Translation Volunteers Make an Impact on Online Education

When Amara was founded in 2010, its intent was to provide free professional translation services in the form of subtitles to online videos in order to “break down political, social, and cultural barriers” around the world.  Since then, their translation volunteers have added subtitles to over 200,000 videos in 100 different languages.  Their success has allowed them to make more information available to more people.  They even donated their services to the famous KONY video, which hit the world by storm this year.  Now though, they are setting their sights on education, so that their subtitles can improve learning worldwide.

Amara Partners with Coursera and Khan Academy

In an effort to make online learning more accessible, organizations like Coursera and Khan Academy produce hundreds of thousands of educational videos and post them online for anyone to view.  Of course, with those videos being produced in English, they can’t reach a large part of global audiences.  Amara intends to solve this problem, by offering their free translation services and subtitling to those companies.  They have started the process of translating their videos, so you can already find some lectures in ten languages with more coming soon.

Amara Still Benefits by Offering Free Services

Although all of their translators are volunteers, Amara is by no means going broke.  With every video partner they make, they get shares in a booming industry.  In April alone, 181 million Americans viewed 37 billion videos online.  By adding their subtitles, they have a stake in the growth and profits of the companies creating those videos.  Their collaborations include PBS, TED, Netflix, and more, giants in the field of online video access and viewership.

Your YouTube Channel isn’t a Priority

Don’t get too excited about all those translator services though.  Amara won’t be hitting personal or commercial YouTube channels anytime soon, or likely ever for that matter.  They tend to stick with corporate video companies or globally-viewed educational programs meant to increase information access and awareness.  Luckily, with the interpretation industry hitting $33.5 billion dollars this year (an increase of $26 billion since 2009), there are plenty of translation companies out there willing to help you out.  Even though those services will most certainly not be free, for every language you add, your viewership and potential for money-making should increase tenfold.  Just make sure the message you’re conveying is one worth translating.

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