Let’s say you’re a video publisher who wants all the world to have access to your content… But translating videos into multiple languages is time-consuming and expensive — that is, unless you’ve got a team of volunteers to do it for you. One of the most efficient way to tackle the problem is by crowdsourcing subtitles, which is why translation startup Amara has raised $1 million from Mozilla and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Amara, previously known as Universal Subtitles, was created as an open-source platform to allow anyone to crowdsource transcriptions and translations of video content. Its technology has been used by volunteers to translate and create subtitles for more than 170,000 videos, including President Barack Obama’s message to Sudan and the KONY 2012 video, which was available in more than 35 languages in four days.
With the funding, the Amara team will be releasing an enterprise version of the platform, which its customers can use within their own organizations — whether it be to collaborate on subtitle creations in-house, or to open up translation to outside volunteers. And with flexible APIs, the system is designed to work with publishers’ existing content management systems and publishing workflows, according to Amara co-founder and executive director Nicholas Reville.
Amara is already working with some major publishers — including news organizations like PBS NewsHour and Al Jazeera, as well as educational video providers such as Khan Academy — to make their content more accessible to a broader audience.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.