Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category.

Michael Smolens to Give Keynote at iEARN July 17

Keynote Address to iEARN Annual Conference, Marrakesh Morocco – July 17, 2017

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

iEARN has 50,000 teachers in 140 countries – with over 1,000 languages and dialects spoken amongst all its countries.

Nelson Mandela said, “When you speak to a man in a language he understands, you speak to his head.  When you speak to him in his native language, you speak to his heart.”

There is an explosion in the creation of all types of knowledge for all purposes – education, training, spirituality, entertainment, religion, marketing, corporate communications, news, etc., a very high percentage of which is in English, or just a few other major languages – most of it is not available in the native languages of over 6 billion people.

There is, at the same time, an exponential increase in the amount of this knowledge being made available in video, which is becoming the dominant way to communicate, tell stories and inspire.

Dotsub, my 9th startup 10 years ago, has a mission to enable all knowledge, of any type, in video format, to be available to all 7.3 billion people in the world in their native language, in all formats necessary including all digital devices including smartphones AND feature phones.

This talk will give three examples of global programs in which Dotsub is involved, which iEARN teachers and students, if they wish, can participate in to help expand global knowledge in music, mathematics and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in their native languages. They will be learning new ideas and participating in a global movement, which can in its own way, help increase cross cultural communication and understanding, and a little bit at a time – change the world for the better with the global spread of knowledge.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. Dotsub was asked to partner with a company in the music industry them to do a pilot with the lyrics of 50,000 songs, from primarily English, into a minimum of 15 languages, all done by a global network of volunteer translators – on Dotsub’s platform managed by Dotsub.  This pilot will involve over 2,000,000 Audio Language Minutes (ALMs) which will require about 250 man years to complete by volunteers.

Nothing of this magnitude has ever before been done, as until now, almost all of the billions of lyrics and lyric translations available on the web are illegal, with no rights obtained and no revenue being generated for the music publishers, songwriters or artists.

Since music and songs are a basic global method of storytelling, sharing emotions, and building deep connections between fans of the same artist/song and hundreds of millions of people in all countries of the world sing songs in English, but DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT THE WORDS MEAN.  We have already begun to create a network in India who will be finally, after years of singing lyrics they do not understand with music they love, be able to understand what they are singing.

This is an opportunity for iEARN, to create a program that works for the teachers, to allow those students in any country, speaking any language, to become very early participants in this program.  How the students will be recognized, rewarded, involved is totally up to iEARN, as I have obtained early approval of this exciting project for all its students.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. Global Math Week – 10/10/17https://www.theglobalmathproject.org/ – join one million students, teachers, math leaders and adults from around the globe in an astounding mathematical experience. “See mathematics like you’ve never seen it before.”

We are working with James Tanton, founder of the Global Math Project, to enable the entire iEARN community, again if it wishes, on its own terms, to integrate the years of work and thinking of The Global Math Project into individual school/teacher curriculums, while at the same time creating the opportunity to do something on a much bigger global scale with iEARN to become a partner – https://www.theglobalmathproject.org/partners

The Project is focused on the base 10 system of current mathematics – as most   arithmetic and mathematics works on the base 10 system of numbers.  That is why the Global Math Week is on October 10th – the calendar date 10/10/17. Again, this is a totally global opportunity to have iEARN teachers, on their own or in groups, work with a cutting edge global effort, across languages and cultures, to help make math learning fun and collaborative. Teachers or country leaders can become ambassadors – all is possible.

Since Global Math Week is less than 3 months from the iEARN Annual Meeting, time is of the essence to get started with this project for this year, but it will be an annual event.

YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!

  1. SDGs Without Borders – creating a comprehensive global language platform to enable all media, studies, comments, news, or anything else, about the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be translated into all the world’s languages using Dotsub platform and volunteer translators. iEARN has been actively involved in studying and including into parts of local curriculums and classes – all determined either at the country or teacher level – with different classes, thoughts, etc.

Dotsub has registered the URL – https://www.SDGsWithoutBorders.com – and is in the very early stages of lining up partners, media companies, NGOs, senior management, funding, etc. to enable the exploding amount of knowledge, comments, media, videos, TV/radio/etc created in any language to be able to be consumed in hopefully hundreds of languages. This will enable all 7.3 billion people in the world, who in total speak 6,800 languages – 85% of which are oral only, to understand what is said and written about each of the SDGs.  The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon created the 17 SDGs starting Jan 1, 2016 –  Dec 31, 2030, following the 15-year program created by the previous UN leader Kofi Annan called MDGs, Millennium Development Goals.

Since iEARN has already embraced the SDGs as a part of their global curriculum, and iEARN countries speak over 1,000 languages and dialects,  active involvement in the program to help SDG related knowledge be available  for all 7.3B people could be a major, long term program for iEARN to embrace,  again in any way it feels, fits into its existing and future agenda.

