How a TEDx community comes together to get their talks translated

Elīna Dobele at TEDxRiga

Elīna Dobele at TEDxRiga subtitled in Chinese (Photo: TEDxRiga)

Since their first event in 2012, the team behind Latvia’s TEDxRiga has been working with TED’s Open Translation Project (OTP) to get their talks transcribed and translated. They collaborate with a team of volunteers as well as OTP Language Coordinators to open up TEDxRiga talks to the world.

Thanks to their team and OTP English Language Coordinator Denise Quivu and Latvian Language Coordinators Kristaps Kadiķis and Ilze Garda the results have been remarkable. A talk from TEDxRiga 2013, Andris Ambainis’s look at quantum computing, now has subtitles in six languages: English, Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Latvian and Hebrew. Elīna Dobele’s 2012 presentation on “architecting a shoehas subtitles in English, Spanish and — in a first for the event — Simplified Chinese.

Overall, roughly two out of every five TEDxRiga talks are currently fully transcribed,” the team reported in a blog post in May, sharing a graph of translated talks (below):

TEDxRiga translation stats as of May 2015 (Credit: TEDxRiga)

TEDxRiga translation stats as of May 2015 (Credit: TEDxRiga)

But TEDxRiga wants that number to grow. The benefits of transcribing and translating talks are many — the process opens up talks to the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities and to speakers of languages other than that of the main TEDx event.

You can read more about the benefits of transcription and translation here and can learn more about how you can join TEDxRiga and all TEDx events by getting involved in OTP here.

OTP translators can access TEDxRiga talks in need of transcription/translation here.

Learn more about TEDx and OTP in these stories:

1 Comment

  1. Hi,

    TEDxVaugirardRoad organized last month a TraducthON, sort of hackathon of translation of transcribing. TEDxClermont, TEDxLaRochelle and TEDxPointeàPitre joined the movement, as well as Ivana Korom from OTP, 2 language coordinators (Shadia Ramsahye & Elisabeth Buffard), and 3 Reviewers (Zoé Jourdain, Morgane Quilfen & Stéphane Roger). It was a great day, thanks to our partnership with ISIT intercultural school. We had students highly motivated in translating and transcribing, and nearly 60 participants showed of in Paris or online, what a good surprise for our first event ! If you want to know more, you can read (in french) an article on our website:

    Thank you for showing the way with your excel file, it was a really good support to create ours :)

    #IdeasWorthSpreading !


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