Become a TED Translator

Are you interested in translating TED talks? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Read this article to learn more about the project, how to apply, and what to expect once you’re accepted. There’s a Facebook group dedicated to the project and guides for applying, too. TED is also looking for volunteers to contribute to their transcripts, and you can join! But first, you need to understand what a TED translator does.

TED Open Translation Project

The TED Open Translation Project is a crowdsourced website where volunteers translate TED talks into their native languages and then review them before they are published. Volunteers must be fluent speakers of the language of the TEDTalk and fluent in the source language. In addition, translators must be at least bilingual in both the source and target language. Fluency means equaling native speaker levels in both languages. TED matches translators with other volunteers who speak the same language.

TED Translator

You can apply to become a TED Translator by completing the TED application. In the application, you must rate your language proficiency and provide a brief explanation of how you learned about Amara. Your application should be proofread thoroughly before you submit it. You should receive a response within five days. Then, you can start translating the TED talks! But what is the process like? First, you need to prepare for the application.

TED Translator Facebook group

The TED Translator program is a global volunteer effort that allows linguists to subtitle TED Talks, TEDx Talks, and TED-Ed videos. TED Talks are uploaded to the TED Translators Program subtitling partner Amara. With an easy-to-use online interface, TED Translators can submit subtitles directly to Amara. The TED Translators Program Facebook group allows translators to connect with one another and share tips and ideas.

TED Translator application requirements

If you would like to translate TED talks, the first step is to apply for the position as a TED Translator. This volunteer role requires you to be fluent in both English and the language of the source video. This is important, as TED talks are usually delivered in English. In addition to being bilingual, TED Translators must be fluent in the transcription language. Moreover, you must have an understanding of subtitling best practices. TED uses the free online subtitling tool Amara. Although translator training is not required, many TED Translators already have a degree in translation.

TED Translator community

The TED Translator community is a global network of volunteers who work to translate talks into their native languages. A member of the community since 2014, John Chow contributes talks in English and Polish. His interest in TED came about when he heard a chance TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor. After watching the talk, he realized the power of TED in communicating fresh ideas to a wide variety of audiences. Today, he is part of the growing community of TED translators and is working to deliver subtitled talks to an international community.

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