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TED Talks Guide

Hi Tabta Almeida,

Congratulations! You are now a member of the TED team.

Welcome to the TED Translator program!

Here are two easy steps to get started:

Step 1: Watch here to quickly learn subtitling essentials:

Step 2: Connect with your Language Coordinators (experienced volunteers who can help you):

And find your language community on social media:

Remember: DO NOT take a review assignment until you've subtitled 90 minutes of talks.

Thanks for volunteering!

The TED Translators Team

---

----------------

Bem-vindo(a) ao grupo de tradutores voluntários brasileiros do TED Translators!

Para começar, assista a esta lista de vídeos: http://tinyurl.com/TEDTranslatorsLearningSeries e aprenda o básico sobre legendagem. Para procurar uma tarefa para tradução, esta página: http://tinyurl.com/TranslatePT-BR lista todas as tarefas disponíveis para português brasileiro. Você também pode começar com tarefas de transcrição: http://tinyurl.com/TranscribePT-BR(colocar a legenda no mesmo idioma que está sendo falado).

O projeto prevê que antes de assumir uma tarefa de revisão, você deve ter pelo menos 90 minutos de

tradução ou transcrição já publicados! É importante que seus trabalhos de tradução/transcrição sejam

avaliados por um revisor experiente para que você receba o feedback e, só então, passe a revisar o trabalho de seus colegas.

Para encontrar outros tradutores e organizadores TEDx, tirar dúvidas e conhecer melhor a comunidade, entre no nosso grupo do Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TEDTranslatorsBR/. Sempre que tiver qualquer dúvida, não hesite em usar o grupo ou entrar em contato com algum dos coordenadores brasileiros.

Finalmente, deixamos algumas ferramentas úteis:

* Linguee (banco de dados de traduções já publicadas): http://www.linguee.com

Traduzir legendas é uma arte e aprendemos uns com os outros e com tentativas e erros. Portanto, mãos à obra e boa sorte! :-)

A equipe de coordenadores brasileiros do TED Translators:

Para contactar todos os LCs: tedtranslatorsbr@googlegroups.com

Check out the team dashboard

Happy subtitling!

For more go to:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nua96nvklF4&list=PLuvL0OYxuPwxQbdq4W7TCQ7TBnW39cDRC

TED talks Workflow

Subtitles go through the following steps before publication:

Subtitles go through the following steps before publication: 1. Transcription TED provides an original transcript.

1. Transcription

TED provides an original transcript. (TEDxTalks are the exception these are delivered in many languages and are transcribed from audio by volunteers.)

2. Translation

Subtitles are translated from the original language into the target language, using a simple online interface.

3. Review

Subtitles are reviewed by an experienced volunteer (someone who has subtitled 90 minutes of talk content).

4. Approval

Before publication, reviewed translations are approved by a TED Language Coordinator or staff member.

Crediting

TED places tremendous priority on crediting volunteers for their contributions. Volunteers with published subtitles will have:

Their profile appear in our translator directory

A special TED profile page, listing their published work

Their name credited in TED’s video player when TED Talk subtitles are active

Requirements

Language and subtitling skills:

Volunteer translators should be fluently bilingual in both source and target languages.

Volunteer transcribers should be fluent in the transcription language.

Volunteer translators and transcribers should be knowledgeable of subtitling best practices.

Assignments:

New volunteers should work on one assignment at a time.

Assignments should be completed within 30 days.

Before attempting to review, volunteers must subtitle 90 minutes of talk content.

TED Translators use a free online subtitling tool called Amara to subtitle talks and collaborate with other volunteers.

Subtitling

Subtitling is a unique skill set: volunteers must accurately convey meaning, despite time and space constraints.

To ensure viewers can read your subtitles with ease, stick to these guidelines:

When a subtitle is longer than 42 characters, break it into two lines.

Never use more than two lines per subtitle.

Keep broken lines as close in length as possible.

Keep 'linguistic wholes' together when breaking lines.

Keep the subtitle reading speed at a maximum of 21 characters / second.

Compress subtitles over 21 characters / second. Try to preserve as much meaning as possible.

The following guides elaborate on the rules and techniques mentioned above:

TED style

Informal over formal Where appropriate, choose informal, colloquial terms over formal or academic ones.

Modern over traditional Choose modern terms and phrases over traditional ones. Translators should be well-versed in the topics covered.

Personal over generic Strive to match the tone and flow of the speaker's original talk. Rather than produce a word-for-word translation, aim to find the color, energy and "poetry" in the speaker's organic style and try to emulate it.

Global over regional Choose words and phrases that are most universally understood among all dialects.

Idioms Instead of a word-for-word translation, try finding a similar expression in the target language. If no equivalent exists, opt for the translation that readers will find least confusing, even if it is less colorful than the original.

TED TED is always written as "TED" and should not be translated.

Titles of works For books, movies, magazines and poems, check if the work has an official translation in your language; if not, don't translate the title.

Proper nouns If the target language uses a non-Latin alphabet, transliterate people’s names. For places, use the name that is most common in your language. Otherwise, transliterate.

Punctuation Use the target language's native punctuation.

Character sets Use standard unicode characters and avoid those that are platform-specific. While working offline, make sure to save the subtitles as a Unicode UTF-8 file to preserve the encoding of non-English characters.

Units of measurement You may convert units of measurement to make them more understandable to viewers in your language. We recommend the Google unit conversion tool.

How to break lines

One subtitle can be composed of one or two lines. In languages based on the Latin script, the subtitle must be broken into two lines if it's longer than 42 characters (because a longer line is more difficult to read than a subtitle composed of two lines, and some offline players may not display longer lines correctly). "Line-breaking" refers to choosing the place where the line is broken, and also, where to end the whole subtitle. To make a line break in Amara, hit Shift+Enter. Note: The maximum number of lines per subtitle is 2.

Generally, each line should be broken only after a linguistic "whole" or "unit," no matter if it's the only line in the subtitle, or the first or second line in a longer subtitle. This means that sometimes it's necessary to rephrase the subtitle in order to make it possible to break

lines without breaking apart any linguistic units, e.g. splitting apart an adjective and the noun that it refers to. Other times, you may need to split a subtitle into two separate subtitles, if rephrasing doesn't help with fitting within 42 characters maximum per line.

Rules for what kind of linguistic unit can be broken vary by language, but the following general guidelines can inspire you to make better line-breaking choices in your subtitles.

Hint: When breaking a subtitle into two lines, don't leave a space at the end of the first line. It will be added to the number of characters and can bring the reading speed to over 21 characters/second, where the only edit necessary to bring it back down would be deleting that invisible space at the end of the first line.

How to break lines

Below, you will find strategies you can use when deciding where to break the subtile into two lines.

Keep the line length balanced

The possible maximum length of a subtitle depends on whether the reading speed is not over 21 characters per second. As long as the reading speed allows it, you can have up to two lines of up to 42 characters in your subtitle. If your maximum length is over 42 characters, you need to break the subtitle into two lines. Ideally, the lines in the two-line subtitle should be more or less balanced in length. So, you should break the line like this:

I adopted a dog, a cat,

three mice, and a goldfish.

and

you should not break the line like this:

I adopted a dog,

a cat, three mice, and a goldfish.

It may be difficult to achieve balance in length when trying not to break apart linguistic units. For example, these lines are broken in a way that preserves similar length, but breaks the linguistic unit of the adjective "Romance" modifying the noun "languages":

I can speak ten modern Romance

languages and read Latin pretty well.

In such cases, it is better to go with something less balanced, but preserve the linguistic unit:

I can speak ten modern Romance languages

and read Latin pretty well.

