In Other Words: Crowdsourcing Translation for a Video Driven Web

Jonathan Munar, USA, Susan Chun, USA


Public-serving organizations such as museums, educational institutions, and other arts producers have in recent years embraced video as a critical medium for communication. Video provides an opportunity to serve not only our local communities, but also national and international audiences. Nonetheless, the majority of arts-related video content is distributed with only English-language audio. When this happens, we fail to serve two significant audiences: non-English speakers and the hearing-impaired.

Transcription and crowdsourced translation provide the opportunity to serve these audiences, addressing issues of global access, accessibility, and community engagement. Crowdsourced translation begins with same-language transcription and captioning, which also makes content accessible to hearing impaired visitors. Community building and engagement follow, as volunteers translate the same-language transcription. Volunteers who contribute translations do so to make meaningful content accessible to their own communities; to contribute their time and expertise to an organization that they believe in; and to gain recognition for themselves. As more translated captions are published, videos become accessible to larger audiences, injecting ideas and information into new communities and building bridges between communities.

The translation process also sparks a different kind of conversation amongst community managers and volunteers, discussing not only the ideas within a video, but also the particulars of language and phrasing. Contemplating ideas at the level of language offers the opportunity to gain an intimate understanding of the subject matter, generating a well-deliberated translation from a community of thinkers.

This paper will explore the impact of crowdsourced translation using case studies from organizations that have either launched or are in the process of launching open translation projects. Art21, a New York-based non-profit contemporary art organization, screens its films in museums, libraries, and community centers throughout the world. Partnering with the Participatory Culture Foundation, the non-profit creators of the Amara platform, it will launch an open translation project in January 2013. The Amara toolset—which uses a community of volunteers to create and display multi-language video captioning—currently powers open translation projects at organizations such as TED, PBS NewsHour, Coursera, and the Khan Academy. Conservation Reel, a video platform funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, gathers videos of interest to museum and conservation professionals and students involved in conservation and collections care. The Conservation Reel team plans to combine auto-captioning and translation tools with crowdsourced mediation to deliver multilingual content to an international community of practitioners. One key goal of the project is to catalyze real-time discussion amongst far-flung members of the conservation community. To do so, it is developing tools to support better translation of user comments, hoping to extend the value of multilingual captioning by facilitating conversation around the platform’s content.

The presenters will outline the dramatic growth of multilingual video content online and describe current tools for producing crowdsourced translations, transcriptions, and subtitles. The presentation and paper will analyze the effects that crowdsourced captioning and translation may have upon new and existing audiences, predict future developments in crowdsourced translation, and consider the long-term potential of video translation tools for the cultural heritage community.

Keywords: video, translation, multilingual, accessibility, community, volunteer


Art21 is a non-profit contemporary art organization dedicated to inspiring a more creative world through the works and words of living artists. The organization produces documentary films and resources for educators and is best known for its Peabody Award-winning documentary series, Art in the Twenty-First Century, broadcast in the United States through PBS. Art21-produced films document the process and practice of contemporary artists, allowing the artists to speak about their work in their own words.

Video is at the center of all Art21 projects: the flagship series, Art in the Twenty-First Century—as well as a pair short-format online series—serve as a starting point for all other materials generated by the organization. The flagship series has been seen by more than 20 million viewers, is distributed internationally to more than 40 countries, and has transformed visual arts curricula at schools and universities. Videos from the short-format online series have been seen by more than 5 million viewers internationally.

Over the course of Art21’s 15-year history, the organization developed a large international reach. Though initial seasons of the Art in the Twenty-First Century series featured artists based primarily within the United States, the series developed an international focus in subsequent seasons, broadening its scope to feature artists based abroad. The cultural diversity reflected in the artist roster represents one aspect of the organization’s international reach.

The Web has played a significant role for Art21 since the organization’s beginnings. As broadcast television (and home video) served as a primary channel to distribute the biennial Art in the Twenty-First Century series, the Web allowed the organization to maintain a year-round domestic and international presence. The organization’s Web presence began primarily as a complement to the broadcast series, hosting preview materials, image slideshows, and resources for educators. Art21’s online content would eventually grow to include original short-format video content produced primarily for the Web. In 2008, Art21 launched its first Web series, Exclusive, built from a combination of new footage and unused material from the broadcast series. Art21 premiered its second Web series, New York Close Up, in 2011. As of January 2013, the series had a combined total of more than 12 hours of video representing almost 200 episodes. Since the series are distributed using platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo, episodes are available to the largest possible international audience without geographical restriction.

