Get started

TED Translators and transcribers help spread ideas to a global audience. Here's what you need to know to get started.

Workflow

Subtitles go through the following steps before publication:

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.

Learn how Amara works

A simple guide to using the platform


Next, read our guidelines!

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

Contact us at translate@ted.com.