When using unbalanced lines to preserve linguistic units, make sure that one line is never less than 50% in length of the other. If a line is shorter than 50% of the other line, it can often distract the viewer more than reading a line where a linguistic unit is broken.

For example, the lines in this subtitle are not balanced for length (39/16 characters):

on Wikipedia.

An easy way of making the lines more similar in length would be to put the words "Tiptree, Jr." in the second line:

I learned more about James

Tiptree, Jr. on Wikipedia.

However, this would break apart the proper name "James Tiptree, Jr.," which should be avoided. Proper names are an example of a linguistic unit that should not be divided. In this case, we could consider breaking apart another linguistic unit:

I learned more about

James Tiptree, Jr. on Wikipedia.

Here, we broke apart the verb and the complement, but as a result, achieved more balanced lines. Some linguistic units, like proper names, are more inseparable than others, so if you need to go against non- breaking rules, it is better to break apart another unit and keep them unseparated.

Clean line breaks through compressing/rephrasing text

Sometimes it may be necessary to rephrase the line in order to make it possible not to break apart linguistic units. For example, instead of going with this subtitle:

I learned more about Jane

Elliott on Wikipedia.

you

may be able to rephrase it (depending on the context) to say:

I learned more about her on Wikipedia.

Then, I read the Wikipedia article.

I learned more about Jane Elliott.

I learned more about her.

This type of rephrasing can be referred to as "compressing" or reducing text. Depending on the context, it may be possible to omit some information, if previous subtitles or other sources (a slide, the viewer's general knowledge) are certain to fill the blanks anyway. This way, you can avoid breaking apart any linguistic units. You can learn more about compressing subtitles from this guide.

Clean line breaks through rephrasing

Of course, rephrasing is not only about making the subtitle so short that it can fit in one line (no longer than 42 characters). Sometimes, it's difficult or impossible to compress so much, but you can change the structure of the subtitle to make it easier to break cleanly. For example:

This is not necessarily good English, but the target language that you are translating into may allow this sort of phrasing. If possible, try to rephrase the subtitle to make it break cleanly without the need to sever any linguistic units.

Splitting subtitles when lines can't be broken properly

Sometimes, there is just no way to break the line without splitting a proper name or a grammatical unit, like separating an article from the noun it refers to. In these cases, you can often split the subtitle itself into two separate subtitles, which will allow you to break the line longer than 42 characters. To split a subtitle, shorten the subtitle's duration using the sliders on the timeline, and then insert a new subtitle in the resulting gap by clicking the "plus" button on the subtitle below it.

Important: after you've added a new subtitle while translating, the number of subtitles in your translation will increase, so there will no longer be a 1:1 correspondence between the position of the original subtitle and the translation box. To ensure that you don't start translating subtitles in the wrong boxes and thus de- synchronize the translation, unlock the subtitle scrolling using the "padlock" button at the bottom of the interface, and scroll your translation so that the the position of first untranslated subtitle corresponds to its equivalent in the original subtitles, and then re-lock the scrolling by clicking the "padlock" button again.

Simple rules-of-thumb for line-breaking

It is impossible to provide a list of rules to use with all the languages in the world. Line-breaking rules depend largely on the target language's grammar (and morphology) - on what kind of units are "wholes" in

a sentence. The list below contains some rules that can be used in English and several Western-European languages and can serve as an inspiration in searching for similar rules in your own language.

The articles (a, an, the) are never followed by a line break.

An adjective should stay together with what it is describing, but two or more adjectives can sometimes be separated with commas, and then it is possible (though not preferable) to break a line after one of the commas.

Clauses should stay together (never break lines after relative pronouns like which, that, who, etc.).

Prepositions are not followed by a line break if the break would separate them from the noun they refer to. Note that in English, a preposition in a concrete/physical meaning (e.g. "The book is in the drawer") always precedes a noun, and cannot be followed by a line break, but a preposition that is part of a phrasal verb (put up, figure out, take in) may sometimes not be followed by a noun ("I figured it out yesterday"), and so, it can be followed by a line break.

Proper names should stay together if at all possible (think of them as a single word with many parts).

For more line-breaking advice for English subtitles, see the English Style Guide.

Examples of correct line-breaks

The examples below show places in a sentence where lines can be broken. The ideal places to break are marked by the green slashes, while the orange slashes indicate places where it would be OK to break the line if breaking at the green slashes were not possible. Note that you don't normally break lines that do not exceed 42 characters; the examples below are simply used to show various grammatical contexts where a sentence can be broken, not to suggest that you should break subtitles into very short lines. Every language has different line-breaking rules, but the English examples below can inspire you to search for these rules in your language.

"This is a very long,/verbose piece/of prose/that no one knows/and no one/will remember."

Notes: Breaking lines at clause boundaries is usually a good strategy, and commas and conjunctions (like "and") often indicate clause boundaries. The first orange slash breaks up a clause but keeps together a noun+verb combination; "of" is a preposition and the line break should not follow it. The second orange line break separates a subject from the predicate. This is not ideal, but it's better than breaking the line after "will," since if possible, auxiliary verbs should not be separated from other verbs in grammatical constructions.

"Mary wants/to go/to the store,/but as far as I know,/all the stores/are closed/on Translation Day."

Notes: The green slashes are again placed at clause boundaries. The first orange slash is there to make sure that the word "to" is not separated from the infinitive, and the second is placed so as not to separate "to" from the noun phrase that the preposition refers to ("the store"). Remember that the orange slashes are various imperfect line-breaking options, and would never be used at the same time to create short lines; the point is, if you have to, you can break the clause after "wants" or after "to go." The third orange slash separates a subject from the predicate, but avoids separating the auxiliary verb ("are") from the participle ("closed"). In other words, line breaks should be placed in ways that don't split up complex grammatical constructions. The last orange slash splits off an adverbial, an expression that tells us something about a sentence or a verb, and thus, can often be put into the next line, as something "extra" that describes the sentence.

"I woke up,/jet-lagged,/at 4 in the morning,/in my new bed,/and right away I called/Annie Jayaraman,/to tell her/about my interview."

Notes: The example below contains some commas that are arguably redundant, but sometimes, you can "cheat" a little and add commas in places where part of the sentence can be considered a parenthesis, meaning a word or phrase that is interjected into a sentence to add some context or description, but could be left out without changing the "core" meaning of the sentence. For example, the word "jet-lagged" can be seen as an additional comment about the way the speaker awoke. You can easily break lines at the boundaries of such parentheses or interjections (usually set apart by commas), which is where the green slashes are placed. The orange slash after "called" indicates a line break that splits a verb from its complement or object, which should be used only if other breaks are not available. The second orange slash also separates a verb from its complement, but keeps intact the whole phrase that begins with the preposition "about."

How to end a subtitle

Generally, deciding what to put at the end of a subtitle is similar to selecting where to break a line. Below, you can learn about the most important differences between ending a subtitle and breaking a line.

Don't end the subtitle with a bit of the next sentence

If the subtitle contains the end of a sentence, try not to include the beginning of the next sentence, and instead, put that beginning into the following subtitle. Examples:

Two clauses from different sentences in one subtitle:

Incorrect:

which is how I solved this.

And what I also noticed

is that the blue light went on.

Correct:

which is how I solved this.

And what I also noticed

is that the blue light went on.

Small section of the next sentence in the second line:

Incorrect:

in her garage. When you work

on something big,

you need to accept failure.

Correct:

Somehow, this worked really well

in her garage.

When you work on something big,

you need to accept failure.

Synchronize subtitle breaks with the content of the video

When transcribing a talk, part of your job is to choose where one subtitle ends and another begins, and just like in line breaking, the end of a subtitle should not split a linguistic unit.