Recognizing both the existing and potential international reach of videos from each series, Art21 began to evaluate how best to serve audiences across regions in an age where YouTube is not only the world’s largest video site, but also among the world’s most-used search engines, records 70% of its traffic from outside of the United States (YouTube, n.d.). Perhaps the most notable barrier to reaching these audiences is language; despite featuring an international line-up of artists, Art21 films are produced primarily with English-speaking audiences in mind. To capitalize on the interests of global viewers, Art21 had to develop ways to make its videos accessible to non English-speaking audiences.

Arriving at the Crowd-Sourced Translation Model

Arriving at the crowd-sourced translation model was inevitable. Still, it was necessary to choose a model that fit the overall goals and needs of the organization.

Before even considering translation, a top priority at Art21 was to make video accessible to the largest possible same-language (i.e. English-speaking) audience. To do so meant targeting audiences who are deaf or hard of hearing, which calls for producing same-language subtitles. Since these same titles would serve as the starting point for alternate-language translations, the need aligned perfectly with the goals of a translation project.

Like many non-profits, Art21 survives in part because of the generosity of its supporters—”generosity” not just in terms of monetary contributions, but also contributions in the form of time. A crowd-sourced model creates volunteer opportunities, allowing potential supporters an alternative by which to support the organization.

Similarly, Art21 had an interest in cultivating an international community of art enthusiasts and educators. The crowd-sourced model would provide opportunities for volunteers to work collaboratively on generating translations. A motivating factor for volunteer translators is to make content accessible within their own communities. Krystian Aparta, a volunteer Polish translator from the TED translation community, notes that he contributes translations because he wants “more people to have access to these ideas” (TED, 2012). The crowd-sourced model, then introduces two methods of community growth: a community of translators, and a community of non-English-speaking viewers.

Finally, through many of its projects, Art21 seeks opportunities to generate a global dialogue about contemporary art and artists. The crowd-sourced model presents these opportunities on two levels.

First, the basic act of translation involves deliberate contemplation of the ideas presented in a video. Volunteers must understand—or learn to understand—the intricacies of the English language as well as phrases used in specific contexts. In the case of Art21 videos, phrases are often specific to art and the art-making process. In some cases, this contemplation of language might lead to a dialogue within the translation community. Anwar Dafa-Alla, a volunteer Arabic Translator from the TED translation community, admits to conducting additional research before beginning a translation in order to “get the whole context” (TED, 2012).

A second opportunity for global dialogue comes after a translation is produced. For each language that a given video is translated into, a new community becomes exposed to the ideas presented in the video, presenting additional opportunities for rumination and discussion.

Crowd-Sourced Translation and Art Education

Art education is at the center of Art21’s outreach efforts, not only by having its materials and resources available to educators, but also by demonstrating to educators how those resources might effectively be used in classroom settings. School and museum educators often cite Art21 materials as an essential resource in their toolkits. In addition to other Art21 resources, educators screen Art21 videos for their students, using video themes and ideas as starting points to larger dialogue. The potential for creating greater access to video content via the crowd-sourced translation model presents opportunities to extend this level of dialogue beyond the English-language network of educators.

The exercise of translation introduces the potential to closely examine the use of language in an art context. For a translator—educator or otherwise—this presents an opportunity the reflect on the artmaking process. For a language educator, crowd-sourced translation projects present an opportunity for student translation exercises.

Global Representation, Full Circle

By having a roster of featured artists that represent cultures from around the world, Art21 films have been able to expose artistic practices from individual cultures to communities outside of that of a particular artist. However, as Art21 films are created primarily for English-speaking audience, there comes the possibility of having an artist’s perspectives be inaccessible to the artist’s own community. For example, the Art21 film featuring Beijing-based, Chinese-speaking artist Cao Fei features an English-language voice over, obscuring most of the artist’s own dialogue. The same approach was taken for the Chinese-speaking artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

The crowd-sourced translation model presents an opportunity to bring those artist’s words back to the Chinese-speaking community.

Evaluating the Crowd-Sourced Translation Model
Crowd-sourced models have often been viewed with much skepticism, not only from within the museum community, but also beyond—and rightfully so. Crowd-sourcing has a history of failed projects, perhaps in part due to poor strategy and execution. For example, when the New York Mets invited online audiences to vote for a song to be played during the eighth inning of home games, online audiences—largely motivated by online communities outside of the Mets’ fanbase communities—wrote in the eventual winner: Rick Astley’s “Never Going to Give You Up” (the Mets would not honor the results) (Peck, 2008).

