The TED Open Translation Project
In May 2009, TED (www.ted.com) launched the The TED Open Translation Project.
Contributors were called in from all over the world to start translating talks on TED.com. Before that date, the talks were only available in English. At launch, volunteers worldwide were more than 200 translators, working in 40 languages.
As pointed out by the team managers:
“TED Translations is an open, grassroots program that allows anyone in the world to translate TEDTalks into any language. It is a work in progress, and we will depend heavily on feedback and direction from our volunteers to help us pave the way for large, lively communities of translators. We’ve partnered with a company called dotSUB to provide easy-to-use
translation and subtitling tools, but have intentionally taken a light-handed approach when it comes to how the translation communities may choose to organize and operate themselves. We believe there may be various solutions for different situations and locales, and we want to
allow people the freedom to figure out what works best for themselves — which isn’t to say we won’t be here to help!”
The TED Facebook group page (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=43410681471) bears witness to that freedom and choice of the community organizing itself and suggesting new solutions as the project goes on. From the very first weeks, shared documents had been created to keep track of the translations in progress, the reviews to be made, and the talks that were ready to be published with their accompanying subtitles.
So here is the deal, inspirational talks being translated to languages all over the world by a community of volunteers who are willing to translate reviews and discuss their favourite talks from their favourite speakers and topics.
This is a model that is working for this project and that is contributing to the TED motto “Ideas worth spreading”. What if we were to apply this same model to education?
Imagine a context of educational lectures from a university being translated into all the languages and then published and made available to the general public thereby encouraging open discussions. Would that be a way to empower learners to contribute to their favourite topics on a global level?
For more infos about the project visit: http://blog.ted.com/2010/05/celebrating_1_y.php
Chahira Nouira (nouira[at]vie.unu.edu)