Note that this type of "line-breaking" does not always follow the pauses in the talk. Make sure that the way you end the subtitle doesn't reveal something that the viewer is not meant to know about yet. For example, imagine the speaker says "I tried the experiment one more time, not sure if it would work, and it did!," and you could make it one subtitle. However, if the speaker throws up their hands in joy when saying "and it did!," you should end the subtitle after "work," not to reveal the "success" too soon, even though the line length would allow you to keep the whole sentence in one subtitle. If you want to learn more about how to synchronize the subtitles with the talk, see the guide to transcribing talks.

How to Compress Subtitles

Read this article in other languages: Español

This guide discusses strategies for reducing or compressing text to tackle reading-speed issues. If you wish to find out about additional ways to deal with reading-speed issues, please watch this short tutorial.

Very often, although a very close (almost word-for-word) translation is possible in the target language, it would make the resulting subtitle too long for the viewers to read in the time that it is displayed on screen (with a reading speed of over 21 characters/second), or too long to fall within the rules for the max number of characters in a line (42) or the whole subtitle (84) (learn more about these technical style rules by watching this tutorial). In these cases, you need to "compress" (reduce) the text in the subtitle. Transcribing is a form of translation too, from the spoken to the written language, and compressing or reducing text will also sometimes be necessary while transcribing, to create a good subtitle. To compress a subtitle means either not to include any equivalent of a certain part of the original text at all (since that part is superfluous), or not include a direct equivalent but express the meaning in a different way (e.g. by referring to the context in the talk). Although the way a subtitle can be compressed largely depends on its context, there are several recurring patterns in subtitles that can be compressed across languages.

Note: Even though the maximum reading speed is 21 characters / second, if you predict the viewer would find the subtitle exceptionally difficult (proper names, poetic language), consider lowering the reading speed even more, by compressing the text and / or extending the duration of the subtitle.

Compressing, grammar, and the immediate and cultural context

The extent to which a subtitle can be compressed can often be defined by certain features of the subtitle language or the availability of immediate or cultural context.

Compressing and the subtitle language

Below, there are many examples of how a subtitle line can be compressed. These English examples are meant to indicate general strategies that can help you find a way to compress the subtitle in your language. Each language offers different means of expressing the same meaning in fewer words. This depends on the grammar, but also on the cultural context - sometimes one word, phrase or idiom can call up an idea that is expressed in many words in the original subtitle, because that idea is more recognizable in the culture that uses the target language of the translation. However, it may also be possible that the rules of a given target language will not make it possible to compress a subtitle line in one of the ways presented below (e.g. if the grammar of the target language requires more details to be specified explicitly than in the original subtitle, e.g. the gender of some of the things the speaker is referring to).

Compressing and context

The possible extent of compression also depends on the context - either the immediate linguistic context (what was said before in the talk, or sometimes, what will be said shortly after the current subtitle), or a broader visual, auditory and cultural context (what the viewer sees and hears in the video, and what the target audience will already know due to their shared background). For example, in English captions, "the Department of Motor Vehicles" can be compressed to "DMV" and the meaning would stay the same, but this compression would not be possible when translating into a language whose users are not normally familiar with this US agency. Similarly, "Just look at this green apple" can be compressed as "Just look at it" if it was preceded by the sentence "This is a beautiful green apple," since what the word "it" refers to would be pre-defined by the immediate context. In contrast, this type of compression would probably not be possible if by saying "Just look at this green apple," the speaker introduced the green apple into the talk for the first time (e.g. by switching through to a slide with a photograph of a green apple and commenting on it). However, the immediate context that follows may also make it possible to compress a subtitle. If the speaker said "Just look at this green apple" while showing a slide with a picture of the fruit, and immediately afterwards added "It's the juicy green apple that I woke up dreaming of," the first subtitle ("Just look at this green apple") could safely be compressed into "Just look at this" or "Look at this," since the immediate visual context (the slide) and the next line would explain what the word "this" referred to.

Compressing without changing the meaning

While compressing, you must be careful not to change the speaker's intended meaning. Remember that if there are no line-length or reading speed issues, compressing is not necessary. The purpose of compressing is not to "summarize" parts of the talk that the subtitler deems unnecessary or unimportant, but quite the opposite - to allow the viewer to get as much of the meaning of the original as possible, by creating a line that will be short enough to be read in the time that the subtitle appears on the screen. If a subtitle is too long for the time it is displayed, most viewers will not be able to finish reading it before it disappears, and in effect, a lot of the meaning will be lost on them. In such cases, when the subtitle is made shorter by getting rid of some of its non-essential parts, while preserving the message, the text will be brief enough for the audience to read and no part of it will "evaporate" due to the subtitle's disappearing too quickly. However, even if compressing is not necessary, you can decide to remove some non-essential language, to make the subtitle easier to read (introductory words and phrases like "now then," slips of the tongue, unintentional repetitions).

Exceptions - when not to compress

A lot of the words and expressions described below can be omitted or made shorter, but from time to time, their meaning will still need to be expressed in some way in the translation. This is usually necessary when an item that can usually be omitted is important in some way in the context, e.g. used to contrast with another similar item.

For example, the word "almost" can often be omitted from the subtitle. Let's say that a speaker is talking about a dinner and just wants to let us know that they ate a lot (and then couldn't sleep because of how full they felt). The speaker says "I ate almost ten samosas." If necessary, the word "almost" can safely be removed from the subtitle ("I ate ten samosas"), because what is important is not that the speaker didn't eat the full ten, but that they ate a lot. However, in a different context, the number may be important. If the speaker is talking about an eating contest, and describing the reasons why they failed, the word "almost" cannot be omitted in the subtitle, because it is crucial to what the speaker intends to convey, i.e. they ate almost ten - but somebody else ate the full ten, and won.

Omission

Some parts of the original subtitle can simply be left out in the translation. Examples follow below.

Repetition

Wait, wait. I still haven't shown you slide 3.

-->

Wait, I still haven't shown you slide 3.

OR

I

still haven't shown you slide 3.

OR

I

haven't shown you slide 3!

OR

Wait till you see slide 3.

It was a very, very long dinner.

-->

It was a very long dinner.

OR

It was a long dinner.

OR

We sat there for hours.

Exclamations and greetings

Hey, that's not it!

-->

That's not it!

Oh my God, are you guys OK?

-->

Are you guys OK?

OR

Are you OK?

Hi, I'm Jimmy Hundlepoint.

-->

I'm Jimmy Hundlepoint.

Addressing a person

People, this example won't be the last one.

-->

This example won't be the last one.

OR

This won't be the last example.

OR

There will be more examples.

OR

I've got more examples.

OR

I've got another one.

She told me, "Be nice, Jack."

-->

She told me, "Be nice."

OR

She told me to be nice.

Abbreviating speakers' names

Speaker changes need to be represented in the subtitles. Additional speakers may appear if the speaker who began the talk is joined by another speaker on stage (e.g. for a question-and-answer session), or if video or audio material featuring spoken utterances is included in the talk. Speakers should be indicated by their full names and a colon the first time they appear, and by their initials (no periods) when they appear again in the same conversation. Consider this example:

Oh, you've got a question for me? Okay. (Applause)

Chris Anderson: Thank you so much for that. You know, you once wrote, I like

this quote,

"If by some magic, autism had been eradicated from the face of the Earth, then

men

would still be socializing in front of a wood fire at the entrance to a cave."

