August 2014 Subtitler Spotlight

Each month we are spotlighting two of our On Demand team members, so we can start to get to know each other a bit better, and to recognize each other’s individual contributions to Amara’s mission.

This month’s spotlight is on Tracey Hill-Bensalem and Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry! We got a chance to hear more about their daily lives, and their advice to a new team members.


 

Brendan Ferreri-Hanberry
I am located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where I am currently attending graduate school at UNC Chapel Hill in the information science program. I recommend the area if you like pine trees.

Subtitling is actually my idea of a break; it is more entertaining than much of my schoolwork. Other than that I read books, largely nonfiction relevant to politics, and practice meditation. One tip I’ve found is to use the Tab key to start and stop videos. I used to use the mouse to click on the play/pause button and it slowed me down somewhat.

I found out about Amara through Rick Doblin’s appearance on Joe Rogan’s show (which I had never heard before that night). He mentioned that the videos of the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference, sponsored by his organization, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, were available for volunteers to caption on Amara. I started captioning them as a volunteer and that was my first involvement with the company. I was hired as a paid team member soon afterwards. So thanks, Rick. Also, I like languages and information science, and Amara lets me deal with material relevant to both.

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Tracey Hill-Bensalem
After spending most of my 20’s in Spain and France, working and studying, I got a job at The New Yorker magazine. I assisted with their transition to a digital workflow, first learning how it had been done for so many years (the Smithsonian actually came and photographed us amidst the pieces of cut paper, sentence fragments that were then pinned to boards, glued, and faxed to Chicago for typesetting! Imagine splitting a line by literally cutting it in two!)

I came across Amara while taking a few online classes via Coursera, where a professor suggested we might volunteer to improve the captions for their videos, and I did. With so many friends and family from other countries, many non-English speakers, as well as my love of learning, I am keenly aware and supportive of the importance and transformative power of giving people access to information.

My advice to new captioners? Nothing they don’t know already, being such a talented, bright group of people. I guess just take the time to make sure it’s your best work. Listen to the speakers, review your transcription as a reader, and watch the video as if you were a viewer. Good captioning, like good translation, should be transparent, smooth. If I learned anything after my time in publishing, it’s that no one is perfect, and we all can benefit from feedback and an extra set of eyes. I also learned that words…well, they are everything and they are magic.

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Amara Team Leader Highlight

We always want to keep the lines of communication open at Amara, and getting to know each other and our roles within the organization is a great place to start.

This month features Marília Correia, project manager at Amara!


I live in Recife, Pernambuco, Brazil, and in my spare time I like to hang out with my friends and my fiancé and spend time with my family. I also love to travel to different places and meet different people.

At Amara, I’m both a freelance translator and a project manager. As a Project Manager, I work closely with Jenny, Aleli and our On Demand team to set up projects, organize teams of translators and captioners, assign tasks, monitor the workflow, and make sure that all projects are done by the deadline, and in compliance with the Amara Style Guide. In addition, I help our subtitlers with any questions that may come up. I’m passionate about what I do and I want to continue to help the team to grow even more. Being part of Amara is one of the best things that happened to me!

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Photo of Marília Correia.

Subtitling Spotlight

Each month we are spotlighting two of our On Demand team members, so we can start to get to know each other a bit better, and to recognize each other’s individual contributions to Amara’s mission.

This month’s spotlight is on Melanie Ty and Michael Wilson! We got a chance to hear more about their daily lives, and their advice to a new team members.


Melanie Ty
I’m a proud and happy subtitler from the Philippines who is a work-at-home mother with three kids. Working with Amara On Demand has really provided me a steady income, which gave me enough to save for my daughter’s school fees. Aside from the financial benefits, I also gain knowledge from the videos I work on every day.

I still find challenges working at Amara. Sometimes we may have different interpretations of the guidelines, rules or instructions. What I’ve found is to always look on the brighter side of things and that it’s never wrong to ask for clarifications if you feel that you’re not doing it right. This is a team. We work as a team and we achieve things as a team.

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Melanie with her three children.


Michael Wilson
I live in San José Tepenené, Hidalgo, Mexico, where I teach English, computer skills, and science. My wife and I spend our free time as a traveling cinema show and are working on a documentary about our own town’s history.

I’m so proud of my kids… my daughter works to promote Fair Trade, my son is doing research at UCSC, and we have a two-year old boy who reminds me to play every day!

My advice to new Amara On Demand Subtitlers is to focus on teamwork – leverage the network. Also, be patient and practice slowly at first, to build skills before speed. When I factor in learning with making a living, and the way access to new information stands to improve my own life, as well as others lives in so many ways, it’s clear to me that this is a very worthwhile undertaking.

amara newsletter bioMike and his four children.

amara dev updates 2014-07-09

Amara’s new transcript viewer

Today we started using our new transcript viewer on every video embed on our site. Screenshot from 2014-07-09 22:04:23   The new embedder boasts a sleak design as it displays the searchable transcript.  You can click on any phrase to jump to that place in the video, easily switch back and forth between languages, and follow along as the text progresses.

Finally, the new embedder supports both video and audio files, so we now have video page playback support for mp3 and ogg audio as well.

We’re so happy to have the embedder on our website.  If you’d like to try the new embedder to promote captioning and translation of  your videos, the embed code is greatly simplified. You’ll find it in the usual spot on the video page or in the embed code usage guide.Screenshot from 2014-07-09 22:11:23 There’s a ton of changes in this release to production.  Here’s the complete list.

  • #1529 Replace widget with new embedder
  • #1585 New embedder does not work on Internet Explorer
  • #1566 update loading gif for embedder
  • #1563 Keep thumbnails in youtube videos
  • #1560 Duplicate / in URL in embedder that causes issues on production
  • #1545 Display only one video in diffing page
  • #1542 embedder menu when there are no subtitles
  • #1535 Update the embed code on amara web site
  • #1533 embed controls display html5
  • #1531 embedded video doesn’t display if switching tabs
  • #587 MP3 upload is not working
  • #628 embed MP3 file empty subtitles
  • #678 Layout, timing issue with MP3 audio
  • #1490 Start using the new embedder on amara pages
  • #548 Editor: gracefully process video formats incompatible with the browser
  • #1525 Deal better with videos on https
  • #1414 Teams: blacklisted languages should not be available for selection from the list
  • #1540 Change ‘Tartar’ language to ‘Tatar’
  • #1539 Deleting a video from the site, deletes the billing record

amara dev updates 2014-06-05

Changes pushed to amara.org

  • #1537 update location of loading gif for the embedder
  • #1532 IDL reset the net banners
  • #1530 update the order caption url for the embedder
  • #1528 New embedder should link “improve these subtitles” to editor

amara dev updates 2014-06-04

Updates to amara.org 2014-06-04

  • #1519 Nicer loading of the embedder embedder
  • #1397 Do not include line break into character count new editor
  • #1219 Better embedder behavior when video has no video language embedder