Ideas Worth Spreading — to 4.5B More People

The smart people who put on the TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference — but who actually are also becoming a very interesting digital media brand —  announced something interesting today. It is now possible to either translate yourself or view translations of any of the many interesting videos (AKA “Ted Talks”) at The idea: make the talks useful to the 4.5 billion or so people who don’t speak English. To quote head-TED Chris Anderson:

The TED Open Translation Project will enable thousands of volunteer translators to use subtitles to make TED available to their own communities. To do this the right way has taken a year of preparation. But now we’re ready.

The site is filling up with  what they call “interactive transcripts”. They allow you to click on any word in English or a translated language — and actually make the video of the given talk play from that word on.

This is all very good for making the site and videos people-friendly to many more people. But it’s also very good for’s search engine friendliness… talks are searchable and findable, increasing the site’s profile on Google and other engines.

BTW, here, per TED, are the languages with the most talks translated in them, as of this posting.

Smart. Or, if you like, inteligente, интелигентен, 智能, חָכָם, لبيب, วิทูร

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