Temple Grandin: Because who do you think made the first stone spears? The

Asperger guy. (

)

CA: So, I wanted to ask you a couple other questions. (

someone here

who has an autistic child, or knows an autistic child and feels kind of cut

But if there is

)

off from them,

what advice would you give them?

TG: Well, first of all, you've got to look at age. (

)

To learn more about identifying speakers and using other sound representation, see this guide.

Question tags, rhetorical/emphatic expressions

She loves making pizza. She totally does.

-->

She loves making pizza.

OR

She really loves making pizza.

OR

She actually loves making pizza. This is a blue cucumber, right?

-->

Is this a blue cucumber?

OR

Is this cucumber blue?

OR

Is this one blue?

OR

Is it blue?

OR

A

blue cucumber?

False starts

How on Earth

How on Earth am I going to make it in time?

-->

How on Earth am I going to make it in time?

OR

How am I going to make it in time?

OR

How am I going to make it?

OR

Will I make it?

OR

I

don't think I'll make it.

Simplifying the semantics

Sometimes it's possible to omit some elements of style or semantic nuance that is not crucial to the message in the particular subtitle we want to shorten.

Synonyms

It was a huge, enormous building.

-->

It was a huge building.

OR

It was a big building.

OR

It was big.

Our organization is about perseverance, or stick-to-itiveness, if you will.

-->

Our organization is about perseverance.

OR

Our organization is about stick-to-itiveness.

Introductory/discourse-modifier phrases

These phrases often serve to keep the audience interested, to emphasize a point, or to lead the audience along a series of points. Very often, they are added "by default" by speakers when they do not serve much purpose other than to add a slight emphasis. They can frequently be removed and their meaning can be covered by the context.

Yeah, sure, but what about the price of tofu?

-->

But what about the price of tofu?

OR

But tofu is expensive/cheap/not free.

Well, it's not really about who does it, but how one does it.

-->

It's not really about who does it, but how one does it.

OR

It's about how one does it, not who does it.

OR

It's about how one does it.

OR

It's about how it is done/how you do it.

Look/listen/remember, that's also a good example.

-->

That's also a good example.

OR

Another good example.

OR

Another good one.

OR

Also a good one.

As you know/as you may know/you know, this is pretty easy.

-->

This is pretty easy.

Let's face it, it wasn't the best decision.

-->

It wasn't the best decision.

OR

It wasn't a good decision.

OR

It was a mistake.

So, this was my next idea.

-->

This was my next idea.

OR

My next idea.

Note: The word "so" can be used in two ways - as a way to connect two sentences together or as a way to

indicate that the speaker is talking about a result. Often, a speaker will begin a sentence with the word "so"

simply to get the sentence started, in which case it can be omitted (e.g. "So like I said before

"so" can also be used in the sense of "thus/accordingly/consequently/therefore" (e.g. "I ran out of water. So I couldn't bake anymore"). Then, it probably cannot be omitted. The word "so" can also be used inside a sentence to indicate a purpose (e.g. "Put on a sweater so you don't catch a cold"), sometimes in the

expression like "so that," "so as to." This is also a case where "so" cannot be omitted. The same rule can be used with the word "Now;" at the beginning of the sentence, if it doesn't mean "currently," it's a connector that can usually be removed if necessary.

"). However,

I suppose/guess the place was interesting.

-->

The place was interesting.

OR

It was interesting.

In my view,/I think/believe we shouldn't have done it.

-->

We shouldn't have done it.

OR

It was a bad idea.

OR

It was a mistake.

Note: usually, if the viewer is just presented with a statement, they will assume, from the context, that whatever belief is contained in the subtitle should be ascribed to the speaker, so it is possible to safely cut out "I think/believe." However, in some contexts, the speaker will be using "I think/believe" to distance their personal beliefs from somebody else's (in such cases, the word "I" is usually emphasized). Then, including an equivalent of "I think/believe" in the translation may be necessary, but you can often find other ways to

convey the fact that the speaker is distancing themselves from other opinions (e.g. "To me, that's not bad.").

"Really" and other adverbials

This is really/pretty/totally/amazingly good coffee.

-->

This is good coffee.

OR

This coffee is so good!

My car wasn't actually/in fact/really green.

-->

My car wasn't green.

OR

But my car wasn't green.

Note: these adverbials are very often used simply conversationally, as a way of emphasizing the "actuality" of whatever one is talking about. However, in some cases, they are used to show contrast between what someone might have believed and what is actually true. Then, some kind of equivalent may need to be used, and the example with "but" shows just one way how that same meaning can actually be expressed using fewer words.

Quantifiers

Some words and phrases that express number, quantity or extent are actually redundant if their meaning can be inferred from the context, of if the speaker used the quantifier not to be exact, but to give a general sense of magnitude.

They all want that device.

-->

They want that device.

OR

They want it.

I lived there for almost/over/more than a year.

-->

I lived there for a year.

It's been there for dozens of years.

-->

It's been there for ages.

OR

It's been there a long time.

OR

It's been there for so long.

OR

It's been there for years.

Idioms and metaphors

Although it's important to convey the speaker's style as much as possible, sometimes an expression that is short in the original may have a very long equivalent that would make the subtitle too long. In translation, in these cases, the omission can be compensated for by using an idiomatic expression in a different subtitle where it would sound right (not jar with the immediate context), thereby conveying the speaker's style as a whole (the fact that they use interesting imagery or turns of phrase), but not necessarily in the particular subtitle that it was necessary to compress.

I told Joanne it was like beating a dead horse.

-->

I

told Joanne it was futile.

OR

I

told her it was futile.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

-->

I

didn't expect that.

OR

Who would have thought.

OR

A

bad surprise.

OR

Oh my!

Simplifying the syntax

The same meaning can often be expressed using a sentence with a structure that is easier for the viewer to read, and generally shorter. In translation, this can often be the case when the target language has a syntactic structure close to the original, but also a simpler, shorter way of expressing the same idea that is not that similar to what the speaker said. For example, English uses Passive Voice sentences quite often, and while some languages have an equivalent Passive Voice construction, they will also have other, more commonly used and simpler ways of expressing the same meaning.

Merging sentences

Sometimes, the idea expressed by two sentences can be conveyed by one shorter sentence.

I thought we could do it over. Just one more time.

-->

We could do it over.

OR

We could do it one more time.

OR

Could we do it over?

Note: this line can be interpreted in two different ways - either as the speaker reflecting about the possibility of doing something one more time, or the speaker trying to convince somebody else that something could be done over. "Could we do it over?" could be used for the latter.

Changing quoted speech into direct speech

She said: "Why don't you come with me, then."

-->

She asked me to come along.

OR

She asked me to come.

And then Yolanda said: "I don't know anything about that."

-->

Yolanda didn't know anything.

OR

Yolanda didn't know.

OR

She didn't know.

Changing passive voice into active voice

It was created by the R&D Department at our company.

-->

Our R&D department created it.

References to the non-linguistic context of the talk

Sometimes the speaker talks about things that can be understood by the viewer by just looking at what's going on in the video or listening to its sound track. Explicit references to this immediate visual and auditory context can often be removed from the subtitles.

Things you can see anyway

Very often, an explicit description can be omitted, because the viewer can see what is being referred to (e.g. references to the layout of a slide or to what is happening on stage).

Let me just put it here on the table next to me.

-->

Let me put it here.

OR

I'll put it here.

OR

This goes here.

This girl in this picture here is John Smith.

-->

This is John Smith.

Note: this kind of compression is possible if the slide is being shown while the speaker is saying this or if it becomes visible shortly after. If the slide is not shown at all for some reason, or appears much later (e.g. a

few sentences after), it may be advisable to leave out less text (e.g. "This is a picture of John Smith"), although more extensive compression may be possible anyway if it is still obvious from the context that the speaker is referring to a slide.

