Introducting the Dotsub API

We here at Dotsub are happy to announce our first public API release! Our API is based on industry standard REST principles and you query your videos and subtitles using simple HTTP requests.  The API provides a fast and simple way to query our system programmatically. We provide methods to upload videos and captions, monitor the status of your videos, and access to your video captions.

Our API is comprised of two parts. This first is the ‘Public API’ which is accessible to all Dotsub users. This allows you to query videos, captions and translations.

If you are one of our Enterprise clients, you also have access to the ‘Extended API’. This API extension allows you to programmatically order captions, translations and files from Dotsub. It also provides facilities to monitor your orders and track your captioning and translation costs.

We cannot wait to see what you can create with our API!  Please share your ideas with the community on the discussion forum.

Just have a look at our detailed documentation. We also have added some API Examples on GitHub to get you started. If you have any questions about the API, let us know on the discussion forum.

 

Which English Do You Speak?

There are approximately 330 million people who call English their native language and many more who have acquired it as a second (or third) language.  These Englishes can vary widely depending on  geography and culture.  These many variants differ not only in vocabulary and slang phrases – but in syntax and usage as well. To see which English you speak, take the test at Games with Words.

 

How To Subtitle Your Facebook Videos

Facebook has been making a big push towards video. They’ve added new features like autoplay and are planning future improvements like view counts. They have even started courting content creators.

The most important video feature Facebook could add has already been released. It rolled out without any fanfare or even a mention from Facebook. This new feature is the ability to add captions to your Facebook videos.

If you are using Facebook videos in your social marketing, including captions is a must. Not only are you ensuring you expose your content to a larger audience, including deaf and hard of hearing viewers, but you are also providing a unique and amazing experience via captions and Facebook’s autoplay.   

When a user scrolls through their timeline, videos are auto-played with no audio, but any existing captions will be displayed to the user.

3D Facebook subs

It is very easy to enable this on Facebook. All you need is a video and captions. If you do not have captions for your video, checkout my post on how to have dotsub create them for you.

Facebook uses SRT captions.  You can download an SRT file the video page on Dotsub. This is found to the right of the video in the ‘Caption and Translate’ area:

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Facebook has very strict naming conventions for SRT files: your file must be named ‘filename.en_US.srt‘. Once you have renamed your caption file, upload your video to Facebook. After uploading, Facebook will prompt you that the video is converting, from here you can ‘Edit Video’ to add captions. 

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You will now be presented with the ‘Edit Video’ screen. Here you can give your video a title, description and upload your caption file.

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Hit ‘Save’ and your captions will start displaying on your Facebook video.

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We absolutely applaud Facebook for supporting captions for video. We do however wish they also supported translations and allowed multiple caption tracks. You can add your voice to ours and request this feature as well by filling out a feedback form on Facebook.

Startup Class Videos Freely Available From Y Combinator and Stanford University

Screenshot 2014-09-23 21.19.12

For the first time in its history famed Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator, in collaboration with Stanford University, is making its lecture series teaching how to build a startup freely available to anybody, launching the open Startup Class. The lessons taught by proven startup founders, each of whom created companies that grew to valuations in excess of $1 billion, are posted on YouTube every Tuesday and Thursday. Within a few days from the announcement over 50.000 people signed up to follow them, from all over the world.

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Dotsub is contributing captions to make the videos easily accessible, and we also created a team page where volunteers following the course who speak other languages can sign up to translate the videos into Russian, Korean, Italian… any language!

The first video is available already on YouTube, and we are at this very moment preparing its English time-coded captions. There is also a Facebook group and a mailing list to keep everybody up to date on the program.

We are very excited to help this project which opens the best advice on how to build a successful startup to anybody in the world, and which, with the help of Dotsub and the students everywhere will be available in many languages shortly.

Dotsub.com Statistics – August 2014

Here is the September edition of our regular section giving you, the Dotsub community, an idea of where in the world our users were using Dotsub and what languages they were working in during the month of August, 2014 and maybe a little geography lesson at the end.

