TEDx translations

There are countless benefits to subtitling your TEDx Talks. It’s easy to do, and we have teams of volunteers to help through our Open Translation Project.

How to translate a talk

Before a talk can be translated, it needs to be transcribed. The good news is that transcribing your TEDx Talks is one of the best things you can do for your videos, because:

  • Transcribed talks are accessible to the Deaf and hard of hearing.
  • Videos with transcriptions rank higher in internet searches: Google and YouTube index captions and give priority to videos that have them – plus, viewers tend to watch videos with captions for longer than videos without.
  • Access to the text of a talk may come in handy later on – for example, for quoting purposes.
  • Your talks have a greater chance of being distributed on TED platforms.

Once a talk is transcribed, it becomes available for translation. Each new translation opens a talk to an entirely new audience.

5 ways to get your talks transcribed and translated

  1. Assign members of your team to transcribe and translate talks.
  2. Ask every speaker to transcribe their own talk. It doesn’t take long, and your speaker will appreciate that transcribing their own talk will make it easier to translate and be spread around the world.
  3. Contact local universities with language departments. You can give great work experience to students by connecting them to OTP and letting them transcribe and translate your talks. They can put it on their resumes and you can offer to write them a reference for it.
  4. Contact local translation agencies. Offer perks like free tickets to your TEDx event in exchange for their services.
  5. Reach out to a local TED translator. Do this before your event, and offer a free ticket to make your local community translators feel a part of your team.

A step-by-step guide on Amara

  1. Log into your TED.com profile and then visit the TED page on the online translating service Amara and sign up for an account. It takes up to 5 days for your account to be approved.
  2. Once you receive an approval email, make sure you are signed in to your TED.com account and visit the TED page on Amara, where you will now be automatically signed in.
  3. Click on “TEDxTalks” under the “Projects” list on the left.
  4. If you have a specific talk in mind, enter it into the search box. If the talk isn’t there, it’s possible it hasn’t been uploaded yet. Submit the talk through this form or reach out to Ivana@ted.com to get a talk on Amara.
  5. If you would like to translate any talk, go to “Tasks” and apply some filters to find a talk to transcribe, translate or review. Remember to change the filter for “TEDxTalks” and to look for talks assigned to “no one.” For example:
    Tasks in: TEDxTalks
    Language: English
    Assigned to: no one
  6. Find a talk you are interested in working on. Click “Perform task” on the right and choose “Start now.” Remember, a talk has to be transcribed before it can be translated.
  7. Review the technical instructions and follow the stylistic guidelines and you're set! (Fun fact: All subtitles completed on Amara are automatically synced to your videos on the TEDx YouTube channel, and will appear as they are approved.)

Why translate TEDx Talks?

  • It’s good work experience. All translation is publicly credited, and you can put it on your resume.
  • It gives you the opportunity to become involved with the global TEDx community. (Which may include perks like free tickets to TEDx events.)
  • There are thousands of TEDx Talks available for translation. There is a lot more competition for translating TED Talks, and translating TEDx Talks gives you the luxury of browsing through a wider range of topics.
  • It’s a good (and fun!) way to share ideas and make them accessible from non-English speaking places to the world.