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The joy and agony of translating song lyrics

The joy and agony of translating song lyrics

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By Kate Torgovnick May and Krystian Aparta Music is the universal language. So why, then, do so many songs get translated? Sometimes, bands adapt their lyrics into English to reach international audiences—which explains why so few of us can sing ABBA in the band members’ native Swedish. Other times, songs are adapted into local languages []

Funny in 33 languages: The art of translating Maysoon Zayid’s hilarious TED Talk

Funny in 33 languages: The art of translating Maysoon Zayid’s hilarious TED Talk

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What’s funny in one language isn’t necessarily funny in another. Maysoon Zayid’s “I got 99 problems … palsy is just one” presented many challenges for TED translators bringing the hilarious talk into their language. As she tells stories from her life as a Palestinian-American comedian with cerebral palsy, Zayid cracks with wordplay. For translators, it’s []

What’s the funniest talk? The one you learned the most from? Translators answer for OTP’s 5th birthday

What’s the funniest talk? The one you learned the most from? Translators answer for OTP’s 5th birthday

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Happy birthday, Open Translation Project! Our global initiative to bring TED Talks beyond the English-speaking world turned five this week. To celebrate, OTP asked its global network of volunteers—who, by the way, have translated nearly 57,000 talks at this point—to answer a few questions via Twitter. Below, see who they are and why they translate, as []

How translating TED Talks helped me recover from a serious illness

How translating TED Talks helped me recover from a serious illness

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Today, our Open Translation Project celebrates its 5th anniversary. This global volunteer effort brings together people who speak 104 languages with a shared mission—spreading ideas—and changes lives in the process. We asked one translator to tell her story. By Ai Tokimatsu The illness hit me on a beautiful summer weekend. I woke up early and did an hour []

English speakers: OTP needs you too!

English speakers: OTP needs you too!

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The word ‘translate’ means to bring words from one language to another. So you might think that the Open Translation Project — TED’s globe-spanning initiative to bring the ideas from talks beyond the English-speaking world — would only need volunteers who speak multiple languages. But being bilingual is not a necessity. The OTP needs single-language []

Now on Android: Get the TED app, localized in 20 languages

Now on Android: Get the TED app, localized in 20 languages

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The TED Android app has long let you watch more than 1,500 TED Talks, with subtitles in 102* languages. But with the launch of version 2.0 today, our award-winning app is now localized in 20 languages — from Spanish to Swedish, Chinese to Czech, Arabic to Korean. This means that fans in more than 100 []