Celebrating 1 year of the Open Translation Project

Posted by: Emily McManus


Today, TED’s Open Translation Project marks one full year of making TEDTalks video available to non-English speakers around the world. As of today, more than 4,000 volunteer translators have completed 7,000 translations, with another 2,000 in progress — subtitling TEDTalks in languages as diverse as Arabic, Bulgarian, Mongolian, Tagalog, Uzbek and more than 70 others.

Using an innovative set of web-based translation tools and a crowdsourced workflow, the Open Translation Project has opened TED’s library of almost 700 TEDTalks to the planet’s 4.5 billion non-English speakers.

“TED’s mission is to spread ideas, and it’s hard to imagine a more effective way of doing that than translating the talks into all the world’s languages,” said June Cohen, Executive Producer of TED Media. “With the help of our extraordinary volunteer translators, this project has allowed us to create a truly global dialogue.”

“I translate for the hundreds of millions of Arabic language speakers,” said Anwar Dafa-Alla, a volunteer translator from Sudan who just this week completed his 300th translation of TEDTalks. “I translate because it’s a way to promote mutual respect between different cultures, people and religions. Participating in TED’s translation project is a good way to show how compassionate we are toward each other.”

Read in-depth Q&As from some of TED’s volunteer translators on the TED Blog >>

Read the press release >>

Learn more about TED’s Open Translation Project >>

Comments (3)

  • Krystian Aparta commented on May 14 2010

    I love that TED recognizes that this project can serve as inspiration for making other web-based projects multilingually available. On a different note: I think that there is also a very important part of the project, i.e. the review. While collaborating on and discussing a review, I and the translator or reviewer can create something that is better than the original. I really like this aspect of the OTP, and I believe the reviewers’ contribution should be appreciated as much as the translators’ :)

  • Tharique Azeez commented on May 13 2010

    I am glad that I could able to contribute this project with my Tamil translation. TED was my all time favourite site. I always try to spread the ideas that shared in the TED and I always ask potential people to join the translation project to make knowledge available to all people. They also love to share their skill with the world. I believe in that, “Sharing is caring”. Thank you TED for giving me the chance to spread the ideas in my language. I am passionate about translate many talks on coming days. Thank you again.

  • Steve Nelson commented on May 13 2010

    Thanks and congratulations. I’d love to have an API to the transcript text and metadata. I can imagine some great apps that would come out of that.