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Sue Everatt - 'Linguistic Team International' - Z-Day, 2011 (Repository)

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[Applause] Tao sang hau. Denki sauwaishai. Denisa kuwaa. Honchai maylee. Lesource-Based Economy That probably sounded like Chinese to you, didn't it? It did to me too, because I was making it up as I went along but I have a point and the point is the following: On the planet we actually have 7 billion people. Of those 7 billion people, only around 450 million actually speak English. We've got a map here of the English-speaking countries. As majority of the material that we receive in the Linguistic Team comes to us originally in English our task is to translate all that material for all those millions and billions of people who without our translations the videos that we share would sound like Chinese. When you understand that, you can begin to see the vital role that the Linguistic Team plays within the Zeitgeist Movement because without the translations, we are never going to be a truly global movement. Millions would never get to know about a Resource-Based Economy about the Venus Project, or about the Zeitgeist Movement. How do we work? We work collaboratively in teams. We work transparently. All the projects that we are translating are up online. Anybody can look them up; they can follow the progress. Sometimes there's moments in the process when they can join in and help translate as well. We have a unified method of work which we have developed collaboratively over the months as the team has been growing. We hold regular meetings online in Teamspeak to be able to keep up-to-date with the latest information with the new tools that might be brought in the updating of tools to a new level. All this is aimed towards achieving the best possible translations that we can because the accuracy in the translations is equal to the credibility and the survival of the Movement. If we give out poorly translated or badly presented work this only serves to spread confusion and give us a bad image quite frankly. Accuracy in the translations, this is what we're always striving for: the best possible translations that we can. As time has progressed, many of the benefits of working collaboratively have become very evident and they're worthy of note. The best example that I can give would logically be when we did the translation of Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. It was possibly the largest global translation effort ever done online. [Applause] It came shortly after receiving a 'tsunami' of emails in response to a young gentleman that has something to do with the Movement: Peter, somebody or other. He sent out an email to all the 500,000 members of the Movement asking for help with translations and we were absolutely inundated with emails. In about fortnight's time which is two weeks for those who don't know what a fortnight is we received over 2000 emails from people offering to help with the translations. Just as that 'tsunami' was finishing in came the task to translate Zeitgeist: Moving Forward. We were originally expecting some 30 Google Docs to work with but these 30 Google Docs grew exponentially into 78 Google Docs but unfazed, the 501 members of the 30 language teams that accepted the challenge of translating the film they rolled their sleeves up and leaving all other tasks aside typing their fingers to the bone and totally spaced on coffee we managed to meet the deadline of 3 weeks. We managed to get the translation, the subtitles prepared so that Peter could get them onto the videos for the screenings. We had to work in a different manner to the way we were used to because we had to protect the film from early release. But we even had time to prepare a collaborative Google Doc similar to the one I showed before with the transcription errors that we'd seen so that when the proofreaders came in afterwards for the final transcription proofreading, it was already sorted out for them. We worked collaboratively even on that level as well. The team structure: We have various teams obviously within the Global Linguistic Team. First, we have the transcribers for the English language. I say English language because most of the material comes to us in English. These are for the videos, for the audios such as the blogtalks for the PDFs, texts and the websites. We have the synchronization of the time-stamps on the videos we call them the Time-Shifters. We have the proofreaders for the transcriptions. Then we have the translators. Currently we support some 80 languages. You wouldn't believe, we've even got Mongolian. We've got various Indian dialects. We have languages from Africa. It's really getting big now. The final stage, the final team is the proofreaders for the translations. All of these working together obviously towards the best possible translations that we can get. Let's just briefly pass through what these different stages are. The transcription: The transcribing is the putting down in text form of what we hear from the original version of the video. There's a very common misconception here which I'd like to clear up now. I think it's very important that people understand this. A lot of people that only speak English think that they can't help us with the translations. "I don't speak another language so I won't be any good at that" but in actual fact your help is vital