What the New York Mets theme song voters have in common with contributors to more successful crowd-sourcing projects—such as Wikipedia—is a common motivation to accomplish a goal. In the case of the New York Mets, the goal is malicious, whereas with Wikipedia, the goal is the opposite. While malicious contributions are often made to Wikipedia, the larger Wikipedia community is quick to correct such updates. Both examples show communities that share a motivation to achieve a result.

For an organization attempting a crowd-sourced model, it then would seem to be important to not only gain the trust and support of an expected community, but to also ensure that the project’s goals are common goals to the community.

TED, the nonprofit “devoted to ideas worth spreading,” established what is perhaps the most regarded of crowd-sourced translation projects with the TED Open Translation Project. Members of the TED community—viewers, speakers, translators, or otherwise—share TED’s devotion to spreading ideas, which, as illustrated previously in this paper, becomes a motivating factor for volunteers to contribute to the Open Translation Project.

Both Art21 and TED are closely aligned in several aspects, including mission, international reach, and online-based video output. Therefore, the TED project was the most closely-examined model while conducting research for the Art21 translation project.

Can We Trust the Community?

Projects such as Wikipedia and the TED Open Translation Project represent successful campaigns where crowd-sourcing produces legitimate results. The projects prove that, if executed and administered properly, it is possible to build a community and benefit from its collective efforts and expertise. Both projects also exemplify a degree of comfort that organizations have when it comes to trusting the community, helping push the crowd-sourced model to a more trustworthy commonplace.

Still, as is the case with both project, there exists a need for community moderation and workflow management.

Unlike TED, Art21 opted to take a more lenient approach to workflow and moderation, relying more so on the passion of the translation community to ensure the accuracy of translations. Joshua Barajas, a producer at the PBS NewsHour and community manager for the NewsHour translation team noted that, at their project launch, there was only a single incident “involving a captioner who inserted some foul language… One troll. We quickly got rid of it. For the most part, it’s been pretty polite” (LaFrance, 2012).

Evaluating Platforms

Two platforms were evaluated for the Art21 Translation Project in August 2012: Dotsub and Amara. Both platforms were used to power the TED Open Translation Project, with TED switching from the former to the latter in early 2012. Both platforms offer similar browser-based solutions for crowd sourcing subtitles and translations.

Dotsub and Amara both offer two levels of services for crowd sourcing subtitles: a free version which allows any visitor to create subtitles for only publicly-available video (e.g. videos from YouTube); and a paid “Enterprise” version would allow organizations to create teams and workflows.

While some in the TED translation community still continue to favor the Dotsub platform over Amara (TED Conversations, 2012), the switch alone was enough to convince Art21 that Amara would be the platform to use.

Another significant deciding factor was that Amara was developed by a non-profit organization, the Participatory Culture Foundation, whose mission of “supporting a democratic media by creating open and decentralized video tools and services” (Participatory Culture Foundation, n.d.) aligns closely with Art21’s own mission.

Finally, Art21 would be in fitting company with other education-minded Amara partners, which, at the time, included: TED, Coursera, Khan Academy, and PBS NewsHour.

Public results from both TED and PBS NewsHour proved that the Amara platform was more than capable of supporting a community of translators. At the time of evaluation, PBS NewsHour videos had been translated into 52 languages (LaFrance, 2012), and TED videos into 89 languages (as of January 2013, TED videos are available in 97 languages) (TED, n.d.).

A hands-on demonstration with the free version of the Amara platform showed that the platform was accessible and easy to use, easing any concerns that an interface might become a barrier for participation.

After a pair of demonstrations guided by the Amara team, as well as several discussions with the Amara staff, Art21 selected the Amara Enterprise edition to be the platform to power the Art21 translation project.

Evaluating Existing and Potential Audiences

To get a better understanding of which languages to target, Art21 analyzed visitor demographic data for its websites— and—as well as its presence on YouTube, Facebook, and Vimeo. Data sets for analysis included: 1) Geographic locations; 2) Browser language settings for global visits; 3) Browser language settings for domestic (U.S.) visits; and 4) Percentage of visits from search engines. The date range for each data set was January 1–June 30, 2012.