Things you can hear anyway

Sometimes, the speaker refers to a sound, and it is possible to remove the explicit reference to the sound, provided that the audio content has been represented in parentheses, e.g. (Music), (Whistling).

(Knocking on the door) So after I heard her knocking, I knew it was her, I let

her in.

-->

(Knocking on the door) I knew it was her, so I let her in.

OR

(Knocking on the door) I let her in.

English Style Guide

This guide is directed towards transcribers and translators who work in English. It contains guidelines about English spelling and punctuation conventions, line-breaking issues and common mistakes, as well as tips on how to make your English subtitles in the TED Translators program a better source text for translations into other languages.

American or British English

You can use either American and British spelling and punctuation rules, but please select one of the conventions and use it consistently in your subtitles. You may consider making the first note in the Amara editor one that states if you've used American or British English in order to better inform the reviewer. As a reviewer, don't change the spelling and punctuation rules to your preferred variety of English if the subtitles use US or British English consistently (for the most part).

Spelling conventions

Some of the American and British differences in spelling are largely regular (e.g. -our in BrE and -or in AmE, e.g. colour vs. color), but there are other differences that are more difficult to predict. You can learn more in this Wikipedia article.

Punctuation

In British English, please use single quotation marks ('') on the outside of the quote and double quotation marks (“”) for quotes within quotes. American usage is the opposite – double quotation marks on the outside and single quotation marks for quotes within quotes. In British English, periods and commas at the end of a quote are placed after the closing quotation mark (for example: ‘This is a quote’, she said, ‘and here is another one’.). Note that in British English, periods and commas that are part of the person's speech are permitted inside the quotation marks [1] . American usage is the opposite, with periods and commas going before the closing quotation mark (for example: “This is a quote,” she said, “and here is another one.”).

Numbers

Spell out numbers from 1 to 9, and use digits for numbers 10 and above. It is OK to occasionally use digits for numbers 19 if that is necessary to help fix reading speed issues. Also, for numbers higher than 999,999, it is OK to use a word like "million," "billion" etc. with a numerical modifier, e.g. "1.6 million" instead of "1,600,000." Use your best judgment sometimes, it may be easier to use digits, especially when trying to maintain a good reading speed, e.g. "1,000,012" instead of "one million and twelve." See also the section on converting units of length and weight below.

Names of large numbers (billion vs trillion)

When translating into English, make sure to use the short-scale number terms. Be careful when dealing with "false friends," which are terms that sound similar across languages but mean something different depending on the large number naming convention. For example, the French billion translates to trillion in English, while the English billion is the equivalent of the French milliard. To find the right equivalent, figure out what the number means in the source language and then look through this Wikipedia article to find the English short-scale term.

Line breaking and subtitle ending

Every subtitle whose length exceeds 42 characters must be broken into two lines. No subtitle can go beyond the total length of 84 characters. Generally, each line should be broken only after a linguistic "whole" or "unit," no matter if it's the only line in the subtitle, or the first or second line in a longer subtitle. This means that sometimes it's necessary to rephrase the subtitle in order to make it possible to break lines without breaking apart any linguistic units, e.g. splitting apart an adjective and the noun that it refers to. For important and useful rules regarding line breaking in any language, see this guide. Below, you will find additional English-specific line breaking advice:

Keep forms of the verb “to be” with the predicate (Jack/is a girl not Jack is/a girl) and with the subject pronoun (we are/here not we/are here)

Keep complex grammatical forms together (Jack has been working/in Spain not Jack has/been working in Spain)

Don't break lines or end subtitles after contracted forms of verbs (Remember that book?/It's here not Remember that book? It's/here)

Keep the "to" infinitive together (It’s not difficult/to eat slowly not It’s not difficult to/eat slowly)

Keep articles and nouns together (Paris is/a city in France not Paris is a/city in France)

Keep there + to be (there is, there was, there has been

etc.) together (I heard/there is fruit not I

heard there/is fruit)

Keep relative pronouns (that, which, whose etc.) together with the clause they introduce (I didn't know/that the dog was blue not I didn't know that/the dog was blue)

Don't separate a pronoun used as the subject of a clause from the verb/component (e.g. I call her up;/she responds not I call her up; she/responds)

If at all possible, don't break the line or subtitle after determiners:

adjectives, numerals, demonstratives (like this or those), possessives (like his or the dog's) orquantifiers (like some, any, every, a lot of, etc.)

Prepositions (in, on, under, etc.) should not be followed by a line break if the break would separate them from the noun they refer to. Note: A preposition usually precedes a noun (or a “noun phrase,” like the big dog), and cannot be followed by a line break. However, in English, a preposition that is part of a phrasal verb (put up, figure out, take in, etc.) may sometimes not be followed by a noun (I figured it out yesterday). Prepositions that are part of phrasal verbs can often be followed by a line break.

Examples of correct line breaking

The examples below show places in a sentence where lines can be broken. The ideal places to break are marked by the green slashes, while the orange slashes indicate places where it would be OK to break the line if breaking at the green slashes were not possible. Note that you don't normally break lines that do not exceed 42 characters; the examples below are simply used to show various grammatical contexts where a sentence can be broken, not to suggest that you should break subtitles into very short lines.

"This is a very long,/verbose piece/of prose/that no one knows/and no one/will remember."

Notes: Breaking lines at clause boundaries is usually a good strategy, and commas and conjunctions (like "and") often indicate clause boundaries. The first orange slash breaks up a clause but keeps together a noun+verb combination; "of" is a preposition and the line break should not follow it. The second orange line break separates a subject from the predicate. This is not ideal, but it's better than breaking the line after "will," since if possible, auxiliary verbs should not be separated from other verbs in grammatical constructions.

"Mary wants/to go/to the store,/but as far as I know,/all the stores/are closed/on Translation Day."

Notes: The green slashes are again placed at clause boundaries. The first orange slash is there to make sure that the word "to" is not separated from the infinitive, and the second is placed so as not to separate "to" from the noun phrase that the preposition refers to ("the store"). Remember that the orange slashes are various imperfect line-breaking options, and would never be used at the same time to create short lines; the point is, if you have to, you can break the clause after "wants" or after "to go." The third orange slash separates a subject from the predicate, but avoids separating the auxiliary verb ("are") from the participle ("closed"). In other words, line breaks should be placed in ways that don't split up complex grammatical constructions. The last orange slash splits off an adverbial, an expression that tells us something about a sentence or a verb, and thus, can often be put into the next line, as something "extra" that describes the sentence.

"I woke up,/jet-lagged,/at 4 in the morning,/in my new bed,/and right away I called/Annie Jayaraman,/to tell her/about my interview."

Notes: The example below contains some commas that are arguably redundant, but sometimes, you can "cheat" a little and add commas in places where part of the sentence can be considered a parenthesis, meaning a word or phrase that is interjected into a sentence to add some context or description, but could be left out without changing the "core" meaning of the sentence. For example, the word "jet-lagged" can be seen as an additional comment about the way the speaker awoke. You can easily break lines at the boundaries of such parentheses or interjections (usually set apart by commas), which is where the green slashes are placed. The orange slash after "called" indicates a line break that splits a verb from its complement or object, which should be used only if other breaks are not available. The second orange slash also separates a verb from its complement, but keeps intact the whole phrase that begins with the preposition "about."

How to make your subtitles a good source for translations

English transcripts, as well as translations from other languages into English, will often serve as the starting point for further translations. This is why it is advisable to think about the future translations while creating English subtitles, and to find ways to make it easier to spread the ideas in the English subtitles in other target languages.

