Indian language subtitles for TED talks related to science, freethought and humanism
This initiative takes off from the suggestions first mentioned in this earlier thread about making freethought resources available in Indian languages.

For starters, as a practice-piece, I participated in the subtitling Sam Harris' 2010 TED talk 'Science can answer moral questions'*. The subtitles are now online and you can view them by visiting the talk link and choosing 'Hindi' from the subtitle drop-down beneath the video. I am recording below for future reference useful notes and tips for transcribing TED talks in Indian languages and will update them based on feedback and upcoming ideas. Please have a look and reply with your subtitling recommendations and other suggestions for evolving 'best practices' in this activity.

- Register with TED
- Sign in to Amara using TED sign-in at
- Read all links on the left panel of TED's translation page:

Talk selection and preparation:
- For starters, consider choosing a short-duration talk (<10 minutes)
- Ensure that the talk is available for translation here: (You can use the 'Filter and sort' Search options to readily search.)
- Often, it helps to listen to the talk more than once before placing a request to translate.
- Ensure that you can make time to complete the translation within 30 days.

- Visit the talk's page on TED and open the 'Interactive transcript' tab to the bottom-right.
- Translate the transcript as you would a flowing prose tract and preserve a copy of your translated transcript.
- The following tools are recommended (examples here for Hindi, but can readily be generalized)
Google Indic for generating the text in the required script:
Dictionaries for verification and reference , (Use sparingly, so that translation doesn't seem too forced)
- Keep in mind that the translation must be sufficiently close to the original (rather than a free paraphrase of the 'sense' of the speaker), because individual phrases will be 'time-locked' to the video via the Interactive Transcript.

Upload and review:
- Upload the translation 'piecewise' in the Amara interface. Preserve a full text copy of your translation.
- After you mark the translation complete, the review will be become available for self-assignment by volunteer reviewers. Communicate with the reviewer via TED's collaboration interface to come up with a consensus draft.

(You can network with prospective reviewers using TED's translator pages. Here's an example for Tamil: . Translators for some languages have their own Facebook groups. Under the earlier dotSUB implementation, it was possible to pre-assign our chosen reviewers on request, but that option seems unavailable now.)

*The choice of this talk for translation does not imply an endorsement of the talk's contents in totality. This earlier thread points to some criticisms of the talk.

NOTE: Edited on 20121015 to updated guidelines above to reflect TED's transition from dotSUB to Amara
[+] 4 users Like arvindiyer's post
Have you used (or, know some one who does) mencoder[1] for adding sub-titles ? I have it working for English language. But, with Indian languages, it does not work as the text is not visible at all !

[1] -

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