eLearning Localization: How Much Does It Cost?

eLearning is undergoing a revolution. More and more people desire an online education which has caused the global demand to rise significantly.

So, you have decided you need eLearning Localization services. But how much does eLearning Localization cost? Are there ways the costs can be kept down? And, which other services are combined on the bill? Learn all about it!

The Cost Of eLearning Localization: A Detailed Overview

You may have guessed that the complex nature of eLearning Courses with its various content types including text, videos, and audio, could make discerning the cost of eLearning Localization rather complicated. And you’d be right. But while there are so many different details to be considered, we would still like to give you an overview of what you can expect.

eLearning Localization: Which Service Is It Anyway?

Translation Process 

The actual Translation Process comprises Translation, Editing, and Proofreading (TEP), aimed at producing flawless content across the various media involved in eLearning Localization. The translation service is usually charged at a rate per word.

But before this process can begin, Localization Engineers are set the task of exporting the content in XLIFF (XML-based file format). This is a translation-friendly file-format that is commonly accepted by almost all translation CAT-tools. The files will be prepared for translation, which includes the implementation of Regular Expressions so that non-translatable text will be locked, and the translator will not be able to manipulate the code. The contribution of the localization engineers is charged per hour.

Pro tip! Learn more about how regular expressions are a crucial part of the early stages in the translation process in our blog on how to use regular expressions to identify translatable content.

Whether this process of exporting content will run smoothly or not, will depend on the authoring tool you choose to work with. Localization-friendly authoring tools will allow you to export your content with one click, while other variations will need plugins and workarounds. Localization-friendly authoring tools include:

  • Articulate Storyline
  • Articulate Rise
  • Adobe Captivate
  • Trivantis Lectora
  • iSpring
  • CrossKnowledge Mohive
  • dominKnow Claro

Pro Tip! Do you want to learn more about the localization process with a localization-friendly authoring tool? Check out our blog on How To Localize Your Storyline eLearning Courses.

Multimedia Services: Voice-Over, Subtitling, Transcription

Voice-Over Localization

is a complex process and by extension, in terms of pricing options, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Typically, you will be provided with a quote that involves the Production Hours, Output Hours, use of resources, and so on. This service includes:

  • A transcription stage where the spoken language is transformed into a script. This service is typically charged per minute.
  • The translation process charged per word.
  • Script preparation and adaptation where the time codes are added, and the text is edited to perfection. This service is charged per hour.
  • Recording: voice-over talent and studio time tend to be charged by the day or half day. keep this into account when planning for studio time!

If videos are involved and voice-overs are not on your content strategy plan, you may want to opt for subtitling services instead. Just like with the voice-over services, subtitling involves a transcription, and translation stage.

Every aspect of the eLearning Localization Process, especially when it comes to the multimedia elements, will once again involve the unwavering contribution of Localization Engineers. They make sure that the eLearning course is functioning as it should on a technical level. They convert the file into the format requested by the client (MP4, MOV, WMV, FLV), confirm the video quality, check the time codes, and determine the best method the maintain the integrity of the source file and fulfill any other technical requirements such as if the video caption has to be closed or open-caption, and so on. Considering the complex and all-encompassing nature of their job, the Engineers are charged an hourly rate.

Pro tip! Learn more about how the costs for voice-over and subtitling services are calculated in our blogs on multilingual voice-over: get in on the action, and, deciphering the cost of your subtitling services.

Desktop Publishing: Getting That Layout Just Right

Desktop Publishing (DTP) -Professionals

are experts who make sure that the design and formatting of your course are optimal. They are skilled in maintaining the visual potency of your eLearning Course, and also know how to address cultural variances that will make all the difference for you in the global market. The DTP-Expert’s job is charged per hour.

Their job includes:

  • Setting the correct font for each language. Depending on the language, it is important to consider diacritical marks, style, height, and local preferences. There is not one font that fits all!
  • Making the time to offer recommendations for which graphical preferences would be best perceived in your target locale.
  • Depending on the language direction, this service can vary in price. Languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, or Farsi, are read right to left (RTL). This means that the entire design will need to be flipped. This takes more time and resources.
  • Continuing on that though, DTP-Experts are also very helpful when it comes to formatting complex languages and characters. While Storyline does support the RTL languages, for example, some human tweaks will still need to be made. If any complicated errors rear their head and more extensive coding skills are required, Localization Engineers will get involved.

A Crucial Final Step: Quality Assurance

In a final step, the linguistic QA will be performed, a service that is charged per hour. The goal of the linguistic process is to make sure the courses have been implemented correctly after the DTP-Process. Since it often happens that there are several rounds of review implementations when the content is imported into the storyline after the formatting, it is best that there is an internal QA that precedes the importation. This way, you will avoid unnecessary costs and material being sent back for corrections.

To sum-up, the Elearning Localization quote would contain the following sub-services.

  1. Preliminary Localization Engineering: (Hourly rate) and the hourly rate may vary based on the LSP you deal with but it starts at $20 USD/Hour.
  2. Glossary and Style guide setup: (Per- Linguistic hour) and the linguistic hourly rate also differ based on the language pair(s) involved.
  3. Translation: (Per-word rate) again the per-word rate may vary from an LSP to another and based on the translation phases as well as the language pair involved.
  4. Multimedia and graphics localization: which could involve different pricing units involved, including per-hour and per-minute and flat-fee rates as explained as above.
  5. Final Localization Engineering: (Hourly rate) Same as the preliminary Localization Engineering work.
  6. QA testing and feedback implementation (Per linguistic hour)


The cost of eLearning Localization can involve many different services depending on the complexity of your online courses. But the good news is that you can have some sway in the eventual price tag. Make sure that you select a translation friendly authoring tool and you will simplify a large part of the process. Next to that, select a Language Service Provider (LSP) that can offer you expertise for every service, so that all of the localization services can be centralized and maximized.

At Laoret, we possess the technological and linguistic authority to successfully localize your eLearning Course including its Multimedia applications. As a company committed to the notion of constant innovation and Localization Solutions offered only by the most experienced professionals, we boast native, in-country translators, specialized localization engineers, and a highly committed DTP-Team.

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