Keeping sentences unsplit

Since the sentence structure in the target language may be very different than in English, the translator won’t always be able to divide the subtitles to reflect the way in which the English sentence was split into subtitles. Keeping as much of one sentence together may help to make it easier, or possible, for the English subtitle to be translated into another language without merging or splitting subtitles in the process. You should always adhere to the 84 character per subtitle / 21 characters per second limit, but it may often be possible to create subtitles that contain complete clauses or sentences while still not going beyond those numbers.

Examples of convenient splitting

Separating parts of different sentences

While transcribing, don't put the end of one sentence and the beginning of another into a single subtitle. Even if the transcript keeps parts of two sentences together, you can fix that in your translation. Examples:

Two clauses from different sentences in one subtitle:

Incorrect:

which is how I solved this.

And what I also noticed

is that the blue light went on.

Correct:

which is how I solved this.

And what I also noticed

is that the blue light went on.

A small section of the next sentence in the second line:

Incorrect:

Somehow, this worked really well

in her garage. When you work

on something big,

you need to accept failure.

Correct:

Somehow, this worked really well

in her garage.

When you work on something big,

you need to accept failure.

Keeping relative clauses together

Here, we have sentences with relative clauses. If possible without breaking the reading speed and subtitle length limits (and if the subtitles don't have to be synchronized with important action in the video), try to keep the clauses together in one subtitle. Even if the transcript splits the sentence apart, you can fix it in your translation. Examples:

Original

It’s that very interesting book

which I forgot about.

Optimized for translation

which I forgot about.

Keeping clauses unsplit

Sometimes, it's not possible to put one whole sentence into a subtitle (e.g. because of reading speed issues), but it may possible to keep a clause (part of the sentence) in a single subtitle, which is always easier for translation than when it is split. If the transcript splits up a clause, you can create one subtitle with a longer duration in your translation, and merge the little bits of the clause together. Examples:

Original

This is the solution

that I talked about

at lunch yesterday,

right after Ann joined us.

Optimized for translation

This is the solution that I talked about

at lunch yesterday, right after Ann joined us.

Good reading speed

You should maintain the reading speed of every subtitle below 22 characters per second. In addition to the usual reasons (allowing every viewer to follow the subtitles while they are on the screen), the translation may be much longer than the English original, so the reading speed may easily grow in the target language. In order to maintain a good reading speed, you can rethink your subtitle splitting (perhaps the last few words can go into the next subtitle?) or modify the timing (be careful to keep the subtitles synchronized with the talk!), but in most cases, reducing the amount of text while keeping the meaning intact, also known as “compressing,” is the default solution. To learn more about compressing subtitles, see this guide.

Common mistakes

Below, you will find a list of common mistakes found in English transcripts and translations.

Converting units of length and weight

When translating into English, do not convert units into a different system than the one used in the original, e.g. from miles to kilometers or from meters to yards. English is used in various countries, each of which may use the metric system or a non-metric system. Because of this, it is safest to stick with what was used in the original talk.

"Gonna," "wanna," "kinda," "sorta," "gotta," "'cause"

Gonna, wanna, kinda, sorta, gotta and 'cause are ways of pronouncing going to, want to, kind of, sort of, have got to (usually with a contraction, i.e. "I've got to" etc.) and because, respectively. Do not use them in English subtitles. Instead, use the full form (e.g. going to where you hear gonna). The only

exception is when the speaker uses these forms purposefully, to affect a certain kind of dialect or idiosyncrasy of speech.

"I got" vs "I've got"

Do not use "got" to mean "have," as in "You got a dog" (to mean "You have a dog"). To express the possessive meaning, use "have got," with "have" always abbreviated (e.g. "You've got a dog"). Without "have," the word "got" is the past of "get," meaning "obtain" ("You got a dog" means "You obtained a dog" or "You were given a dog").

While transcribing, when you hear a speaker use "got" as the equivalent of the possessive "have," add the abbreviated auxiliary verb "have" in your transcription (transcribe "You got a dog" as "You've got a dog").

Literal translation of idioms

Idioms are commonly known and used multi-word phrases with a metaphorical meaning. English examples of idioms would be to put the cart before the horse or to get to the point. When you come across an idiom while translating a talk into English, please do not translate it literally. Instead, try to focus on the actual meaning of the whole phrase, and then express the meaning in natural-sounding English. Idioms do not need to be translated as idioms; instead of trying to find an idiomatic phrase in English, which may sound outdated or forced, you can usually translate only the meaning of the idiom, which is like translating get to the point as don’t digress instead of “please reach the goal.” Do not try to translate the idiom literally, word for word, hoping that the viewer will understand the metaphor behind it. The meaning of the idiom in the original language may seem transparent to you, but many viewers with a different cultural background may not be able to understand it.

Overusing dashes and ellipses / dots

Please avoid overusing the dash (). Because the consecutive parts of the sentence "disappear" when the subtitles change, the meaning and use of the dash in the sentence is less clear and more difficult to follow to the reader of subtitles than it is in "regular" text. In most cases, the dash can be changed into a comma or a period (creating a new sentence). If you do wish to use a dash, in subtitles, please use the hyphen ("minus sign") instead of the full dash (), since in many players, the real dash character may not be visible. The full dash character may be used in titles and descriptions.

Separate the dash (or rather its hyphen equivalent) from words in the subtitle with a space. Place dashes at the end of a subtitle line, or inside it, never at the beginning of a line.

If you wish to indicate an accidental break in the sentence (the speaker's voice trails off), or an embedded

thought or clause, use hyphens. However, indicate the speaker's intentional pauses (for emphasis, effect

etc.) by using an ellipsis / dots. Separate dots / ellipses from other words with a space, before and after the dots (do not send subtitles back if there are no dots before and after ellipses, as this should be considered

a minor punctuation issue).

Removing multiple connectors ("and," "so," etc.)

This item relates mostly to English transcripts. Subtitles are meant to represent natural (though relatively correct) speech, so the style should not be cleaned up too much, in order to prevent the subtitles from sounding unnecessarily formal and more like written language than speech. One common example is removing too many sentence-initial "and" and "so." While in written English, starting consecutive sentences with such connectors is often seen as a fault in style ("And it was complete. And I called my friend. And my friend was so surprised!"), in spoken English, such connectors often produce an unbroken stream of related clauses in the lack of formal connectors typical of written English (such as "accordingly," "what is more," etc.). Removing too many may make the subtitles sound disjointed, so leave as many as possible. Connectors may be removed to improve reading-speed issues, of course, and once you have gained a strong sense of how to slightly edit subtitles for clarity, it will be OK for you to remove a few initial and's. When in doubt, leave it in.

Translating proper names

Generally, proper names should not be translated. When you encounter a proper name, try to think about what the intended use of that proper name is in the given subtitle. In most cases, the speaker uses it to refer to something in the real world, so that people may either recall it if they have heard of it before, or look it up later. It is very rarely that speakers use the proper name just to share something about the name itself with the audience (e.g. a funny mistake in an established proper name, or a double entendre).

In some cases, there will be established, well-known English versions of proper names (e.g. the French

Riviera for Côte d'Azur). If you can find an established English equivalent, you should use it in your translation. However, if there is no such established English translation, and the speaker is using a proper name to allow the audience to recall or look up something in the real world, coming up with your own translation of the proper name would make it impossible for the viewer to actually look that thing up (since Google hits for the equivalent you created would yield no result). In such cases, you should leave the original name. Do not add a translation in parentheses. Parentheses should only be used for sound representation (like “(Applause)”). If you feel that it is necessary to give the viewer a little information on what the proper name refers to in order to allow them to follow the rest of the talk, you can modify the proper name to give the viewer a hint about what kind of thing it refers to, e.g. if it’s the name of a well- known research laboratory, you could paraphrase it as “the famous [proper name] research lab.”

