Get started

Volunteer transcribers and translators help spread ideas to a global audience. Below, learn how subtitling for TED works and apply to get started.


Subtitles go through the following steps before publication:

1. Transcription

TED provides an original transcript. (TEDxTalks are the exception — these talks are delivered in many languages and may be 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, who has subtitled at least 90 minutes of talk content.

4. Approval

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


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


Language and subtitling skills:

  • Volunteer translators should be fluently bilingual in the source and target languages
  • Volunteer transcribers should be fluent in the transcription language
  • Volunteers should be knowledgeable of subtitling best practices


  • New volunteers should work on one assignment at a time
  • Assignments should be completed within 30 days
  • Before attempting to review, volunteers should subtitle 90 minutes of talk content

The Open Translation Project uses a free, online subtitling tool called Amara, which volunteers can use to find talks, create subtitles and message other TED volunteers.

Learn how Amara works

A simple guide to using the platform

Apply to subtitle for TED

The application process takes place on Amara, and requires a account. Click below to apply (or follow along with this quick tutorial).

Apply now

After logging in with your TED account, click "Apply to join" and fill out the short application.

We'll respond to your application within five days. Be sure to confirm your email address with Amara in order to receive the response.

Next, read our guidelines!

Learn about subtitling best practices, collaboration tips and style guidelines.

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