If your TEDx event attendees speak a non-English language, you may want to play your event's pre-recorded TEDTalks videos with subtitles. Thanks to volunteer translators taking part in TED's Open Translation Project, subtitles in a variety of languages are available for nearly every video in the TEDTalks series.
Playing subtitles with pre-recorded TEDTalks
TED can provide TEDx licensees with subtitle source files (in SRT format) for TEDTalks. (We're still working on a system to provide subtitles with all of the downloadable video files, a feature which will be available to everyone.) You'll need to attach the subtitle files to the video files manually. Please see this guide for playing subtitled talks offline.
Playing subtitles with TED DVD on Demand
With TED DVD on Demand, you can create a dvd that includes up to 6 TEDTalks from our archive, each which includes subtitles in up to 32 languages.
If you plan to play TED Talks with subtitles at your TEDx event, we ask you to acknowledge the volunteer translators who created the subtitles. You can find out who translated a talk by turning on a talk’s subtitles -- the translation credits will appear to the right of the video player.
You are welcome to play the 3-minute TED translator documentary at your event to inform your audience about TED's Open Translation Project.
Engaging with translators
Over 10,000 volunteer translators all around the world participate in TED's Open Translation Project. Find TED translators in your language on Our translators page. Use the drop-down menu to filter by language. Many languages also have Facebook groups you can join to engage with translators.
How to get SRT files for TEDTalks
Note: This service is only available to TEDx licensees.
- Decide which TEDTalks you plan to show at your event
- Determine whether subtitles in your language are available for those talks:
- Find the TEDTalk on TED.com
- Below the video player on the talk's page, find the language pulldown menu (beside the text that reads "Subtitles available in:")
- If you see your language listed, we can provide the file
- Watch the beginning of the video. Wait until the video intro and sponsor message is finished. Write down the number of seconds that have passed at the moment the talk itself begins, e.g. "00:16."
- Fill out and submit the Subtitle Request Form.
We will email the subtitle files to you within 72 hours.
How to merge subtitle files with your videos
If you've followed the instructions in the playing pre-recorded TEDTalks section, you should have an assortment of MP4 files for each TEDTalk you plan to show at your event. Now you'll need to attach the SRT subtitle files to each of those MP4 files.
Mac OS X 10.5 (and up)
- Download and install Subler (read about this software here)
- Drag and drop the MP4 file onto the Subler icon
- From the File menu in the Subler toolbar, select Import > File ...
- Select the SRT file and click Open
- Remember the time code you wrote down? Write that number in the "Delay" field, in milliseconds. (I.e., 00:16 should be written as 16000.) Click Add
- From the File menu, and select Save
- Use Quicktime to open the MP4 file
- From the View menu in the Quicktime toolbar, select Subtitles and toggle the checkmark from "Off" to your language
- Click the play button -- your subtitles will begin playing over the video
Windows 2000 (and up)
Rather than using Windows Media Player, which does not natively support MP4 files, we recommend you use the VLC media player.
- Download and install the VLC media player
- Rename the SRT file such that it's name is the same as the name of the video file it will be paired with. E.g., [video name].MP4 should be paired with [video name].srt
- Create a folder. Place the MP4 file and the SRT file into it
- Open the VLC media player. Drag and drop the MP4 file into the VLC media player window
- From the Video menu in the VLC toolbar, choose Subtitle Track. Select "Track 1," and your subtitles will begin playing. (If they don't begin playing, open the File menu and select Open File. Select the Browse function, and manually locate the SRT file.)
If you encounter a technical issue merging, displaying or playing subtitles, we ask that you search for answers on Google before you contact us. Often a search query describing your problem (e.g., "SRT in Quicktime error") will reveal articles, blog posts and Web comments that solve it.