to the team because we need you to make the transcriptions: the original English subtitles. We need the English speakers to do that. If we don't have those accurate transcriptions the jobs of the translators then become very much more complicated: They have to listen for themselves. It's very less time efficient if they have to do it themselves so the transcribers are very, very, very important. If there's anybody out there that doesn't speak anything else but English and is wanting to get involved someway with the Movement believe me, you'd be welcomed with open arms on the transcription team. Just get in touch with me afterwards and I'll get you in touch with the transcription team. Basically we can say that without the transcriptions the translation team is held back and without the translations, the whole world is held back. If that message didn't get through, a word from our sponsors: [Applause] Very briefly, just to show you how user-friendly the tools are that we use this is dotSUB. Some of you've probably heard of dotSUB. It's a heck of a lot higher up than I thought it was going to be. I was going to point with my finger, but anyway... You can see on the left hand side you have the video with the subtitles underneath. On the right hand side, the rectangle there actually says "Add a transcription line". That's where the text goes in that you hear. You put in the text. You adjust the time-stamps. You can see the time-stamps here. We adjust the timestamps, they can even go to milliseconds for greater accuracy, so that they're spot on. Hit enter. It's automatically saved and it passes you on to the next time slot. You know it's very addictive. I've burned many a lunch thinking 'just one more box, just one more box'. Once the transcribers have done with this stage it then passes on to the time-shifters who will make sure that the synchronization is as perfect as possible with the voice and subtitles beginning at the same moment. As some languages need slightly longer to be translated maybe more characters, more words if it's at all possible, the English subtitle will be left on the screen milliseconds, half a second longer so that the translation also has time to be read because it's no good having marvellously done translations if they pass by so fast that you haven't got the time to read it and absorb the message. Once the time-shifters have done their magic the transcription is then open to the proofreaders of the transcriptions. This is quite important that it's native English speakers who do this so that they don't just check the grammar and the spelling but they make sure that all the words have been correctly heard because if not, this can happen: (Whispers) Hang on a minute, we're getting there. Ben! Sorry! - This here is my area. -This is the most important device for the coastguard staff... this device, that device, and there you see...survival radar! - Mayday! Mayday! Hello, can you hear us? Can you read us? Over. We are sinking! We are sink... - Alo? Zis iz ze German Koostgard. - We are sinking! We're sinking! - Wat are yoo zinking about? Underneath in blue is where the translation's inserted. This is a perfect example. It's in Bulgarian Addendum (beg your pardon), Social Pathology. It's a perfect example of how some languages need that little bit extra space, time to be read to say the same as what's been said in English. They're a bit more long-winded, a lot of the other languages than English is. It's also worthy of pointing out that when we come across a difficult term many of the terms used in this message that we're giving out now are unfamiliar to us so the teams collaboratively will get their heads together and decide on the best way to translate a certain phrase. 'City systems' has been quite a hard one for the Spanish team so we got together. We even got in touch with Jacque and Roxanne and then that phrase we decided to translate becomes standardized so that everytime we translate anything it's always going to be the same word that's used and we don't lead to confusions. Once the translations have been finished we then pass on to the proofreading phase. This is perhaps the phase that has the most responsibility because it's not just checking the grammar and the spelling of the language that it's been translated into but it's also making sure that the context is correctly conveyed. One mistaken translation, one word badly translated can change the whole meaning of a phrase and therefore the message. We have to be very careful that the message is correctly conveyed otherwise we get A being translated as B and then on top of that the people understand it as C. We really do have to take things very carefully on this level. Moving forward a little bit, we're working towards hopefully in the close future the Linguistic Team will have its own website dedicated purely and simply for Linguistic Team topics. It's in the embryonic stage at the moment. The idea is that eventually we will have a Linguistic Team Theater where all the videos that we've translated will be a one-stop shopping for the videos. Any activist or anybody that wants to see a good translation the best possible translation, will be able to come to this page and find them all there, in all the formats that they want to download or to share a link and I'm using TED as an example because we're going to be using the same system 'Dashboard'. I'll explain it in the next slide for