Lovely Language Tree

Arika Okrent over at Mental_Floss pointed us to this beautiful illustration of the usually dreary language tree.  It is by Minna Sundberg, creator of the webcomic Stand Still. Stay Silent,

LangTree

 

Halloween

turnip

Irish carved turnip

This day is most often linked to the Celtic festival of “Samhain”, which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end”.  And for me it certainly was that – I grew up in New England and the night was always cold.  Challenged by coats topped with costumes and masks that made it impossible to see, we would march bravely into the night seeking candy.  We would only go home when our hands were too cold, bags too heavy or my father too bored.  My most memorable Halloween was spent in Las Vegas many years later – but that’s a story for another time.

Please follow these links for more history and to see celebrations from around the world.

http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/haunted/articles/halloween-around-the-world

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

http://www.wsaw.com/feature/misc/60362977.html

Scenarist Closed Caption (SCC) file export

NTSCDotsub now supports export into Scenarist Closed Caption (SCC) subtitle files. This is an older NTSC based subtitle format used with broadcast TV.

Our SCC support is limited to the EIA-608 character set, which limits the number of languages we can display. We currently support English, Spanish, Spanish (Latin America), French, French (Canada), Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), German, Danish and Italian. We will be happy to expand this as needed for languages that can be rendered with the EIA-608 character set.

Most SCC encoders have limits on the subtitle display area which is a 16 x 32 grid (16 rows and 32 columns). We support files that comply with these rules as well as files that have lines that are too long. Why would we support line lengths that are too long you ask? It turns out one major video provider actually supports this. If you are planning to use SCC as an export format we recommend that you subtitle lines to 32 characters in length.

Our export interface:

Frame Rate: We support the two frame rates outlined in the specification: 29.97 FPS non-drop frame and 29.97 drop frame. To see the difference between the two, you can learn that here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykjyNeuQROU

Control Code Format: Since SCC was intended as a streamed format without transmission control, control codes if repeated are ignored; some systems require control codes to always be doubled. This option enables or disables the doubling of control codes.

Caption Mode: We support two SCC caption modes. Pop on which is the default. This is what you normally see when watching pre-taped content. Captions are shown on the screen and removed. Roll Up which are the type of captions you see when watching ‘live’ programs. Each time a line of captioning is added all the previous lines ‘roll up’ to make room for the new line at the bottom.

SCC Channel: This defines what SCC channel the data is being written for. Valid settings are 1-4.

Subtitle Options:

First time code: This can be 00:00:00:00 or 01:00:00:00 this is for systems that start at the hour mark.

Subtitle Justification: The normal left, right or centered alignment for subtitles.

Max characters per line: Used for file validation, this can be 32 – 28 characters on a line.

Max lines per caption: Used for file validation, this can be 1-4 lines in a caption.

Advanced Options:

Text Wrapping: There are two options here.  The first is As Entered. This will take the subtitles as entered by the captioner. It uses their manually entered line breaks to create the SCC file. Dotsub added a second option called Override. This option was created to make it possible to wrap files where the line breaks are NOT at 32 characters, it works by attempting to re-wrap the captions. It is not 100% effective, but will help in a lot of cases.

Our export interface will walk you through the process and help you ensure your file meets the listed specifications.

If you have any questions please let us know at support@dotsub.com.

Dotsub’s Own Michael Smolens Featured on Liberty Express Radio

In this show, Michael Smolens, founder and Chairman of Dotsub, is interviewed by Jim Beach, small business media advocate and host of School for Startups.  Michael’s international experience, including a presence in Haiti, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Pakistan, Egypt, and Russia, has allowed him to gain an understanding of the various cultures and languages that exist.  Hear the compelling story that led to the founding of Dotsub.  The “Get International” segment starts at approximately the 29 minute mark.

 

 

How to purchase professional captions and translations

A few weeks ago I covered how to upload and purchase professional captions and translations for videos you are uploading to Dotsub. This week I plan to cover purchasing captions, translations and files for videos you previously uploaded to Dotsub.

This is a quick and simple process. You can order captions for a video that you already uploaded from the video listing page. You will see the purchase link on all the videos on this list:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.51.43 AMWe also have an order link above your videos:

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After hitting the order button you can select the captions, translations and files you would like to order.

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Once you have selected all the items you need, just hit ‘add to cart’. You can repeat this process for as many videos as you’d like. Once you have all the items you plan to order in your cart you can proceed to the checkout.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.52.50 AM

At the bottom of the cart page you will see two checkout options ‘Credit Card’ and ‘Bitcoin’ checkout. In this post I’m going to cover ‘Credit Card Checkout’ only.

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.53.02 AM

 

You will be asked to add your billing details to your account. This is the credit card we will charge for this 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 adding your billing details you will be shown the payment page:

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 9.56.59 AM

 

Here you can let us know the type of subtitles you need as well as any added information you can provide to ensure we provide you with the best captions and translations possible.

Press ‘place order’ at the bottom of this page to begin the work! Very soon you will have your professional captions and translations ready.

 

 

YouTube Creator Academy Goes Global Using Dotsub

YouTube set up the Creator Academy to help video developers strengthen their channels on the YouTube platform.  Its goals are to help the creator to build a subscriber base, publish engaging content, and to make the channel a destination that is branded and keeps them coming back.  All video courses provided free.  The drawback?  In English only.

But no longer, as of October 14, 2014, YouTube Creator Academy is now in more than 20 languages via Dotsub.
subsYT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To access the various subtitles, play an Academy lesson, click the Settings button in the lower right corner, click on the Subtitles menu, scroll and choose the language you want.  Try it on the video below:

Of course if Dotsub translations work for Youtube’s videos, they will work for Creators like you. Please contact us at sales@dotsub.com for more information.

Dotsub.com September Statistics

Here is the October 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 September, 2014 and of course a fascinating piece of geography trivia at the end.

langs

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 and Korean the exceptions. We saw a surge in Hungarian this month coming into the the top 20 at #19

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

langs4-20

 

In the countries section, Brazil and Canada changed places and again the lower end of the table changed considerably with Spain jumping from 10th to 5th and the Netherlands, Slovenia and Romania making an appearance.

Country

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

Country2-20

 

Geography Trivia. The intriguing part of the data to me, as regular readers know, is the countries and/or territories that are at the other end of the list with only one or two visits. This month we went back to mainly Island groups and West African countries.

The singleton I knew least about is British Indian Ocean Territory. The British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT) or Chagos Islands is an overseas territory of the United Kingdom situated in the Indian Ocean halfway between Tanzania and Indonesia. The territory comprises the seven atolls of the Chagos Archipelago with over 1,000 individual islands – many tiny – amounting to a total land area of 60 square kilometers (23 sq mi). The largest and most southerly island is Diego Garcia, 44 km2 (17 sq mi), the site of a joint military facility of the United Kingdom and the United States. Following the eviction of the native population, the Chagossians, in the 1960s and 70s, the only inhabitants are US and British military personnel and associated contractors, who collectively number around 4,000. The island is off-limits to casual tourists, the media, and their former inhabitants. There is a landing strip on Diego Garcia which was able to receive the Space Shuttle in an emergency, although was initially built for B-52 bombers.

In April 2010, an MPA (Marine protected area) was created in the BIOT that covers the territorial waters of the Chagos Archipelago, except for the area immediately surrounding Diego Garcia. This declaration doubled the total area of environmental no take zones world-wide.

It also has a neat flag.

BIOT flag

See you next month.

 

Introducing 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:

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.22.06 AM

 

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. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.28.22 AM

 

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

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.29.09 AM

 

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

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 9.29.53 AM

 

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.