Voiceover Or Subtitles For E-learning - Choosing The Best Option

Gain an insight into the differences, pros and cons of voice overs and subtitles used to boost the effectiveness of e-learning programmes. 


Every business knows that e-learning is a great idea, and for the most effective programme, any e-learning courses have to work for as many different people as possible. One size definitely doesn’t fit all with e-learning, and if you want training and communication to be received well by potential candidates, new employees and staff across the company worldwide, you have to deliver the information in multiple languages and with additional layers of clarity. 


Nearly 10% of the UK population does not use English as their main language, and a high percentage of people in London and the West Midlands say that they cannot speak English well, or at all. 


Voiceovers and subtitles are an ideal way to ensure your e-learning is able to work for multiple target audiences within the company, regardless of their native language. Both options enable learners to gain a clearer understanding of the content, translating the learning you have offered to meet their needs and expectations. 


Should You Use VoiceOver Or Subtitles In E-Learning?


If you have chosen to boost the reach of your e-learning content you may well feel torn between voice overs or subtitles. Which is more effective? The fact is, there is no easy answer. It all depends on what you want to deliver to your learners. In some instances, you might even want to use both. To help you make a decision, lets take a closer look at the differences between the two:


Voiceovers And Subtitles: What’s The Difference?


Audio adds a lot to any e-learning platform whether that is with a friendly explainer narration, atmospheric music, or useful sound effects. 

With the addition of subtitles and voiceovers learners can benefit from the sound content, regardless of the language they speak. With subtitles the content is translated and written as text at the bottom of the screen. Viewers are able to hear the original audio, but they can see the translation too, which enables a deeper understanding of what is being said. 

With voice-overs, professional voice actors from a voice-over service speak over the top of the original video, translating the audio directly to the learner. 


Are Voiceovers Or Subtitles Right For Your Company? 


When it comes to choosing between voice over or subtitling on an e-learning programme, many companies feel that voiceovers are the top choice. This is because you have more control over the localisation of the language, the intonation, and in keeping the overall tone of the video the same even if the original audio isn’t being used. There is also less visual disruption to the overall video because only the audio is seamlessly adjusted to meet the needs of the viewer. 


With subtitling, some information can get lost because it is only a text version of what is being said. You may also find learners who aren’t fast readers, or who may fall on the spectrum of the 8 million adults in the UK who are illiterate to some degree, struggle to keep up with what is being said. 


Many companies choose to use voice overs, with an additional subtitling option too, which then gives the maximum ability for learners to fully understand the content. 


When considering which option to use, consider your budget and your target learners. Subtitles can be the cheaper choice, but the effectiveness of subtitles and their ability to fully put across the training content is unlikely to match that of a voiceover provided by a voice over service. 

The best thing to do is contact a professional voiceover agency and seek their advice. They can likely show you similar projects to yours, and how the two options will appear and work within all branches of your global enterprise. 


With the best professional voice-over service, and high-quality subtitling, your e-learning is going to be more impactful, effective and well-received company-wide.

Published by Christina

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