Statistics June, July 2014

Here is this  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 June and July, 2014


Language 1 June

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 Hungarian, European but not major is quite well represented in this summer’s (for them) statistics.


Language 2 June


Language 1 July


Language 2 July


The country by country statistics are always fascinating to me. Hungary has shot to the top (well 2nd) from 7th in May, in both months and this was due to a viral video that got translated into a couple of languages including Hungarian before its owner decided to insist that we take it down, well within their rights of course but disappointing nevertheless. Spain dropped from 2nd to 7th and 8th in June and July. I’m putting all this down to the World Cup in Brazil where the whole world came to speak football.


Country 1 June


Country 2 June

Country 1 July


Country 2 July

The fascinating parts of this article for 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 June, Swaziland and Turkmenistan were among the 8 nations with only 1 visit. In July San Marino was a singleton, but for this month’s Geography lesson we take a look at St Pierre & Miquelon which are are a small group of islands in the North Atlantic Ocean, south of Newfoundland and Labrador. First settled by the French in the early 17th century, the islands represent the sole remaining vestige of France’s once vast North American empire, New France. In addition for those of you interested in Political Science and the government of these places, it is a self-governing territorial collectivity of France and its currency is the Euro.

See you next month.

Kinnernet Italy

Dotsub’s own David Orban attended the first Kinnernet Italy held in Venice in early August. This was a gathering of  innovators from all disciplines (science, business, technology, media, education, art, and social) and all geographies (Israel, Europe, US, and Asia).

The Serenissima UnConference was a three day, by invitation only event, bringing together about 100 digital entrepreneurs, thinkers, opinion makers and influencers from around the world in an out of the box, irreverent, bottom-up innovation, creativity, technology and cultural unconference.

Here is David talking about the Network Society at Kinnernet.

Cell Phone Etiquette

From the folks at Repair Labs – Cell phone etiquette for 11 countries:


New Feature: iOS Subtitles for Brightcove users

Another exciting addition to our platform for all our Brightcove enterprise users.  We now can provide subtitles for iPhone/iPad via a new plug-in. Documentation for this can be found here.

For more details please contact your account manager.

FCC Expands Closed Captioning Rules to Web Clips


On July 11, 2014 The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has yet again expanded the types of video that broadcasters, cable and satellite channels must caption for the deaf and hearing impaired.

The FCC already requires that full-length programming that appears with closed-captioning on TV also include captioning when the video is posted online. Building on the closed captioning rules adopted in 2012, these new rules extend captioning to clips of that TV content such as online promotions and live or near-live breaking news and sports topics.

Citing the need for further accessibility, the agency’s chairman Tom Wheeler says the hearing impaired community “have been told they have to wait until technology catches up to them.  ‘Waiting until they get around to it’ is no longer good enough.”

The broadcast industry had been pleading for more time citing technical challenges as well as rising costs and competition in the marketplace.

In a recent article by Samantha Bookman of FierceOnlineVideo, Dotsub Chief Revenue Officer Peter Crosby states that despite content providers’ concerns, putting captions into digital format has breathed new life into the market segment.

“(Captions are) at the mandate level, which has driven a lot of this. Netflix and Amazon Instant were under huge pressure to caption everything. What’s happened now is they have all made it to 100 percent and now found huge utility around captions,” relates Crosby.

See the full text of the article at:

There are a series of deadlines between 2016 and 2017 for captioning the clips:

January 1, 2016 – for clips which contain a single excerpt of a captioned television program with the same video and audio that was presented on television

January 1, 2017 – for montages when a single file contains multiple straight lift clips

July 1, 2017 – for video clips of live and near-live television programming, such as news or sporting events.  Distributors have 12 hours after the live video programming was shown on television and 8 hours after the associated near-live video programming was shown on television before the clip must be captioned.

Also in this ruling, the agency issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that asks for comment on related issues.

For the full text of the FCC rulings:



Speedy Speech

Everyone knows that languages you don’t speak well go by like a speeding bullet. The words rush by while your ears and brain try to grab hold of something, anything, that sounds familiar.   Some languages, like Spanish and Japanese seem faster than others, like English and Mandarin.  But those who work closely with video know that English films don’t speed up when translated to Spanish or slow down when translated into Mandarin.

brain2Somewhere among all the languages must be a great equalizer that keeps us conveying information at the same rate even if the speed limits vary from tongue to tongue.