How to Tackle a Transcript

Read this article in other languages: Español 日本語

A TEDx transcript is a form of same-language subtitles or captions. In addition to containing

the words spoken by the speaker, the transcript must additionally be divided into subtitle lines and then synchronized (timed) to match the flow of the recorded talk. Like closed captions, TEDx transcripts also contain sound information for Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers. Below, you will find hints and strategies useful in creating TEDx transcripts as an OTP volunteer. If you haven't joined the OTP yet, go to TED.com/transcribe.

This guide is an extension of this video tutorial. Note that the line-length and reading speed information below are guidelines for languages based on the Latin script; for other languages, the rules may be different. If you believe these rules are not suitable for your language, please contact us at translate@ted.com.

IMPORTANT: before you start working on a transcript, make sure that the video is part of

the TED team on Amara, using this guide (which also contains a link to a form you can use

to add a video that is not on Amara). Otherwise, it may be impossible to publish your work

on YouTube and make it available for translations. This tutorial shows how to properly

search for talks available for transcription on Amara.

What are the benefits of getting your talks transcribed?

Transcripts are important for several reasons:

Same-language subtitles make the talk accessible to Deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers

Transcribed talks get indexed in Google, giving them and your event more exposure

Only talks with a transcript can later be translated (and possibly considered by TED for further distribution)

The transcription project workflow

TEDx talk videos are uploaded to YouTube. Subtitles for those videos are created in an online tool created by our subtitling partner, Amara. In order to sign up for an account on Amara, and learn how to find videos

to subtitle, watch these short OTP Learning Series tutorials.

Once a transcript has been completed, it must be reviewed by another volunteer and then approved by

a Language Coordinator. Approved transcripts can then be viewed while watching the TEDx talk on YouTube. The transcriber and reviewer are credited for their work on their TED.com profiles.

To get additional support, consider joining the general Facebook group for Open Translation Project volunteers, and/or the local TED translator group for your specific language. You can find the list of language groups here.

HINT: If you're working on an English transcript, make sure to read our English Style Guide.

Overview of the transcribing process

Users can review controls and guidelines right from the subtitling interface

Users can review controls and guidelines right from the subtitling interface

Transcribing an 18-minute talk usually takes between 4 to 6 hours; the user has 30 days to complete that task. Transcribing is divided into three steps:

1. Writing down text and splitting it into subtitles

This step usually takes between 2-4 hours and involves typing down what the speaker says and dividing this text into subtitles that are in keeping with TED’s standards for length and are easy to read (e.g. don’t contain slips of the tongue, don’t merge two sentences together).

2. Synchronizing the subtitles, editing the reading speed

This step usually takes up to one hour. The transcriber uses a simple interface to mark where the subtitles

created in step one should display, and then fine-tunes the timing where necessary to improve synchronization and bring the reading speed down to TED’s standards.

3. Editing the title and description

Before submitting the subtitles, the transcriber needs to make sure the title and description of the talk are in the language of the talk and are formatted according to TED’s standards (learn more here).

To get a quick overview of working with subtitle lengths and reading speed, watch this short video tutorial, as well as this tutorial that contains a few useful tips for transcribing talks. Below, you will find more detailed advice covering each of the three transcribing steps, as well as some more technical information on formatting and timing the subtitles.

Below, you will find hints and strategies that you will find very useful when transcribing talks. For a quick introduction, watch this short video tutorial.

Dividing the text into subtitles

This step usually takes between 2-4 hours. The user plays the talk and types down what the speaker says. In order to allow the viewer to read the subtitles easily, while typing down the transcript, the transcriber breaks subtitles longer than 42 characters into two lines, and begins a new subtitle once a maximum of 84 characters total have been reached (the subtitle can be shorter). This length information is displayed conveniently in the subtitling interface, for every subtitle. (Note: these values are applicable to all languages that use the Latin script. For length standards in other languages, consult resources in that language’s section of OTPedia or ask a Language Coordinator).

The main goal is to create subtitles that are easily read, well-rounded bits of text. This means that transcribers try to only split subtitles where it wouldn’t separate phrases and grammatical units (e.g. they don’t split an article and a noun at the end of a line or subtitle). To comply with TED’s length and line- breaking standards, a degree of rephrasing is permissible, as long as it doesn’t change the meaning of the sentence; slips of the tongue and obvious mistakes should not be included in the transcript.

The first step is about dividing text into subtitles

The first step is about dividing text into subtitles

When deciding how to divide the text into subtitles, you should consider the following points:

1. Is the subtitle long enough to break it into two lines?

If the text you will have in the subtitle is over 42 characters in length, you should break it into a maximum of two different lines (two lines in the same subtitle). To break the line, hit Shift+Enter. You don’t need to break subtitles shorter than 42 characters; very short subtitles broken into two lines can be distracting to

the viewer. IMPORTANT: The subtitle should never be longer than 84 characters total, and should contain no more than 2 lines.

2. Is the text that I'm entering too long to work as a single subtitle?

If the text you are entering is longer than 84 characters, you should create two subtitles instead.

3. Do the lines and the whole subtitle end neatly in "linguistic wholes"?

You should take care to break the lines and end the subtitles after linguistic wholes (e.g. don’t separate a

possessive and a noun or somebody’s first and last name). Learn more here.

4. Am I including redundant text?

Broken phrases ("I wanted to--No, this is what I'll talk about"), repetitions ("Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you") and empty syllables ("erm," "umm" etc.) should not be included in the transcript. Also, do not include obvious errors, like when the speaker says "We thinks" instead of "We think." Instead, use the correct form of the word in the subtitle. On rare occasions, if you believe that the need for the change is obvious (e.g. the speaker says “up” instead of “down”), but your edit will significantly alter the meaning of the sentence, put it in square brackets, to indicate intentional editing (e.g. “I woke up at 9 AM, and the sun was [up].”).

5. Do I really have to cut the sentence up into this many subtitles?

As much as possible while respecting the length and reading speed standards, try to have the subtitle contain a “full” part of the sentence (a clause), or the whole sentence. This will make it easier to read, and it will be easier for translators later on to translate bigger chunks of one sentence than smaller ones, since not everything will divide up easily in the same way in the target language as it does in the original. To learn more about how to make your subtitles easier for future translators, see this guide. IMPORTANT: Never include the end of one sentence and the beginning of another in the same subtitle (e.g. "this is why./And another idea").

This printable cheat sheet contains all of the main OTP technical subtitling standards for Latin-script

This printable cheat sheet contains all of the main OTP technical subtitling standards for Latin-script languages

6. Did I include all of the sound information essential to understanding the talk?

Include all of the sound information essential to understanding the talk, such as non-verbal sounds that the speaker refers to (“(Clears throat) Sorry about that.”), off-screen speaker changes (indicate who is speaking, if that is not obviously visible), as well instances of music, clear laughter and applause from the audience (with the exception of intro music and applause heard at the beginning of the talk). Also, indicate

any temporary change of language, and translate the subtitle into the main language of the talk (e.g. “(Arabic) This is my idea.”) Put the sound information in parentheses (e.g. (Music)), with the first letter capitalized, and always represent the sound, not the event that caused it (e.g. “(Gunshot),” not "(Dog fires gun)."). For more information about using sound representation, read this guide.

