The Autodesk Open Translation Project is an Autodesk Labs project where we work closely with a community of volunteer students, educators, and freelance translators who believe in the culture of participation and the power that Open Learning resources can bring to the world at large. We are using Autodesk Labs to actively seek feedback and engagement on how to evolve and improve our Open Learning initiatives. Our worldwide vision for open learning requires that we reach out in many languages. To this end we are looking for skilled volunteers like yourself to join our community and help translate the subtitles for our video tutorials hosted on YouTube. All languages are welcome!
Here is a story I received from Autodesk Principal User Experience Designer, Judy Bayne and Autodesk Senior International Customer Experience Analyst, Patrizia Pedrazzini. Both are available to answer your questions on the Labs forum for the Open Translation Program.
The Smiling Faces that Drive the Autodesk Open Translation Project
If there is one thing we've learned since starting on our journey with the Autodesk Open Translation Project, it is that creating and sustaining a crowdsourced community of practice does not happen overnight. Our goal was to build an open and fluid sense of belonging for a community of contributors with the linguistic skills to translate the subtitles of our YouTube learning videos to be shared in the many languages of world. We discovered the Amara platform on which we chose to pilot the project. Then we advertised the project as widely as we could and very soon contributions started coming in.
It is said that storytelling is central to human culture and connectivity. So in that spirit we would like to share the story of what our top contributors — Marie Couacault and Gabriela Cardial — have told us regarding their experience with the Autodesk Open Translation Project. Marie and Gabriela did a lot of work to get many of the videos translated into French and Brazilian Portuguese. They also have some advice for us on how to make this an even better experience when the next set of projects start up!
How did you learn about the project?
Marie: I was looking at some TED talks. They always have great subtitles and I knew that the translators were volunteers. They have a page on their website where they explain how TED's Open Translation Project works. I was curious, so I took a look and that's how I discovered Amara. Once I was on the Amara website, I checked out the different teams. I'm a French architect, I just graduated this year and I am used to working with Autodesk software, so when I saw the Autodesk Open Translation team, I thought it could be interesting to join.
Gabriela: My father works at Autodesk and informed me about it.
What motivated you to participate?
Marie: I watch a lot of videos on the internet. I've even made YouTube tutorials during my internship at Nemetschek Allplan. And I know that when I'm watching a video, I'm always grateful when subtitles are provided. I speak English pretty well, but not everyone does. And even if your English is good, tutorials can be hard to follow. Depending on your software's version and your interface preferences, features aren't always in the same place. And some tools may have a different name in the French version of the software, but once again, it may depend on the version you're using! I guess I just wanted to make it easier for users. Plus, it was an opportunity to practice my English and my translation skills. Who knows, having some experience in subtitling videos may come in useful someday?
Gabriela: I'm graduating in Translation so participating will definitely help my studies.
How did you find the platform to use?
Marie: I think Amara is really easy to use. I had never done subtitles before, but I had no problem getting started, because Amara is a pretty intuitive tool. Most of the time, I didn't even have to enter timing information, I could directly use the ones from the English captions. This saved a lot of time.
Gabriela: Really good. The quick tutorial taught me everything I needed to know and the process of editing was pretty easy
What would you add or change in the platform?
Marie: It would be nice to have a forum directly on Amara. So, if for example, someone is not sure how to translate a specific feature or expression, that person could ask the other volunteers on the forum. I know there's the Autodesk Labs Forum, but I think it would be easier to open a discussion directly on Amara.
Gabriela: I'd probably add an auto-save tool because I'm really clumsy and by mistake lost everything I'd done.
How did you find the communication with the project team?
Marie: If someone asks a question on the forum or by e-mail, the team answers pretty fast :) But apart from that, there is not much news about the project.
Gabriela: Awesome. They've clarified each and every doubt I'd had.
Do you have any suggestion on what would have made your experience as a contributor more satisfying?
Marie: It would have been nice to have more types of videos to translate. Right now we only have 3ds Max and Revit tutorials and Autodesk Research videos. I also think it could be good to work in pairs, with one translating and another one proofreading.
Gabriela: Not really, I've found everything satisfactory. I just wish I had more time to translate the videos.
Marie and Gabriela have received certificates of participation from the Autodesk Open Translation Project. We are thrilled that these talented ladies are members of our community!
You can express yourself regarding open learning by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or post to the dedicated forum in the Autodesk Labs project.
Certificates are alive in the lab.