Five Benefits of Cross-Cultural Training for Instructional Designers

mayo 18th, 2022 | Posted by admin in Blog | eLearning - (Comentarios desactivados)

5 Benefits of Cross Cultural Training for Instructional Designers

Why should instructional designers undergo cross-cultural training? Because developing learning activities that are compelling and engaging in their native language is already challenging enough, but trying to get the same result in three or even more different languages is far more demanding. Taking the time to understand your colleagues and learners in different cultures makes all the difference! Above all, it leads to trust-based relationships. Still not convinced? Here are five benefits of cross-cultural training for instructional designers.

1. Learn how to be culturally “correct” (= appropriate) in your communication style. Most cultures tend to tackle learning problems by looking at the positive, while some cultures find it the norm to provide direct, negative feedback when discussing a problem. There are cultures that prefer an indirect, soft tone to their approach, while others are straightforward and may even seem painfully blunt to people from other cultures who are not used to it. Nevertheless, all styles are “correct” in their cultures. Understanding the differences in cultural communication styles will help you design activities that will allow your target audience to better understand the content and reduce the possibility of offense being taken.

2. Have a Global Mindset. When developing online learning for a global audience there are many things to take into consideration. Culture is not only language, food, religion, gender roles, sports, and family dynamics; culture is a mindset. And when it comes to online learning, culture will determine not only what people learn, but how they learn.

Cross-cultural training will help instructional designers understand how factors that go well beyond language, such as gender, religion and age, all affect learning. For example, you may have audiences in Mexico and Spain. They both speak Spanish (although the differences between Spanish in Spain and in the various Latin American countries are worth a separate blog post in themselves), but culturally, Spain and Mexico are very different. Cross-cultural training will allow you to appreciate different cultures and recognize culturally based behavior. All of which will help you develop higher quality global training.

3. Understand how culture affects interaction and engagement. Interaction and engagement vary greatly from one culture to another. In some cultures learners are expected and encouraged to engage and ask questions and challenge ideas. In some other cultures that is not acceptable.  Understanding the differences is a very important part of knowing your audience. Especially when trying to engage your global audience in such activities as role playing. Not all cultures will feel comfortable participating. The best solution is to be diverse in your activities. Cross-cultural training will provide you with insight to help you better understand your audience, so that you do not put them in embarrassing situations.

4. Design for a Global Audience. Whether as a result of an expansion plan, merger or acquisition, your company is now a global organization. Previously you were developing courses and activities for only one audience in the language of your company’s home  country. Now you have audiences from different countries with different languages. Of course, there are many localization companies that can translate content, localize courseware, and help ensure your project is culturally acceptable, but just acceptable. For the most part localization companies can only work with what you give them. The old adage GIGO, “garbage in, garbage out”, from the early days of computers, applies equally to translation.

Cross-cultural training helps instructional designers understand their global workplace, enabling them to design activities that will facilitate accurate localization, which will in turn deliver content that is culturally and linguistically appropriate.

5. Leverage informal learning options. Discussion of content among learners can lead to better understanding and adoption, and this is especially relevant when the training is created and delivered by people from other cultural backgrounds. Following up after a training event (lunch-and-learns, meetings to discuss adoption or barriers, success stories, discussions of scenarios) helps to increase connections and “stickiness”. Likewise, mentoring can be a valuable tool as a bridge to adoption and closing knowledge gaps.

Cross-cultural training will be of the greatest benefit to instructional designers with a real desire to learn about new cultures and be empathetic with other people, and who are also passionate about developing engaging material for their global audience. And that cannot be learned by merely reading books or watching videos. To be fully effective, cross-cultural training requires you to interact and engage. Online or offline, it does not matter, as long as you can immerse yourself in the course content in a way that allows you to see your material through the eyes of your learners who do not speak your language or share your culture.

Raymond Reyes_ SeproTec







Raymond Reyes
eLearning Sales Director, USA
SeproTec Multilingual Solutions

Raymond is the Director of the eLearning Sales Department for the US at SeproTec. He has over 18 years’ experience in the localization industry, the last seven of which focusing on eLearning localization. He has been a featured guest speaker on eLearning Localization at DevLearn, Learning Solutions, ATD TK and ATD ICE. SeproTec is a multicultural, multilingual, global company. We have been helping companies to reach, teach and train their global audiences effectively for over 25 years. To find out more about SeproTec’s eLearning Localization solutions and services. email

SeproTec Translator of the Month: March 2022

mayo 11th, 2022 | Posted by admin in Blog | Translation | Translator of the Month - (Comentarios desactivados)

We are more than happy to announce the winner of the March 2022 edition of our Translator of the Month action.

Translators are the driving force behind every translation company’s success. This initiative is our way of saying thank you and recognizing the efforts of our industry professionals.

With a master’s degree in translation and interpreting, working with five source languages, we would like you to meet Rabie El Magdouli, who has been demonstrating the excellent quality of his performance as a translator since 2013. For this reason, we can say that he is not only part of our team, he is an essential part of it.

SeproTec_Translator of the Month_March 2022

Congratulations, Rabie and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

You work with many different languages: Arabic, English, French, Tamazight and Spanish. That’s impressive! Why and how did you become interested in those languages?

