begin? Nearly 10 years ago, Khan had a number of phone calls with his younger cousin to help her with math. This soon became common knowledge throughout Khan’s family and he rapidly began having conference calls with 10-15 family members each day. Struggling to keep the content of his lessons relevant for each family member, he discussed his new hobby with friends who suggested creating YouTube videos. This way, each student could learn at their own pace. His initial thought was that YouTube is for cats playing piano not for serious mathematics. He soon learned differently.

Coming around to the idea of YouTube, he was soon creating volumes of YouTube videos from his walk-in closet. Khan’s hobby was quickly becoming a full-time project.  After a discussion with his wife he resigned from his job as an analyst and put all his effort into creating the Khan Academy, a non-profit organization delivering education to everybody everywhere, pushing boundaries and re-imagining the world of education. It wasn’t long before the academy was noticed, with investors such as Google and The Gates Foundation. Khan Academy has been able to revolutionize learning for students across the world.

Khan Academy now has one million educators and 20 million users learning on the site. One third of these users are outside of the United States. Using YouTube as a distribution media for learning content means it can potentially be accessed by students all over the world. Khan Academy translates some of its e-learning content, video, audio and subtitles, teaching platforms and more.  One of their goals is to translate their content into all of the world’s major languages over the next 10 years.

Localization and education go hand-in-hand. The impact is far reaching for students and businesses. Learning and education is such a vital part of any global business and world economy. The value of any training and development hinges on how this content can be utilized to reach to your entire audience, in all relevant languages. It is critical to plan and prepare for how language will play a role in the learning experience.  The benefits and impact of translating your learning content are vast, as most global companies have multilingual audiences.

When you localize learning content, you are positioning your brand as a company with an international presence.  The quality of your content and consistency in your message builds your company’s credibility and enhances your brand image.  There are direct localization benefits to the company, such as boosting company efficiency, employee performance and creating a educated workforce across the board.  All of which offers consistent and reliable results for your clients and customers. Providing learning in your users native language aids knowledge acquisition and boosts retention rate. It is just good business.

Welocalize partners with global organizations to maximize the value of their learning. We provide translation and localization services in 157 languages for all types of learning content including online courses, sales and product training, user guides, classroom instructions, documentation materials, digital media assets and more.  Click here for more information on Welocalize localization services for the learning and education sector.



Lauren Southers is the Manager of Global Marketing and Business Support and a super administrator of Marketo at Welocalize.