7. Did I include on-screen text?

If possible without overlapping other subtitles and going over the subtitle length and reading speed limits, include on-screen text that is part of the talk (e.g. text on slides or embedded subtitles in a video played on the stage). This will allow this text to be translated into other languages. In order to signify that this is on-

screen text and not something the speaker is saying, put the representation of on-screen text between square brackets.

Do not transcribe on-screen text which is not relevant to the content of the talk, nor text which will not be translated (e.g. the name of the TEDx event).

Synchronizing the subtitles with the video

The subtitles are synced using a simple videogame-like interface

The subtitles are synced using a simple videogame-like interface

This step usually takes up to one hour. Starting with text neatly divided into subtitles, the transcriber now needs to tell the system when to show each of the subtitles while playing the video. The user plays the talk

and hits the up arrow when the first subtitle should start displaying, and then hits the down arrow whenever the currently highlighted subtitle should stop displaying and the next one should start (see this step in action in this short tutorial). Afterwards, they go back and make finer edits to the timing using sliders on the video timeline to set the beginning and end of subtitles (e.g. to fix a subtitle that starts displaying too long after a speaker started the equivalent sentence). For more information on using the Amara interface to sync subtitles, read this article.

Once the subtitles have been synchronized, the user goes back to implement reading speed fixes using sliders in the timeline. In order to allow the viewer to read the subtitle while it’s displayed on the screen, the reading speed for each subtitle must not be higher than 21 characters per second. This speed information is displayed for every subtitle on Amara, and wherever this speed is exceeded, the transcriber can compress or reduce text (without changing the meaning) or/and extend the duration of the subtitle to fix the issue.

HINT: A red exclamation mark is displayed on every subtitle that needs fixing for length or reading speed.

When synchronizing your subtitles, consider the following points:

1. Is the reading speed no more than 21 characters/second?

The maximum reading speed for subtitles is 21 characters/second. To maintain a good reading speed, you can extend the duration of the subtitle, even if it’s going to run a little into the time the next sentence is spoken (but don't start the subtitle more than about 100 ms before the equivalent bit of speech is heard).

Extending the duration usually helps, but if necessary for a good reading speed, combine this with rephrasing the text of the subtitle to shorten/compress it while preserving the meaning. Remember that with a reading speed that is too high, the subtitle will just disappear too quickly for most viewers to read, which is tantamount to cutting it out of the transcript. For this reason, it’s always better to compress the text

a little rather than create a verbatim transcript that viewers won’t be able to follow. Good reading speed is

also very important because your transcript will often serve as the starting point for translations, and the

equivalent subtitle may become much longer in the target language, raising the reading speed even more.

For more advice on compressing/reducing text in subtitles, see this guide.

HINT: Occasionally, if the subtitle contains potentially difficult vocabulary (scientific terminology, obscure proper names), consider lowering the reading speed to values even below 21 characters/second, to make

it easier for the viewer to take in the content of the subtitle and allow more reading speed for future translations (which are often longer than the original subtitle).

2. Is the subtitle synchronized with the equivalent bit of speech?

Generally, the subtitle should start displaying when the speaker says the equivalent bit of speech. However, good reading speeds are more important than perfect synchronization. If you need to extend the duration of the previous subtitle to get a good reading speed, it’s OK to have the next one start some time after the speaker said those words. However, don’t have the subtitle start displaying before the speaker says the equivalent sentence, since the mismatch in body language and on-screen content can be distracting to the viewer. This is especially important in cases where synchronizing changes in the video with changes in the subtitles is crucial to what happens in the talk (e.g. if possible, a subtitle that reveals what's in a slide should not show up before the slide shows up on the screen).

3. Is the subtitle’s duration shorter than 1 second or longer than 7 seconds?

A subtitle displaying for less than one second will usually disappear too quickly for most users, and this

issue will be compounded in translation. Subtitles displaying for over 7 seconds are distracting to the viewer and should be split into two separate subtitles.

If there is a longer piece of music or applause, have the sound representation (e.g. (Music)) display for 3

seconds and then indicate when the sound is about to end (e.g. (Music ends)).

4. Does the subtitle lag too long into a pause?

Do not have the subtitle stay on the screen for more than 1 second after the speaker has paused after a

sentence. If you’ve covered up long pauses in the synchronizing step, once you’re done synchronizing the whole transcript, you can shorten the durations of these subtitles using the sliders in the timeline, so that they don’t lag over pauses. You can choose not to show pauses inside a sentence, or if necessary,

indicate that the sentence was broken off by using dots (

your language (note: in subtitles, use a minus instead of a full dash). However, always try to show longer pauses between complete sentences.

)

or a dash (-), depending on the conventions in

Avoiding character display errors: simple quotes, apostrophes and dashes

Using smart/curly double quotes (“”) is precarious, because some players will have trouble displaying them correctly. Please use the simple, straight ASCII double quote (") or the straight apostrophe ('') for single quotes. The rule is similar for apostrophes: use the straight apostrophe (') instead of the typographic/curly apostrophe (’). Instead of an en/em dash (–/), use a hyphen (-).

For other punctuation marks in your languages, as much as possible, use a simple ASCII equivalent (research to find one for your language). This may go against strict typographic conventions, but the technical limitations of most subtitle formats mean that without this simplification, for some users, many of the "correct" characters will simply not be displayed (e.g. when playing talks offline). Note that these rules only apply to the subtitles, and you should use proper punctuation in titles and descriptions.

You should not use HTML tags or any other formatting tags in TEDx transcripts, because these tags will not display correctly in the YouTube player.

Title and description format

Each TEDx talk comes with a title and description added by the TEDx organizer, which are imported into Amara from YouTube. However, these sometimes contain too little or too much information and may not conform to the formatting standards described below. In these cases, you are expected to edit them before you submit your transcription.

Note: The language of the title and description should match the language of the talk. Do not put English titles and descriptions on non-English talks.

Title format

Click the “pencil” button to edit the title and description

Click the “pencil” button to edit the title and description

The standard title format uses the talk’s title, the speaker’s name and the TEDx event’s name, separated with the vertical bar (pipe) character (with a space before and after it):

On being a young entrepreneur | Christophe Van Doninck | TEDxFlanders

If the title is formatted differently, modify it to match the standard format. Do not add the event’s date to the title.

If the title is missing, it's OK to just leave the speaker's name, but consider coming up with a title on your own or contacting the organizer or speaker for a title suggestion.

In English titles, use sentence case: capitalize only the first word in the title and any proper names.

Description format

The description should consist of a short overview of the talk. Remove all links to external websites (unless they represent the speaker’s organization that the talk is about). If the description also contains the speaker’s bio, you can keep it in, but the general text explaining what the TEDx program is should be left out (“In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events…”). If the description is missing, please consider adding your own short description of the talk.

The description may also contain the following disclaimers, which should be kept in and translated:

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

Here, you can find model translations of these disclaimers in various languages. If you can't find your language, consult with a Language Coordinator and send the model translation that you came up with to translate@ted.com.

How to get more talks transcribed

If you are a TEDx organizer with multiple untranscribed talks, consider reaching for help out to the TED Translators and Transcribers community on Facebook. Try to select one or two prioritized talks and explain why it’s important for you to get these particular talks transcribed. Find ways to make transcribing your talks a challenge and make sure to show appreciation to the transcribers (e.g. by thanking them on your website).

Remember that the volunteer TED transcribers and translators are volunteers and they usually select talks that are meaningful to them in some way, out of the tens of thousands of TEDx talks in the world. Because your team and your local community are much more invested in trying to promote the ideas in the talks from the events they have attended, try to collaborate with the local transcriber community in coaching your team in transcribing talks and organizing transcribeathons.