Lang20

 

English, Spanish and Portuguese are well established at the top of the rankings these days and the rest of the world is coming in a poor fourth. The major European languages French, Italian and German are always there or thereabouts and most of the other entrants in the top 20 are European languages with Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew and Korean the exceptions. My confusion about whether Turkey considers itself European extends to this  paragraph. So I think the score is 15 1/2 to 4 1/2.

As always I have removed the top few (4 in this case) to make the graph a little more discernible.

In the countries section, Canada moved up from 4th to 2nd and Hungary dropped out of the top 20 altogether. Slovakia and Israel both got in at the lower end. Interestingly, this month is quite different from previous months with lots of movement in the top 20.

 

Locs20

And removing the US allows everything else to be seen a little more easily.

Locs2-20

 

Now onto the good bits. The intriguing part of the data to me, as regular readers know, are the countries and/or territories that are at the other end of the list with only one visit. Usually they are island nations but in August the geographies were all over the map (get it!!). There were 2 Caribbean islands, 3 African nations (two in West Africa and 1 in the South East), two island groups in the Pacific, one in Polynesia and one in the West Pacific, the Falkand Islands in the South Atlantic and finally the Central Asia nation of Turkmenistan. The West Pacific country was Palau. It is geographically part of the larger island group of Micronesia. The country’s population of around 21,000 is spread across 250 islands forming the western chain of the Caroline Islands. Palau is a presidential republic in free association with the United States.  The country uses the United States dollar as its currency. The islands’ culture mixes Japanese, Micronesian and Melanesian elements. The majority of citizens are of mixed Micronesian, Melanesian, and Austronesian descent, with significant groups descended from Japanese and Filipino settlers. The country’s two official languages are Palauan (member of the wider Sunda–Sulawesi language group) and English, with Japanese, Sonsorolese, and Tobian recognised as regional languages. In 1981 Palau voted in the first nuclear free constitution.

See you next month.

New Feature: Add/remove project managers

We have added the ability to edit/remove the users who can manage your Dotsub projects. This feature is available to all enterprise clients that are using our Projects feature.

Adding and removing managers is very simple. Just open your project and navigate to the ‘Project Information’ tab. Here you will see a lising of the current project managers. Edit this listing clicking on the ‘gear’ icon.

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To remove a manager click on the ‘x’ after their name.

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To add a manager you need to know their Dotsub username, which you can then enter in the text field, pressing enter to add them to your project.

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If you have any questions about this new feature let us know.

How to: professional captions and translations for your video

Here at Dotsub we don’t only offer our high quality professional captions and translations to large enterprises. We offer this service to everyone. All you need is a video file and a credit card, Dotsub will do the rest.

First you have to sign up for a free account at Dotsub. Don’t worry, it is a quick easy process. You can do this by clicking here. Once you are done with that step, you can continue on with this guide.

The next step is to select ‘Upload and Order‘ from our site menu. You will be asked to add your billing details to your account. This is the credit card we will charge for your captioning and translation work. We do not store your credit card information, but we use a Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) compliant service, ensuring that your card information is safe and secure.

After your account has billing details added, you will be taken to the order and upload page. Here you need to give your video a title, description and select the language of the video. On the right side you will see the order area. Here you can select the translations you need for your video:

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After you have selected all the items you need we can estimate the cost of your order. Our video captioning prices are always rounded up to the next minute. This means a 5:45 video is 6 minutes, a 4:15 video is 5 minutes.

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Now all you have to do is press ‘Upload & Order’. You will receive a confirmation email once your video is uploaded into Dotsub. Just make sure you don’t close the upload window until the upload is complete! We will start working on your captions and translations right away. We will also notify you, by email, when your order is complete.

 

GALA Announces Ambassador Program

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GALA, the Globalization and Localization Association, announced today its GALA Ambassador Program, and I’m honored to have been chosen to be among the first four Ambassadors of the association.

Last year I gave the keynote speech at the GALA Conference in Miami, and had the chance to share with the audience my views on how the role of localization will evolve in view of an increasingly powerful technology assisting localization firms, and enterprises in their efforts.