the Linguistic Team website. There will also be a Linguistic Team library for the PDFs, books and so on. What happened with dotSUB was we caused so much traffic on dotSUB with the Zeitgeist material and the Venus Project material that it called the attention of the owners quite logically and they began to watch the videos. They liked them. They were in agreement with them, and they wanted to help us so they gave us a gift a gift that would normally be sold to companies like TED. This enables us to do marvellous things on the backside behind the curtains of the translation team. It will enable us to have that wonderful website theater but also, it will give us such fun toys as interactive transcripts. What does that mean? You can see here that we've got a Slovakian translation. It's actually quite a nice video on linguistics in babies. You can see the subtitle underneath the video and on the right-hand side you've got the translation and there's a zone that is in darker grey. What happens here is that when the mouse is moved over that coinciding with the subtitles, it will light up in a darker grey. If you click on it, it automatically takes you to that very point in the video. This is a really nice tool. You'll be able to go and check on something "What was it that so and so said in that video, let's go and look," and there it is, all at the touch of a button. These are all tools that are going to be very useful for us in the future, and this is what we're working towards. Here we have another one of the translation assist tools that we use. It's Pootle. Those of you that have been around a while will have heard of Pootle and it's been updated quite recently. This is what we use for the texts and for the websites. The videos are done in dotsub, and Pootle is where we do the texts. It's very user-friendly: Introduce the text into the box underneath the original transcription, hit enter. It's saved automatically and passes you on to the next paragraph. All these tools make it very easy to be collaborative because as things are automatically saved you just close down, go away and somebody else can come in and pick up where you left off translating so it's really very simple to work this way. Pootle currently supports the 80 languages that we have in the International Linguistic Team and one of the wonderful things about the Linguistic Team working internationally is that it has such a global reach. We're learning a great amount about communication between and across these artificial barriers that have been created. The 'Chapter Projects', you can see there in the title is a great example of promoting the communication between the chapters through the Linguistic Team. Any of the chapters that create some interesting information and wishes to share with the rest of the world can bring it into Pootle in their original language. We will translate it into English, and then into all the other languages to share with all the other chapters. The example that we have here is the "Bullet Points" by Simon but it's actually done in Macedonian there. You can see we really do a lot of different languages. One thing that is becoming patently clear with the Linguistic Team is that it doesn't just have to be the Linguistic Team that works on a international level. If all the teams were international it would help the Zeitgeist Movement grow much faster. Collaborating, we avoid duplication of the work and we achieve a much higher standard. It all comes down really to the fact that learning and sharing the experiences that we have we will cross these barriers. We will begin to really feel ourselves as a truly global movement. Basically, what we could say is that we're building bridges. We're building bridges better and stronger every day between the chapters and to the world and while some of the first bridges were very basic and some people didn't really get quite the idea of how to use a bridge we're moving towards a much more streamlined future where we can see and experiment for ourselves that no matter where we are in the world there's more similarities between us than differences. As more and more developers understand the need to work internationally and globally and come and help the Linguistic Team create the tools that we need to be able to get better with the translations then we will continue to beat at the heart of the Zeitgeist Movement and carry on towards this streamlined future that we're all looking forward to. Finally, just one last little word that I always say to the new members in the Spanish language team: We aren't translating a soap opera here. We're translating how to change the world. And that is something that is worth all the care all the dedication, all the time and all the love that we can give it. [Applause]

Video Details

Duration: 19 minutes and 25 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: TZM London
Director: TZM London
Views: 96
Posted by: ltiofficial on Feb 20, 2012

Vixi (Sue) talks about translating Zeitgeist Moving Forward, and how the international translation team works | London Z-Day, 2011.

Note: This location contains only "official", fully proofread versions of the transcript & translations, whose sharing is encouraged. More will be added as they are completed at: If your language is not yet represented here, consider helping these efforts by joining your language team at

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