Scottish tech start-up shakes up world of eLearning translation

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A young tech start-up from Paisley is set to disrupt the world of digital translation as it launches a new rapid eLearning translation system this month.

Bolt Learning has developed a next-generation translation system to revolutionize the traditionally challenging and expensive exercise of delivering eLearning and digital training courses in multiple languages, by giving clients a total end-to-end rapid solution.

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In its relatively short life Bolt has won clients such as Philip Morris, Weetabix and International Power Access Federation, who trains 150,000 a year in 37 countries, but found that many clients were struggling with translation of the training for global reach.

Katie Jenkins, Head of Customer Proposition, Bolt Learning comments “our clients were telling us that the translation of modules and learning content was taking longer than actually creating the content itself. Which is just crazy! So, we’ve developed a new technology to automate the clunky parts of the translation” comments

Paul Roddis, Training Manager, International Power Access Federation (IPAF) was one of the first to benefit from the new technology; “having to manually extract the copy from all the different elements of a modules and then sending it to an external translation company, wait for weeks, sometime months, for translation, to then review it and then manually re-create the module was just such a time-consuming way of doing things. It seemed such an archaic way to do things.”

“This system is a game changer. A process that used to take up to 6 months now takes a few days. It is unique and highly valuable to any organisation that works internationally or that translates training for non-English speakers” Roddis continues. IPAF is now rolling out training in 37 countries in 9 languages.

Bolt’s new translation solution automatically extracts the different elements of text from the original ‘master module’. It is then translated by experienced native speaking translators and copywriters ensuring consistent, high quality translations. But even this process has been made more efficient with Bolt’s cloud-based review tool which allows translators, and clients, to review translations together (remotely) and edit centrally, cutting traditional review times in half.

Bolt is working closely with Edinburgh based Lingo24 who provide high quality human and machine aided translation. The translation solution builds up an intuitive translation memory for each individual client, allowing them to then utilise machine-aided translation leading to even faster, more accurate, and cost-effective translation.

Once translated, Bolt’s technology automatically re-creates the eLearning modules and content, without the need for someone to manually build new versions of each module. Semantic mark-up means that any amends or future changes to the ‘master module’ content will automatically update all versions of the module, in all the different languages.

“Feedback from our clients has already been amazing, they have deemed it a ‘game-changer. What was taking them months can now be translated and rolled out geographically anywhere in less than a week” comments Jenkins.

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