Ideas worth translating

TED: Ideas worth spreading is a web site featuring “Riveting talks by remarkable people, free to the world”. To give you a flavour of the quality of the talks, you can rank them on the home page as: jaw-dropping, persuasive, courageous, ingenious, fascinating, inspiring, beautiful, funny or informative. The “Wow!” factor indeed.

TED (which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design) has now introduced an Open Translation Project. The aim is to

bring TEDTalks beyond the English-speaking world by offering subtitles, interactive transcripts and the ability for any talk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

The Open Translation page provides lots of language statistics: this month the language with most translated talks is Spanish, followed by Hebrew; the most active translators (all volunteers) are Shlomo Adam (Hebrew), Michele Gianella (Italian), Diego Leal (Spanish) and Emma Gon (Spanish). Fascinating stuff for language fans.

For more about TED’s language project, see David Pogue’s Great Videos in Any Language from Wednesday’s New York Times. David is a technology columnist for the paper, publishes IT guides and makes entertaining videos on personal technology devices. He’s also an accomplished musician. I’d hate him, but he looks too nice to even mildly dislike.

By Marian Dougan

Published by Marian Dougan

Marian is a translator and editor (specialising in web content) currently based in Glasgow, Scotland. Marian previously lived in Italy for over 20 years, working as a language teacher, translator and policy analyst with the British Embassy in Rome. A qualified member of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI) and its Italian-language and ITI Scotnet networks, she is currently Scotnet's Convenor and Deputy Webmaster. From 2003 to 2006 Marian taught translation skills at the Italian Department of Glasgow University and now gives Master Classes as part of the new Masters in Translation Studies course. She also conducts web-writing and usability workshops to help people improve their websites and communicate more effectively with their readers, users and customers. In September 2014 Marian obtained User Experience Certification, with specialisation in Web Design, from the Nielsen Norman Group. She loves language, especially English, and is convinced that learning languages opens up people’s minds and horizons (and increases their brainpower!). To share her enthusiasm, she advises schools and educational authorities on language skills and enterprise. She gives talks to pupils on how to combine language studies with other subjects and so enhance their potential and increase their career options. Marian is an active member of organisations such as: Scottish Council Development and Industry (SCDI); Association of Scottish Businesswomen; Dunbartonshire Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Scotland. She also loves architecture, design, fashion (British Vogue!), cities and chocolate. She’s a great fan of Twitter and you can also find her on Linkedin.

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