TED — a collection of events and media properties owned the nonprofit Sapling Foundation — has gone to the trouble of translating its archive of thought-leader talks in various languages.
Sponsored by Nokia, the TED Open Translation Project bolsters so-called TED Talks with subtitles, time-coded transcripts, and the ability for volunteers to translate any talk into any language.
The project was also designed to enhance the accessibility of the talks for both the hearing-impaired, and search engines, which can now index the full transcript of a talk.
For example, searching on Google for “green roof” will ultimately lead you to the moment in architect William McDonough’s talk when he discusses his green roof project for Ford’s River Rouge plant, and also the moment in Majora Carter”s talk when she speaks of her green roof project in the South Bronx. Transcripts will index in all available languages.
Founded as a conference in 1984, TED — which stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — was acquired by Chris Anderson’s Sapling Foundation in 2001, and has since expanded to include an international conference, and various media initiatives, including TED.com.
More than 200 volunteer translators have already contributed, allowing the site to launch with 300 translations in 40 languages.