For all countries and languages represented, a few assumptions were made. The general assumption is that a single visit from these groups indicates an interest for Art21 content for each respective country or language. However, for countries and languages that are towards the upper end of the data sets, the assumptions are that: 1) existing audiences are generally adequately served by English-only content; and 2) there exists a potential to better serve the communities represented by these audiences, with the existing audiences at the center of influence for their respective communities. For countries and languages at the lower end of the data sets, the assumptions are that: 1) existing audiences are only somewhat adequately served by English-only content; and 2) these audiences represent a general interest in Art21 content for their respective groups, and there potentially exists a larger interest in Art21 content if translated content existed.

Top-level analysis confirmed target languages that were otherwise to-be-expected. According to a 2010 study (Internet World Stats, 2010), the top 10 languages used by Internet users are estimated to be:

  1. English (27%)
  2. Chinese (25%)
  3. Spanish (8%)
  4. Japanese (5%)
  5. Portuguese (4%)
  6. German (4%)
  7. Arabic (3%)
  8. French (3%)
  9. Russian (3%)
  10. Korean (2%)

With the exception of Arabic, each of the above languages were represented in the top 10 for current Art21 visitors, each at similar ranking. Conclusions that were drawn from this analysis included:

  1. For the languages that match up in each list, Art21 should anticipate contributed translations with relatively little outreach and marketing;
  2. Chinese represented only 0.65% of the Art21 audience, and compared to the global 25%, should therefore be a higher priority target language (recent years have demonstrated a growing interest in contemporary art from within China);
  3. Japanese represented only 0.25% of the Art21 audience, and compared to the global 5%, should therefore be a higher priority target language;
  4. Arabic represented less that 0.05% of the Art21 audience, and compared to the global 3%, should therefore be a higher priority target language.

Choosing Content

A number of factors were considered in choosing the launch set of videos: relative popularity by view count; relative popularity by featured artist; subject matter, and how it relates to global audiences; and length. The initial set of launch videos included a mix of content matching each evaluated factor.

It was decided that the launch set of videos would only contain short-format videos. The primary reason for this was more for sake of being practical: episodes from the long-format Art in the Twenty-First Century series cannot be streamed online outside of the United States. If a goal of the translation project was to reach global audiences—and an expectation that many volunteer translators would be based outside of the United States—then inclusion of these episodes would not contribute to the overall goals of the project. Additionally, based on interviews with both the Amara team and the PBS Newshour team, short-format videos tend to perform better on the platform.


The Art21 Translation Project launched to the public on January 9, 2013. On the day of launch, the message was spread primarily through social media platforms.

Art21 also partnered with the community manager for the PBS Newshour translation team, Joshua Barajas, who had been managing the PBS Newshour’s translation team for almost six months in January. Barajas sent messages to the PBS Newshour team, encouraging that team of volunteers to join and contribute translations to the Art21 translation team. Messages were also sent from the PBS Newshour Twitter and Facebook accounts.

First Month Results

Within the first week of launch, the Art21 Translation Team contributed over 80 sets of translated subtitles from 31 individual volunteers across 15 languages. The team itself grew to 100 total members by the end of the first week. Languages represented within the first week included:


By the end of January, the translation team contributed a total of over 150 translations. Additional languages included:

Chinese, Simplified
Chinese, Traditional (Hong Kong)
Portuguese, Brazilian
Spanish, Mexican

Among the first videos to be translated were those that already had a set of English-language subtitles. Videos without English-language subtitles would eventually gain a contributed set of English-language subtitles, but those types of contributions were less frequent compared to translated subtitles.

Turkish and Indonesian were the most common languages represented in the first month, largely due to two highly active volunteers for each language. Both volunteers were not at all connected to Art21 prior to contributing translations. Dwi Rianto, the volunteer Indonesian-language translator, was referred to the project by PBS Newshour community manager, Joshua Barajas. The referral origins of Turkish-language volunteer, adeptgunes, are unknown, though the volunteer is very active throughout the Amara community, beyond the Art21 team. Both volunteers translated every video that had a set of English-language subtitles available.

The most-translated video was a 4-minute video featuring Nigeria-based artist, El Anatsui, titled Languages & Symbols. The film was selected for inclusion at launch not only because of the artist’s popularity, but also because of the film’s subject matter. In the film, the artist discusses the use of languages and symbols in his work—a theme that tied in well with the nature of the translation project. While there is no definitive evidence of the film’s success with accumulating translations, contributing factors are likely to be: 1) Artist popularity (the artist’s work has been shown in major museums around the world); 2) length of video; and 3) subject matter.

Even outside of the translation project, a film’s popularity is difficult to determine based on one particular factor; rather, it is assumed that the same above three factors—artist popularity; video length; and subject matter—contribute to a film’s success, in different combinations for each film.

