Narrate in other languages

Hello - Although this isn't necessarily related to Articulate,  it IS related to course development and I'm hoping some of you have some insight on this...  How many of you create courses in other languages besides English?  We are a global organization and offer a global certification. The entire online program is made up of asynchronous courses, all in English.  We are trying to decide if we should create a European version and use British English - but that would also mean going into the courses and changing things, for instance, from "organization" to "organisation" and also having it re-narrated by a British-speaking narrator.    Do any of you offer/create online courses for a global audience, and if so, do you narrate in other languages? Thanks in advance for any insight!!

4 Replies
Allison LaMotte

Hi Sheri,

Great question! In the past I've localized courses for clients but generally it was into other languages, not into another dialect of the same language.

I think depending on the topic and the number of people who need to be trained in it, you could certainly make a case for it being worth it. If you're training a large number of people in the UK on how to negotiate a sale with a client, for example, they may more easily identify with a scenario in which the person is speaking with a British accent and who is using a more British vocabulary.

However, I would caution against thinking that just changing the Z's to S's is enough. British people don't write and speak in the same way that Americans do, for example. So if you just change the spelling and hire a British voiceover professional to record a script written by an American, I think you'll likely miss the mark.

If you think it's worth it to do a localized version, I would recommend having a British person adapt the entire script to make it sound more local.

Joanne Chen

Hi Sheri, 

As an non-English native speaker, Other than English, I create courses in Chinese mostly and have a lot of experiences of localizing to other languages (Japanese, Korean, French, Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese). As an e-learning consultant, British English speakers won't have any problem taking American English training course. From a training effect it might be worth more to localize courses into other languages if you have great amount non English native speaker clients especially you offer a global certification.

Bruce Graham

"British English" and "American English" are 2 different languages :)

I had to "translate" from one to another a few years ago, and about to embark on similar work again at my new UK employee.

I've translated into virtually every language under the sun. Remember that it's not just the "words", but you may need to consider right-to-left/left-to-right Notes and on-screen, words/sentences on screen changing length which blows all your lovely design, understanding what is acceptable in different cultures from a visual/graphic perspective, (that one can be fun!), and so on. If all your "people" visuals are white/middle-class for example, it may need to be changed etc., A lot of "US" imagery is seen as laughable over here :)

Have fun!

Reuben Chelliah

Hi Sheri,

My name is Reuben and I work for a dynamic e-learning company called ansrsource.

ansrsource has a number of IDs and authors who have created courses/textbooks for global audiences. So, we should be able to support you with course creation for a global audience.

We would be happy to give you a presentation on this and help you understand the processes we follow, too.

Feel free to write to me at if you have any queries.

Thank you,