How to Make eLearning Translation Work for the Pharmaceuticals Sector
May 28, 2024

How to Make eLearning Translation Work for the Pharmaceuticals Sector

Training is critical to the pharmaceutical and medical sector, thanks to the complex concepts, many regulations, and compliance standards. Most of this training has now gone online in keeping with the global trends of online education and because of the pandemic.

When a training program has to be rolled out for international employees or sales teams, it’s critical to translate and localize it, so it stays relevant and is easily comprehensible. In this post, we’ll look at what translation of an eLearning course for the pharma sector involves, challenges, and how you can handle them successfully.

Translation of Online Training for Pharma Industry: What it involves

Translation of Online Training for Pharma Industry: What it involves

First off, decide what to translate. You have different types of training programs in the pharma sector, such as product training for sales teams and compliance training. Which of these programs would be relevant to the country/market you are trying to translate for? Possibly, the program might have to be adapted or localized in terms of the content to accommodate local laws and practices.

Then, comes the question of how to translate the content. This depends on certain decisions that you need to take on budget, timeline, and types of content.

One of the tech solutions you might be familiar with is machine translation (MT). It enables great speed and affordable translation when there are huge volumes of content and perfect quality might not be the priority. It also allows fast access to information, so that one can get a sense of the data. Other advantages are that it ensures privacy of personal information, which is important in this sector.

However, in many language combinations, MT is yet to achieve human parity when it comes to quality. So, you might not want to use it in those types of content where accuracy is critical. For instance, this could be information on how to use a product or medicine.

Also, in eLearning courses, you need to create engaging content to hold the interest of the learner. That’s when it makes more sense to use human, professional translation of the highest caliber.

Challenges with eLearning Translation for the Medical Sector and How to Handle Them

Challenges in medical sectors

One of the chief challenges in eLearning is to keep the learner engaged so that they complete the course and are able to achieve their learning objectives. Translation of the course is, hence, important to enable better understanding, which goes on to increase the engagement rates. But translation itself might bring in certain other issues.

1.Relevance of the translated material

Many a time, direct translations create more problems than they solve. If the product and patient information or the labelling and packaging text use measurements or terms that are not used in the target locale, they need to be adapted or localized. Else, they can create confusion at the least and major errors at worst.

Another very important thing to consider is the rules and regulations of a local market to which the product or service has to adapt. The eLearning course should accordingly reflect these changes and any updates made to the local rules or to the product itself. To do so, there must be an easy flow of information from the product and marketing departments to the training department.

2.Maintaining the quality of translation

Quality does not stop at the content being error-free. It also means that the content should be consistent: terms should be used in the same way across different training programs, the brand voice maintained, and old errors not repeated as far as possible.

Translation memory (TM) is the solution you should be using to achieve these quality goals. A Translation memory is a database of previously translated strings. There are several advantages to using a TM. If there is a sentence you have already translated before, and it comes up for translation again, it will show up in the translation memory. You can use it instead of translating it all over again. This saves time and money, and makes sure it is translated the same way as before. This way, quality consistency is maintained.

Translation of audio and video content

Translation of audio and video content

To make eLearning modules interesting to the student, audio, and video are commonly used. The translation of media content can be done either through subtitling or dubbing. For both methods, one has to create video/audio-to-text transcripts first. These need to be timestamped, to help map the file to the words being spoken.

In subtitling, the transcript is translated into the required languages. This can be done either manually or with the help of a machine. For pharma online courses, human professional translation might be the best bet, as quality requirements will be high.

Subtitling is a fine art, requiring the subtitling professional to balance on-screen space limitations with accuracy and relevance of the text. It requires expertise in the subject matter as well as in the target language. However, high quality subtitling can greatly aid learning as the content is in the native language of the learner. The learner can also access the material while they are on the move. Hearing disabled learners will find it more user-friendly.

In dubbing, a voice narration of the on-screen dialog is recorded in the target language. It then replaces the voice of the original speakers. Some audiences prefer dubbing over subtitling as they only have to listen and not read on-screen text. However, it can be costly and time-consuming to produce.

Choose the right media translation approach for you depending on your budget, timeline, and student preferences.

Work with a premium language services provider (LSP)

E-learning for pharmaceutical sector What to keep in mind

By now, you are aware that eLearning translation for the pharmaceutical sector is a complex process. However, there is help at hand. An experienced LSP can provide complete support in translating and localizing an e-learning course in the biomedical domain. Your core expertise lies in creating the training content, and you can go ahead with that, instead of having to get bogged down with the nitty-gritty of localization.

Veteran localization companies can provide you subject matter experts who are keenly aware of the pharmaceutical/biomedical sector in their country. This is in addition to their language expertise. So, you don’t have to spend time in looking for resources or training them.

The localization company will use your learning management system (LMS), provided it has multilingual support. It can also advise you on what language technology you can use to speed up the work and maintain quality.

For the pharmaceuticals sector, eLearning has become near mandatory these days to reach its international staff as well as consumers. You need to be able to translate these efficiently at scale, yet match the quality of the original material. Work with a translation and localization provider who will help you do this and get maximum value out of your content

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