How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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How important is it to have an American or British accent to succeed as a Udemy instructor?

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Hi,

I'm an Indian and like most Indians my accent is quite thick.

It's observed that fellow Indians normally follow what I speak, but have never taught a foreign national..

Does this restrict my reach only to Indians? 

Do I have to change my accent to expand my reach? 

Could some one please help me understand what role does ones accent or pronunciation play on being an effective Udemy Instructor.


Be Happy!!
Madhu Nag Shetty

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I see your courses are yoga and wellness which is my field as well (most people I know are in these fields or take the courses). This changes the response greatly from other fields. American and British strongly prefer to learn yoga from someone in India or born in India. We yogis also understand thicker accents better. My only suggestion (without hearing your video) would be to speak slower than you would to Indians. Our Western brains function slower with listening and are used to slow talking with heavy enunciation. I think you will do really well on this platform. Please reach out to me should you wish more details. 

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Hi @Madhu-Nag-Shety Accent do play an important role but Indian accent is accepted and promoted largely on Udemy and there's a great scope for indians to Reach international audience. 

So i think you should go ahead and set an example. 

All the best 🥳!

KS

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Thank you dear @Karansetia 

Feels good to hear words of encouragement 

 

Be Happy !

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@Karansetia wrote:

...Indian accent is accepted and promoted largely on Udemy...


Just curious:  What's the source or basis for that affirmation?

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Hi, 

I have been going through the same and I have noticed that Indian/Pakistani students never face any issue in understanding my voice. But other students do.

In some research on the problem, I have reached the conclusion that problem is not with the accent, but the clarity of the speech. So, I am working on speaking more slowly and clearly. 

Please share your thoughts. 

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Thank you for sharing your first-hand experience dear, @IrfanSharif 

@RandyMinder suggested the same

I couldn't agree with both of you more

 

Anonymous
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If I enrolled in a course and could not understand the instructor, or had to expend an inordinate amount of effort to understand him/her, I would ask for a refund. It's not about having a British or American accent, it's about NOT having an accent so thick that someone who isn't Indian can't understand what you are saying. If it's a concern, hire someone to do voiceover for you.

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Hiring someone to do voice over is a great idea. Thank you dear @Anonymous

Thinking about its effect on old students who would take my courses on Udemy in the future and also establishing personal connection with new students

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Hi,

Just curious, how much does subtitles help? I mean, even if you're struggling to the extent that you need to turn off the audio, but the subtitles ( auto-generated or self-made) are in good sync, would you (or in general, someone) still ask for a refund?

 

Thanks

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I have found that Udemy generated captions are pretty bad. For someone with a thick Indian accent, the generated captions would probably have to be written from scratch. And, if the captions don't contain properly constructed english, or very close, that would probably be as annoying as poor spoken english.

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Thanks @RandyMinder.

 

So I can conclude that if the subtitles are written from scratch and are with proper grammar, we should be good to go?

 

This is important for ppl like us, with a thick accent since we can't change our accent overnight and/or if we try to change, a fake accent is something which not everyone can pull off successfully. So the best we can do is have proper subtitles.

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No, I didn't say that. Some people might find captions ok, some will not. Not everyone likes captions. I personally do not. I find it distracting to listen to the instructor and have to read captions to understand what the instructor is saying.  

 

Granted, I could mute the instructor but you have to remember that your students will be paying you money for your course. They should not have to mute the instructor and read captions. They expect the instructor to be able to communicate clearly and effectively. If you cannot do that then you could hire a native english speaking person to do your voice-overs. I'm not sure this will be financially viable, but it is an option. 

 

I would make creating captions a last option. Not only will you need to find someone fluent in english to create them but it will be very time consuming and will need to change every time you make a change in your course.

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The issue really isn't whether anyone has an accent. We all do to someone from another country, or even people within the same country.  The issue is whether someone will be able to understand you. 

 

If I purchase a course and I have a hard time understanding the instructor or I'm spending too much time focusing on the actual words coming out of the instructor's mouth, I will get a refund. Your (non-Indian) students will do the same thing.

 

I will admit I have a very difficult time understanding most Indian instructors. Not only does their accent tend to be very thick, but they often talk fast, which makes it even worse. You said your accent is thick. If so, you really need to focus on speaking SLOWLY. Otherwise you will find that many of your students will ask for refunds, or leave you with a bad rating.

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Thank you dear @RandyMinder 

Speaking slowly is something that I can defnitely adopt

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Even I have a thick accent, but I plan to correct the auto-generated subtitles to the best possible, at least for the core videos. Do you think that would help @RandyMinder ?

 

Thanks

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@TeeterTats972 

 

That's hard for me to say. If the captions you generate do not contain proper english, with proper grammer etc., that, for me, would be just as annoying as the thick accent.

 

I would certainly suggest you have someone who speaks and writes fluent english to create, or at least review, the captions you create.

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Hi @RandyMinder & @Madhu-Nag-Shety 

Greetings.

 

over the period I have figured about Indian Accent and captions that, if we record while keeping our pace a bit slow and clear.. the captions go 90% or more correct. However, this will require good amount of effort while doing the first recording and for the rest of the time, the pain is gone. 
I published my first post on 20 June 2020 and by now I am having almost 26 subscribers to My course, out of which 2 are foreign nationals and the reviews that I have received from both of them is 4.5 or 5 star rating. I didn't get any negative comment regarding my accent, even though it was a bit faster. 
I am right now working on my captions too. But, the recording being in faster pace, the captions are totally wrong and I am working a lot to make the necessary corrections. Obviously I am going to take care of these mistakes in my next courses where I'll be able to save ample amount of time. 

@Madhu-Nag-Shety  you please focus more attention while doing the initial recordings and captions will come better. Clear and slow speed of speaking will make you more understand le too. 

I hope this helps. All the best. 

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Many thanks, dear @Piyush 

It's very helpful indeed

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Hi I am a indian to and am leaving in USA, but I have really few problems with other people understanding my accent so I think you are good

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Hi, In my opinion, words contribute to the least, compared to your body language and the liveliness, you bring to your lectures ! It is the 'feel' that the audience get from your lectures, which brings about an 'understanding' in them and not just giving information. My first course is on communicating effectively, and you may want to have a look, if you wish! Thank You.

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I could not disagree with you more on this. As a student myself, and from many comments I've read about this, if I cannot understand the instructor, or spend too much time focusing on what he is saying, I'll get a refund or leave an appropriate review. It doesn't matter if the instructor is "lively" or not. Understanding him/her is everything. 

 

Body language is irrelevent if you cannot understand the instructor. And, besides, many courses never show the instructor as he/she is teaching, which I prefer anyway. For most courses, I don't want to see the instructor as I find that distracting. But it depends upon the course.

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