Indian language subtitles for TED talks related to science, freethought and humanism
#1
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 http://www.ted.com/talks/sam_harris_science_can_show_what_s_right.html 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.

Preliminaries:
- Register with TED http://www.ted.com/users/new
- Sign in to Amara using TED sign-in at http://www.universalsubtitles.org
- Read all links on the left panel of TED's translation page: http://www.ted.com/OpenTranslationProject

Talk selection and preparation:
- For starters, consider choosing a short-duration talk (<10 minutes)
- Ensure that the talk is available for translation here: http://www.universalsubtitles.org/en/teams/ted/tasks/ (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.

Translation:
- 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: http://www.google.com/transliterate
Dictionaries for verification and reference http://www.shabdkosh.com/ , http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/platts/ (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: http://www.ted.com/translate/translators/lang/ta . 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
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#2
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] - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MEncoder
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