Best Practice: Using Auto-Translate

Using Auto-Translate is a great method to help you quickly create your courses in different languages. It uses machine learning to improve its results and interpret things like tone and context to ensure a high standard of translation.

We've compiled some useful advice to help you get the most out of Auto-Translate.

For more information about how we support Auto-Translate, see Scope of support for Auto-Translate.



1 Who should use Auto-Translate? 

2 Reviewing your translated courses

3 Loan words and cognates

4 Acronyms

5 Translating into right-to-left languages

6 Fair usage


Who should use Auto-Translate? 

Auto-Translate is useful for companies that wish to perform translations internally within the business rather than using translation agencies. It is designed to provide a quick start to the translation process and eliminate much of the manual work involved. However, as explained in Reviewing your translated courses, it is strongly recommended that the resulting translation is checked and reviewed in order to ensure 100% accuracy.

Auto-Translate is not particularly suited to customers who have a lot of technical, or highly industry or company specific language. Neither is it suited for customers for whom translations have to be 100% accurate without manual checking (e.g. compliance or legal courses) or for customers who do not have the ability to check translations themselves.

If you're unsure whether Auto-Translate is right for you, feel free to reach out to the Support team at for advice.


Reviewing your translated courses

While Auto-Translate can accurately translate large amounts of content, it should not be your sole translator.

This tool is best used to supplement your translation team.

Like all of your content made in Elucidat, we always recommend that you perform a thorough QA (Quality Assurance) of your auto-translated Variations before releasing them to your learners, ideally making use of native or fluent speakers' expertise if possible.

This can help you pick up and replace any words or phrases that may not translate well contextually into the target language.

Tip: You can use Elucidat's Collaboration features to review translated content. Users can be invited into your account (either permanently or temporarily) and leave comments for your content creators to action. To learn more about Collaboration, see Collaborating across teams.



Colloquial words or phrases

There may be times when the intended meaning of a word or phrase is not reflected in the translation.

Certain colloquial words or phrases that make sense in one language may not have a direct translation in another but there may be a similar word or phrase that shares the same meaning.

For example, the Spanish equivalent of the phrase 'to go cold turkey' is 'pasar el mono a pelo' which literally translates to 'pass the monkey bareback'. This doesn't make any sense in English but in Spanish, it is a common colloquialism.

Similarly, a direct translation of the English phrase to Spanish would be 'pavo frío' which just means turkey that's cold - it doesn't carry the same meaning as the English phrase. 

In these cases, you may want to double-check the translated result to ensure that the meaning of the word or phrase has been translated in a way that makes sense. If you find that there is a more suitable word or phrase that can be used, you'll need to replace that it manually.


Loan words and cognates

Be also aware of words that look and are spelled the same in more than one language. There may be an equivalent term that needs to be used or it may need to stay the same. This can be especially prevalent when using technical terms that are specific to a group or industry.

For instance, the word 'document' is a cognate. It is spelled the same in both French and English. While it may appear that this word has been skipped in the translation process, the result is actually correct.



Some acronyms may need to be changed depending on the language it's being translated into, some may need to stay the same.

An example of this is the acronym HTML.

In French, the acronym is the same. But if we took the English acronym for the World Health Organisation (WHO) and translated it into French, the acronym would be OMS (Organisation Mondiale de la Santé).


Translating into right-to-left languages

When a course is translated into a right-to-left language like Arabic or Hebrew, you'll need to manually change the orientation of your Project's text in each Variation where it is used. The orientation does not change automatically.

Changing the text orientation applies to the entire Project so you'll only need to do this once per translated course. To learn how to do this, see Enabling right-to-left text alignment in your course.


Fair usage

Your usage of Auto-Translate is measured in number of characters translated. 

The standard allowance for Auto-Translate is 100 million translated characters per subscription per year. While we don't anticipate this limit will be reached very easily, you may want to consider this allowance into your workflows. You can read more about this in our Fair Usage Policy.

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