In the announcement GALA said today:

Two of the main roles of an Ambassador are to utilize their prominent industry position and their connections to promote GALA and to help with the job of representing GALA at the many events where it is felt the membership can benefit from our being there. Their findings from these events will be reported back to the membership; the key being to share new findings and know-how.

For me it will be a privilege to listen to market needs, and to promote the value of an association like GALA to enterprises worldwide.

What’s Language Got to Do with It? The Affect on Corporate Social Responsibility

The Link Between Language and Corporate Responsibility

Over the years, we’ve seen corporations pay increasing attention to being good global citizens focused on sustainability and corporate social responsibility.  Whether the organization’s goal is good public relations, good community relations, employee involvement, or a better bottom line, this development has reached acronym status: CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility).

How companies use language to articulate their social efforts has been a topic of study.  Several articles by Desantis Brenindel, brand marketers out of NYC, say that the language used to describe the CRS endeavors help companies align these efforts with the core values of their corporate brand.  They analyzed the CSR reports of Fortune’s Top 100 companies and found that the terminology used was carefully chosen and consistent with the company’s branding and further promoted their messaging.  It is not surprising that corporate marketing would tailor the description of its community campaigns to work consistently within the company’s brand.

Researchers at Harvard Business School, led by Christopher Marquis, thought to ask a more fundamental question:  what if the actual language used by top executives – that is English, Chinese, German, etc. – was related to the success and implementation of corporate social responsibility programs?

It has long been theorized that the language a group has to work with influences their behavior, values and indeed the structure of their world.  That is, languages shape the way people think.  These researchers asked if the same could be true of businesses.  Was the native tongue they used a determiner in business philosophies and decisions?

Their research shows that a company’s degree of social responsibility is indeed affected by this factor—the language it uses to communicate.

Research has shown that companies located in countries including Germany, Japan, and most Nordic nations are more likely to practice CSR and sustainability initiatives than are companies in France, India, the US, or Russia, for example.  This has been attributed to the “cultures” of these countries.  The concept of culture is easy to understand but how do you measure something as subjective as culture?

These researchers used language.  Surprisingly, the vocabulary used was not as important as the way the language is fundamentally structured.  This is related to previous work by Keith Chen in a paper published in the American Economic Review which studied individual decision making.  He explained that in English, and Spanish, for example, speakers change to a completely different structure to refer to the future; while in others such as German, Swedish and Chinese, use basically the same structure.

Some languages such as English, or Russian, when describing future actions use construction that place a greater distance between the present and the future.  Social responsibility is always an investment in the future. The researchers found that, like individuals, the more separation placed between present and future events, the less socially responsible a company was.

All is not lost however!  Just as some people can diet or save money even if their language is structured for short term gratification, organizations can take on the challenge.  The investigators also found that the language effect was largely overcome by the companies that were highly globalized and had workers internationally.  Just being aware that language has an influence, can help managers and strategists direct business behavior in many ways, including social responsibility.

 

http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7479.html
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/7484.html
http://www.desantisbreindel.com/speaking-csr-does-language-impact/#sthash.WbNRRK8m.dpuf
http://www.desantisbreindel.com/the-language-of-csr/#sthash.ULA2OQYi.dpuf
http://www.desantisbreindel.com/the-language-of-csr/#sthash.n2VFioRo.dpuf
http://www.desantisbreindel.com/the-language-of-csr/
http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/keith.chen/papers/LanguageWorkingPaper.pdf

 

What is the Most Linguistically Diverse Nation?

According to Ethnologue, the languages of Papua New Guinea number 830 living languages.  Of these living languages, 43 are institutional, 303 are developing, 348 are vigorous, 108 are in trouble, and 36 are dying.  One reason cited for the survival of so many languages are relative poverty which has kept any single language from becoming dominant. Another reason is that this land area is broken into 600 islands that geographically shelter the smaller languages.

And here is a volcano erupting in Papua just a few days ago.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Languages_of_Papua_New_Guinea

http://www.ethnologue.com/country/PG