Adapting Audio of the Course Filmed in a Non-English Language for the English Audience - Best Practices?

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Adapting Audio of the Course Filmed in a Non-English Language for the English Audience - Best Practices?

Hello everyone,


My Objective:

To post the first course of my colleague on Udemy in English, by converting one from a number of courses already produced in Russian.


My Current Situation: 

1) I speak English but my colleague does not. - I can translate all of the course content into English and voice it over myself OR hire a professional for that.

1)  Good video/audio quality of the courses in Russian. Mostly her talking.

2) Not a lot of Russian content (tables, graphs) "built-in" the video.

3) Her delivery style in the video is quite emotional.


My question:

How to add the English to the course to not lose the feel of it? What worked best for you on Udemy as far as JUST the audio replacement?


P.S. I am thinking of these two options, listing them as they appeal to me:

1) Do a voice-over of her keeping some Russian sound in the background. No lip-sync. It would sound more natural BUT maybe distracting (?), and emotions would be somewhat lost. (I could also hire voice-over professionals to do adaptation faster in the future).

2) Do a complete dubbing. - A lot more expensive! - Students will get better quality not even knowing my colleague does not speak English.


What are your recommendations? Thanks in advance!

9 Replies

Curious, if I posted to the wrong place or otherwise? - No comments.

Dear moderators, can you advise how/where to get help on my question?


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Hello @AlexKras  Please take my comments in the context of someone not yet published.


My first reaction to your post is, regardless of language, "Who is your target audience?" Are they expecting a polished delivery or more interested in content?


What do you mean by "Russian sound in the background"? I would think that would be very distracting. I often wear hearing aids and they are absolutely useless when more than one conversation is going on at a time. To try to understand her course content with not only two voices but two languages (regardless of which is louder), would cause me a far greater challenge than one speaker. I'd even prefer English captions below her Russian audio over her talking in the background behind your English.


I understand you want to do it right the first and not waste any effort. But why not make a test video each way and have the Udemy experts give you feedback. I've always appeciated and been able to use their analysis.

Thank you, @Anonymous - Hearing aids... I would have never thought of this. Yes, I think you are right. We will try to produce short pieces of lessons in all possible options and see what the feedback we can get. 

Thank you again.

Not applicable

I thought of you @AlexKras as I watched a televised news interview of a non-English speaker. The first two or three seconds were the speaker talking in her own language. Then the male translator's voice took over while the camera remained on the speaker, but with her voice muted. (There was no attempt at lip-sync.) The clip ended with the translator done with his translation but faded in her speaking her final words in her language.

@Anonymous , you know, I even learned by now that they call this "the UN-style voice-over" method. Just as you described it.

The name seems self-explanatory: suited well for news, interviews, possibly for lessons as well (?). And yes, they mute the speaker fully except for the beginning phrases.

Hi Alex,



To convey the emotions carefully, I would suggest to pay extra attention to picking up proper words during the translation.  Whenever you sense your colleague using any emotional word, take an extra time to make a choice from a variety of translation options.  I believe that will help you convey the feel and spirit.


I'm not sure about the Russian sound in the background.  Imagine that you are a student, hearing a Chinese teacher with a English voice-over.  Would you prefer to hear the Chinese voice in the background, or not?  I would prefer to mute it.  

On the other hand, the idea to keep the initial/final phrases ("the UN-style voice-over" method you mention) will give students a very clear message that it is a translation.  So they don't get surprised  that the lips are not synced and/or the voice is male, not female.


Good luck!!  


p.s. your question is quite difficult, I believe that's why you are getting a low number of responses.


With kind regards,

Vlad Burmistrov.



@Vlad_B , thank you for your opinion.

Yes, sounds like a good clear translation with no lip-sync is better than a sense of original sound in the background. 

Much appreciation again.

Hi @AlexKras,


Very curious about the course. Can you share the course name, if you can?


Should you need any help, please do not hesitate to ask. 


Thank you!


With kind regards,


Hey @Vlad_B ,

Sure. The course (courses) are on CBT psychotherapy and related subjects. Lots of specific terms, though internationally shared.

At this time, my colleague picks the theme to start with. 

Thank you for the offer to help.

(My area of business and instructor's interests is closer to yours. I am an online marketing and sales guy. So SQL and Data Science is more familiar than Gestalt Therapy :).

Have a good day,


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