My first contact with Spanish was through the Spanish television channels that can be seen in my hometown due to its proximity to the city of Melilla. Then I studied two years of primary school at the Lope de Vega Spanish Institute in Nador before my father took me out of there due to economic reasons, but my story with Spanish did not end there. Since I was a child, I’d liked video games and the video games I played were in Spanish. Also, my mother would bring me video game magazines in Spanish and I would read every page of them, word for word.

As for French, it’s a compulsory subject in the Moroccan educational system from the third year of primary school to the third year of high school. Apart from that, half the programming of the television channels in Morocco is in French.

As for English, my first contact with this language was when I was 10 years old when my mother bought me a role-playing video game that was in English. I don’t know if it was a miracle or not or if it was because of the contact I’d had with other languages, but I understood a lot of what appeared on the screen without having had contact with English before!

I studied Arabic as well as Spanish and French in Morocco until the last year of high school, while I learned English on my own and later studied it in Spain for four years while studying for my degree in translation and interpreting at the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of Granada.

You did a year of law in the Faculty of Law of Granada, why did you decide to interrupt it in order to study Translation?

The truth is I wanted to do Translation and Interpreting, but there were no places left as I applied very late to the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting of Granada.

The following year, I applied again and was admitted. I finished my degree in four years, four years that flew by and in which I learned a lot about the world of translation and interpreting and greatly improved the level of the languages ​​I spoke, not only with what was learned at university, but also because of the language exchange that we did with students from other countries and because Granada is a multicultural city in which almost all the languages ​​of the world are spoken. As soon as I finished my first degree, I did a master’s degree in translation and interpreting from the same university.

How did your career in Translation get started?

As for my professional career, it began a few years ago before I finished my degree. There was a relative of mine who had a translation office in my hometown and I helped him from time to time when he had a lot of work. I gained a lot of experience with him since almost all the texts he provided me were of a legal nature (the majority were consular and immigration documents). Then I took the next step and registered as a freelancer in Spain and, you know what? SeproTec was my first client ever and it is currently one of my best clients.

Really? We’re so glad to hear that! What do you enjoy most about working with SeproTec?

Thanks to SeproTec, I expanded my knowledge in the legal field and I continue to expand it to this very moment.

We’ve heard that you’ve recently become a dad. Congratulations! How has this changed your life and career?

I’ve been married for six years and always wanted to have a child. It was quite a surprise for me and my wife to find out that we were finally going to be parents. The first months were a bit hard for us because we hardly slept since the girl would not stop crying, but now we enjoy her with each passing day. To say that we were over the moon is a big understatement! We were absolutely ecstatic, and this was without a doubt the best thing to happen to us so far.

Thank you so much, Rabie!  It’s been a pleasure to chat with you. And thank you for your kind words about SeproTec!

Interpreting can be done by telephone, in person or via video conference

Interpreting in the medical environment is possible both face-to-face and remotely, by telephone or via video conference, as is the case in other fields of professional interpreting. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic medical care protocols changed, with remote care taking priority. It is therefore not illogical to think, as many people do, that the same is true of medical interpreting… However, this is surprisingly not so, except on certain occasions.
What is meant by medical interpreting and translation?

The fact is that the choice of method, namely in person, by telephone or via video conference, depends on a variety of factors. But first, we shall briefly explain the difference between medical translation and interpreting.

Medical interpreting is oral and face-to-face, and it is used when foreign patients have to attend an appointment, go to the ER or ask for an appointment, for example. On the other hand, medical translation is written, as in health records, drug package leaflets, analysis results, etc.

In order to ensure that a medical translation or interpretation is both safe and effective, it must be done by a qualified professional translator or interpreter with medical knowledge. And this knowledge should preferably be demonstrable, either by way of a specific degree or medical, pharmaceutical or similar scientific studies.

What form of interpreting, that is by telephone, in person or via video conference, is best for doctors and patients?

The truth is that we cannot say that any one method is better than the other, only that, depending on the situation, one or other method may be more effective. Remember that in medicine rigor is vitally important, and that is why it is sometimes necessary to have full access to the information or to hear what patients have to say face-to-face. Besides, patients find themselves in a delicate situation: they are ill in a country whose language they are not familiar with. Being with someone who understands them and speaks their language calms them down, the more so if the interpreter is physically present, even if there is no emotional connection.

And this will make foreign patients more communicative and encourage them to provide the doctor with more details about their symptoms and medical conditions, thereby making his or her work easier. Let us now take a look at which method is the most suitable according to different situations.

People with hearing and/or speaking difficulties. This case rules out telephone interpreting, making the face-to-face or video conference methods the only options.

When the consultation is related to visual aspects. For example, anatomical problems, eye tests, etc. In these cases every effort must be made to ensure the physical presence of an interpreter.

Elderly people. The elderly usually prefers the in-person method. However, remote appointments continue to be recommended as long as social distancing measures remain in place.

People with mental health problems or post-traumatic symptoms. We would recommend a face-to-face interpreter. This will help prevent any unease that patients may feel and make it easier for them to express themselves.

Document-based examinations or managing appointments. If the sole reason for the process is the gathering together and translation of documents, such as the results of an analysis or a medical certificate, we would recommend the telephone method or email.

At SeproTec we provide professional medical interpreting services in person, by video conference or by telephone and employ specialists in health care translation to and from several languages. To make sure that language is not a problem when health is what matters most!