What's the best way to make a bilingual course? (English + Arabic)

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What's the best way to make a bilingual course? (English + Arabic)

I know, I know. My first course attempt should be less difficult to achieve. Using two languages significantly decreases my target audience. But hear me out.


First of all: Hi! My name is Betule (Buh-tool) and I've been told that I'm good at explaining things though text. I might not be so great on camera, but that's a risk I'm going to take. One way to find out, right?


I'm bilingual, from Saudi Arabia. My background is in medicine and research.


I want to create a course that teaches people how to look at medical research, evaluate the strength of studies, and come to an appropriate conclusion independently of the paper's original researchers.


This includes:

  • explaining the difference between observational studies, experimental studies, and systematic reviews.
  • explaining why experimental studies can suggest causation while observational studies generally can't.
  • telling the story of the medical research industry: how it began with independent researchers following their passions and how it reached our current financially-driven state.

I hope it's going to fun. I'm going to add little anecdotes where they fit, like Andrew Wakefield's story.


This course is aimed at people who are completely ignorant of research methodology and just put their faith in the research industry -- exactly like I was before pursuing my master's degree.




As for the target audience:

I guess my main goal is to get the most out of this experience. Improving my teaching skills, making money, getting a reputation/adding to my CV. I'm not sure which language is the best way to get the best results.


English: to reach the entire world

If I explained it fully in English, I don't think I'd reach Saudi people at all. When operating entirely in English, it's hard for me to judge if my language is comprehensible to ESL speakers. I can get very boring very quickly as I try to avoid idioms, references, jokes that I know native Arabs won't understand. But I also want to be entertaining to first-world English speakers, and that won't work if I water everything down.


So, English for the entire world is ruled out. I suppose I could break English into two parts:

- English for native speakers and other fluent speakers who grew up online and have identity crises

- English for people who learned it for their career but do not enjoy consuming American media


Arabic: to reach a large or small portion of the Middle East

It is customary in Saudi colleges and universities to present the course material in English but to explain it verbally in Arabic*. In this case, course material is written in simple English. The verbal explanations, however, can vary:

- Using extremely clear Arabic

- Using my regional accent


Using my regional accent (Hijazi) would be less comprehensible but a lot more fun, maybe just because it reminds me of college where most of the professors were Egyptian. They used their regional accents! But they are better understood because Egyptian TV and music are popular. Hijazi TV and music barely exists, even for us.


No matter what approach I end up going with, I am definitely not writing course material in Arabic (yet). I'll have to get paid up front to do that 😂.


So with the written material in English, I have 4 different options for the verbal/video material, but I think it's more like a spectrum: 

Screen Shot 2021-08-06 at 11.05.06 AM.png


I think I should go with simplified English or more general Arabic. What do you think?


And after all that, what do I categorize the course as?! @ Udemy, can we see a way to mark courses as bilingual? I know there's a market for it.



*This applies to medical colleges, probably architectural as well. Definitely not law.

6 Replies

Dear @BetuleSairafi ,



Since technically there is no easy way to mark the course as bilingual, you could create two separate courses - one in English and one in Arabic. 


And since it is essentially the same course, you could re-use most of the materials.  For example, you could start by recording videos in English.  Then, after they are ready, you could use the same videos, but do a voice-over in Arabic.  That way, creating the second course will take much less time than the first course.


Best of luck!

With kind regards,


HI @Vlad_B , jumping in there as a newbie starting fresh today 😀 


How to download/grab existing courses available here @Udemy in order to , as you suggest,  do a voice-over and then publish it in the new language? 


There are so many popular courses here I'd love to translate in French ; can you help me to fulfill my 《mission》 please


Best regards and thanks in advance for your precious help 


Have a great day 


Hi Emmanuel,


The thread above was not about downloading existing courses from other instructors, and then translating them to another language. It was about the same instructor creating a course in one language, and then doing the voice-other in another language.


If you want to do a voice-over for a course created by another instructor, you must (not should, must) have an agreement with that instructor about the voice-over.  The Udemy itself does not provide a way to do such thing. But a direct contact with the instructor might be possible.


Please note that doing a voice-over for a course created by another instructor might be very, very time-consuming.  The case above - when a voice-over is created by the same instructor who created the English version - is something different, because that instructor already knows the material.


And on top of the issue above, if the video contains a lot of English text, the course is not a good fit for a voice-over. Simply because there is a lot of English text - the people who know only French, but do not know English, will miss that text entirely.  Again - if the original course was created by the same instructor who plans to translate it later, then he/she can avoid including text in video, making it more "translatable". But usually that's not the case with most courses.


Finally, you should check whether the French courses already exist on the topic you plan to teach. The competition on Udemy is very, very strong. Many popular topics already have great courses in most languages, and it is very hard to compete with them.


To sum up, I would not recommend to start a Udemy journey with a voice-over course. Certainly it is only my opinion, but I would advise to create your own course first, with a proper quality, and then see how it all goes.


Good luck!


With kind regards,


ربما ا نه لو شرحت باللغة الخاصه بك ووضعت ترجمه في الاسفل كذلك افضل 


Hi @Vlad_B ! Extra! What a great extensive reply! Thanks a lot; your reply completely changed my point of view 


Have a great day 

Best regards 


Hi @Vlad_B 

You write:

《 The thread above was not about downloading existing courses from other instructors, and then translating them to another language


Right,  sure, sorry,  couldn't find relevant past discussion hence i used that thread to put my question here. 

Big thanks anyway, 

And for the French readers: 

C.f.discussion en FRANÇAIS ici 



Best regards 


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