To investigate this puzzle, researchers from the Université de Lyon recruited 59 male and female volunteers who were native speakers of one of seven common languages: English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin and Spanish, and one not so common one: Vietnamese. They were told to read 20 different texts in their native languages into a recorder. The only edits were to remove long silences.

Next the researchers counted all of the syllables in each of the recordings and further analyzed how much meaning (information density) was packed into each of those syllables. More number crunching followed and the researchers had two critical values for each language: the information density for each of its syllables and the average number of syllables spoken in ordinary speech. Vietnamese was
used as a reference language for the other seven with its syllables given an arbitrary value of 1.

speedsThe data revealed that the more data-dense the average syllable was, the fewer of those syllables had to be spoken per second and therefore the slower the speech. Despite those differences, at the end of a given period of time, all of the languages would have conveyed more or less identical amounts of information.

This study does point to the things that unite us – like the speech generation and processing that we share. What’s the neurological cause of it?  I’m sure scientists are pondering that as well.  The researchers wrote, “A tradeoff is operating between a syllable-based average information density and the rate of transmission of syllables.”,8599,2091477,00.html

How to Make Your Time Coded Caption File Readable by Humans

When you download an .srt file all the information is there, but when you look at the file with the default text editor (in Windows this is Notepad) the formatting leaves a little to be desired.


Humans like a little more white space


To get your time coded caption file to look like the 2nd example, simply open the .srt file with Microsoft Word and it will automatically generate this format.

The technical reason for this is the fact that there are two characters, historically, that have been used to connote a new line. Line Feed and Carriage Return.

Line Feed – LF – \n – 0x0a – 10 (decimal)

Carriage Return – CR – \r – 0x0D – 13 (decimal)

Different operating systems have a different way of understanding new line. MacOS understands ‘\n’ as new line since the introduction of OS X (\r prior to that), while Unix and Linux has always used ‘\n’ as new line character. Windows needs both the characters together to interpret as new line, which is ‘\r\n’.

The .srt standard uses \r for a new line so you need to read the file using an application that understands that \r (in this case) means the same as \r\n.

Easy when you know how. Statistics for May 2014

Here is this month’s 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 May, 2014


Langs top 20










Czech rocketed up the charts from last month’s #7 to #4 pushing French down to #5. Slovakian also moved up to #9 from last month’s #16. Catalan dropped out after a brief appearance last month being replaced by Arabic at #19

I removed the top 5 so that it is a little easier to see the performance of the other languages.

Langs 6-20











In terms of locations, the top 3 remain the same but the Czech Republic leaps to #4 from last month’s #10 and Hungary moves up from #9 to #7. Colombia #12 and Malaysia #16 did not figure in last month’s top 20 at all.

Countries top 20

Again to help see more detail, I have removed the US.

Countries 2-20

As always we look at the other end of the table and see that we have only 3 locations this month with a single visit -  the Falkland Islands, Montserrat and Vanuatu.

For our geography lesson this month, Vanuatu is an island archipelago consisting of approximately 82 relatively small, geologically newer islands of volcanic origin (65 of them inhabited), with about 1,300 kilometers (810 mi) north to south distance between the outermost islands. Two of these islands (Matthew and Hunter) are also claimed by France as part of the French collectivity of New Caledonia. Fourteen of Vanuatu’s islands have surface areas of more than 100 square kilometers (39 sq mi). The country lies between latitudes 13° and 21°S and longitudes 166° and 171°E.

As many of you know, we are in the midst of the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Next month we’ll see if there is any correlation between the use of the Dotsub website and the results of the competition.

Test Your Knowledge of World Languages

Can you name the most spoken languages in the world?

We will give you only one clue – there are two different versions of Chinese in the list.  Best of luck!

Click on the sporcle to start.







How Do Languages Evolve?

How did we end up with so many languages? There are thousands of them – which have developed from a much smaller number.  In this TED-Ed video, Alex Gendler explains how linguists group languages into language families, demonstrating how these linguistic trees give us crucial insights into the past.