Translation activity was most active during the weekends. The assumption here is that most volunteers are working professionals, and are contributing translations during their free time.

Managing the Community and Giving Recognition

For any project that is driven largely by volunteer contributions, a degree of community management must be anticipated. From the outset, it was important to let the community know that Art21 was very much involved in the day to day of the volunteer efforts. As the team’s efforts increased, it also became important to motivate the community by way of recognizing the community’s efforts.

For the first three weeks of the project, weekly digest messages were sent to team members from the Art21 community manager (Jonathan Munar, Director of Digital Media and Strategy, Art21). The first week’s digest included a welcome message from the Art21 community manager, inviting open dialogue between the community and Art21 throughout the duration of the project. Subsequent community messages included a complete listing of all translations completed over the given week, recognizing each contributing volunteer by name.

All contributing volunteers are then listed as supporters on the Art21 website. For each translation contributed, the translator’s name is also added to the video description on YouTube.

For a non-profit organization, contributions by way of volunteer time and expertise are equally as important as monetary contributions. This sentiment influenced how volunteers would be recognized, resulting in both private and public messages of recognition.

As the volume of contributions began to grow over the first month, it became more and more time consuming to properly identify and recognize each volunteer translator. As a result, community messaging became less frequent, and updates to supporter and video pages often experienced delays. Though perhaps not completely a result to the recognition lags, volunteer output would eventually slow down after the first month.

Though the evaluated timeframe is only one month, the increased lags in recognition suggests the possible need for additional staff resources and time in order to be able to effectively manage the community.

Extending Beyond the Amara Platform

Both the Amara and Dotsub platforms accept videos hosted on multiple other platforms. For the Art21 Translation Project, all Art21 videos were added to the Amara platform using YouTube-hosted video players. The use of the YouTube player presents several benefits.

Upon publishing a set of translated subtitles, the Amara and Dotsub platforms are able to immediately push these subtitles back to YouTube with no extra steps required in the publishing workflow.

With translations made immediately available on YouTube, each video becomes searchable and discoverable across the YouTube platform—a platform that is localized in 53 countries, across 61 languages (YouTube, n.d.).

Translated subtitles also become immediately available from within existing YouTube embeds. For example, a site such as ArtBabble—which uses YouTube embeds to display a majority of its listed videos—benefits from the work of translation projects without any effort from ArtBabble administrators. In 2012, over 160 languages were represented amongst the ArtBabble site visitors, and almost 40% of the ArtBabble visitors accessed the site from outside of the United States.

By using the YouTube embeds, site such as or ArtBabble become set up for broader internationalization without having to build a custom video player. Sites can potentially build on top of the YouTube API to bring additional filtering and discovery tool sets into their own platforms.

Conclusion: Perspectives from Volunteers

Art21 surveyed five of the more active volunteers from the Art21 translation team, each contributing at least five translations within the first month of the project. Of the five, only two are located within the United States. Coincidentally, the two U.S.-based team members were the only ones who were familiar with Art21 prior to joining the team.

Volunteers expressed an interest in expanding access as a motivating factor for contributing translations. Carolina Tamara, a Spanish-language translator currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Bloomington, Indiana, saw the chance to “give the opportunity to other people to listen to what these artists have to say; people that otherwise may not have that opportunity.” Mary Keramida, a Greek-language translator based out of Athens, Greece, shared a similar sentiment, see it as “a great opportunity to spread some ideas, or things that are worth of being talked, or discussed about, globally.”

Others noted the opportunities for intellectual and creative growth from the translation process. Isabella Martini, an Italian-language translator living in Pisa, Italy, often seeks opportunities to “discover something new, outside of my usual field of work.” Martini also notes that she teaches English translation, and uses the project as an exercise with her students. Elinoar Almagor, a California-based Hebrew-language translator, sees translation as a way “to process the information and delve deeper into the meaning.”

All of the surveyed volunteers joined the Art21 team because of an interest in visual art. Giulia Di Pietro, and Italian-language translator based out of Rotterdam, Netherlands, joined the team because it “melted perfectly” her interests in both video subtitling and contemporary art. Isabella Martini joined the Art21 team because of a “love for art, in all its shapes, and the possibility to get to know and spread the word about new artists.”

Among the initial goals for the Art21 Translation Project was to generate dialogue and contemplation about contemporary art and artists. Based on feedback from the surveyed volunteers, translators are indeed discovering new artists and new ideas about artist practices. Carolina Tamara notes that through the translation process, one has “to think a little bit more carefully about what the artist is saying.” Tamara then continues to describe an experience where the reflection of an artist’s words opens the door to relatable experiences, adding:

“Sometimes, I have little idea of what they are trying to say, not at the syntactic level, of course, but more at a semantic level. Other times, I can actually relate to it. For example, [William] Kentridge mentions in one of the videos, how the act of drawing something distressful or dreadful can actually turn it into something compassionate. I never thought about it that way. Why an artist spends hours depicting something painful? There is a transformative process. I’m not an artist, but I can relate to that.”

Tamara then spoke about moments when an artist’s words might not be so clear or relatable, stating, “Sometimes I translate, but again I might not understand the exact meaning of what the artist is trying to say, but the words do linger, and I remember them. Maybe one day, they will come back and I will understand.”

When selecting Art21 videos to translate, Elinoar Almagor chose artists that were unknown to her, as a way to discover new artists and listen to them speak. Almagor adds that “it is surprising sometiimes to see the gap between what I make of the work, and what the artist says about it. Gives it another dimension.”

Isabella Martini shared her takeaways from the translation process, stating that it “provides a deeper tool to get to know the creative process, because it is necessary to reproduce a written voice of artists, without depriving them of their personality and of their unique voice.” Similarly, Mary Keramida notes the specificity of language to art: “Artists do have a unique way of expressing themselves, and that comes to language too. It’s hard to understand them only by listening to what they want to say, you need to dig in very deep and read between the lines.”

Conclusion: Increase in Viewership?

A major question surrounding a project of this nature is: Do video views increase in other regions or languages as a direct result of translations? This statement is a bit difficult to prove.

The overall data sample spans only one month worth of data, which limits the types of conclusions that might be drawn.

A sample of videos translated on the platform showed a 70% average increase in viewership, versus a 34% average decrease in viewership for a comparable sample of videos not translated on the platform. Given the short date range of the data set, this analysis is still inconclusive.

Another barrier for drawing conclusions comes from the YouTube analytics platform. While YouTube analytics provide viewership by region, it does not supply data about use of a particular set of captions. Without this data, conclusions cannot be drawn using the platform about the correlation between available translations and viewer access.

Still Work to Be Done

Displaying translated subtitles on videos is only the foundation to a complete localized experience. Though video content may be translated, one still must consider that paths that viewers take to reach a video, be it by browsing or by searching. Art21 plans to analyze and address how viewers might best find translated videos on its own

Caption data is fully exportable from both the Amara and YouTube platforms. As a result, the possibilities exist to produce DVDs or other “offline” media which contain language-specific subtitles. This sets up opportunities for global screenings in communities where English is not spoken, as well as in communities where broadband Internet connection is less available.

Community management and engagement remains a critical component of the translation project. Art21 plans to analyze how best to serve its community of volunteer translators, both as a community of contributors as well as a community of art audiences. Additional research will be conducted to determine additional methods of publicly recognizing the contributions of volunteer translators.

Finally, Art21 plans to identify individual volunteers within the community who are best suited to become “ambassadors” for the project within their own communities. Art21 currently operates an international council, with 13 members across over 10 countries. The Art21 translation team also includes at least 10 very active contributors who have a passion for translation and visual art. Project ambassadors would encourage production of translations and seize opportunities for broader dialogue around the ideas found in Art21 videos.

Is the Crowd-Sourced Model Sustainable?

The efforts of a community are dependent on the strength and interest of the community. As long as communities are motivated to continue contributing, then the crowd-sourced model will continue to be effective. It is the responsibility of community managers to ensure that a community can continue to be productive.


Aleli Alcala, Amara; Darren Bridenbreck, Amara; Dean Jansen, Amara; Joshua Barajas, PBS Newshour; Isabella Martini, volunteer Italian translator; Carolina Tamara, volunteer Spanish translator; Mary Keramida, volunteer Greek translator; Giulia Di Pietro, volunteer Italian translator; Elinoar Almagor, volunteer Hebrew translator.


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Peck, Sally (2008, April 10). “Rickrolled: New York Mets fall victim to Rick Astley online prank”. The Telegraph. Accessed March 12, 2013.

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TED Conversations (2012). “How is your experiences with Amara for TED Translations” [Online forum thread]. Accessed January 12, 2013.

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Cite as:
J. Munar and S. Chun, In Other Words: Crowdsourcing Translation for a Video Driven Web. In Museums and the Web 2013, N. Proctor & R. Cherry (eds). Silver Spring, MD: Museums and the Web. Published May 1, 2013. Consulted .

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