The above summarizes my thinking into making available to all iEARN teachers and students 3 different global programs – in music/songs, Math, and the SDGs, which will involve cutting edge technology, language, translation, volunteering, learning and huge potential global impact.  That is why I have titled my talk YES – IT’S POSSIBLE.

Education: Online Video is the New Normal

Many of Dotsub’s users are educators whether they think so or not.  Teaching a world-wide sales force about new products (Dell), giving tax advice (AARP), and providing the most up-to-date information on diabetes (Videum) can all be seen as educational.

In a recent featured article, Streaming Media reported that the educational video market is very healthy.  Established Lynda.com, an early player that provides skills based video courses in diverse topics, was purchased by LinkedIn for $1.5 billion.  MOOC vendors are all in the business of providing video education and are raising millions in funding.   Recently, Coursera raised $11.6 million and Udacity raised $105 million.

For educational institutions, the use of video is pervasive across the whole curriculum: arts, humanities, and sciences to professional and vocational. Kaltura’s The State of Video in Education 2015 found that 91% of respondents believe that video has a positive impact on student satisfaction and 82% agree that it increases student achievement levels. In addition, 67% of respondents believe it makes student onboarding easier and 64% feel that it increases retention and has a positive impact on Alumni.

Kaltura Graph

When not driven by a formal curriculum, what are professionals watching?

In an Onstream Media and Unisphere Research survey of more than 700 webcasting professionals released in September 2015, 62 percent said educational content for business was the dominant type of content they had consumed.


webcaster

Keeping in mind that these were professionals in the video webcasting industry…

Sources

http://www.streamingmedia.com/Articles/Editorial/Featured-Articles/The-State-of-Education-Video-2016-110211.aspx

http://site.kaltura.com/rs/984-SDM-859/images/The_State_of_Video_in_Education_2015_a_Kaltura_Report.pdf

 

Spanish Is Thriving!

The prestigious Cervantes Institute has released Spanish in the World 2015, its latest edition of their annual update on the Spanish language. The Cervantes Institute is a worldwide nonprofit organization created by the Spanish government in 1991. With branches in over 20 countries, it is the largest organization in the world responsible for promoting the study and the teaching of Spanish language and culture. Spanish is the mother tongue of 470 million people and the third-most-used language online, according to the extremely detailed report.

The detail and richness of the report is due to the analysis of 30 years of data about the current position and evolution of Spanish around the world. For example, it was only recently discovered that there are more than 1.2 million people studying Spanish in sub-Saharan Africa! The report estimates that 21 million people are currently studying Spanish world-wide with the US leading with 7.8 million, followed by Brazil and France.

One of the highlights of the report was that the Institute itself has become more Latin American. The Spanish government furnishes 50% of its budget, while more than 65% of the Institute’s activities are the result of collaboration with Hispanic American countries. The report also analyzes the current position of Spanish in the U.S. and its importance in science, literature, and film.

(Scroll down for the video).

FACTS:

  • In 2015, nearly 470 million people spoke Spanish as their mother tongue.
  • The number of people with the ability to communicate in Spanish grew to nearly 559 million.
  • Spanish is the world’s second most spoken mother tongue after Chinese.
  • Due to population trends, the number of mother-tongue Spanish speakers is continuing to rise, while the proportions of Chinese and English mother-tongue speakers are falling.
  • 7% of the world’s population is Spanish speaking. This figure is predicted to rise to 7.5% by 2030.
  • More than 21 million people study Spanish as a foreign language worldwide.
  • 9% of internet users communicate in Spanish.
  • Spanish is the third-most-used language online after English and Chinese.
  • Spanish is the second-most-used language on the two main social networks, Facebook and Twitter.
  • The U.S. is now the second biggest Spanish speaking country having 41 million native speakers and 11.6 million who are Spanish-English bilingual. The largest is Mexico.
  • New Mexico, California, Texas and Arizona have the highest concentrations of Spanish speakers.

 

guardianvideo

Profiles of U.S. Hispanics studying Spanish: The Guardian

Sources

http://languagemagazine.com/?p=125279

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/jun/29/us-second-biggest-spanish-speaking-country

http://eldiae.es/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/espanol_lengua-viva_20151.pdf

Closed Captions vs. Narrative Subtitles

By Clara Garcia

 

Dotsub provides different kinds of captions, which adapt to your needs. Choosing which one is best for you is simple if you keep your intended audience in mind.

Dotsub’s 508 Compliant captions -commonly referred to as captions for the hearing impaired- follow the rules set by the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the National Association of the Deaf. These include spoken audio, speaker identification, on screen text and “descriptions of audio” that give the hearing impaired the full experience of the video content. So sound effects that are not necessarily spoken out by your protagonists are included in the captions.

Here is an example. Michael Smolens, Chairman and Founder of Dotsub, had given quite a speech that brought his audience into applause. Such applause is included in the captions:

SLM1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In contrast, Dotsub’s narrative subtitles -also referred to as “broadcast-style subtitles”- are typically used for a different purpose: films, documentaries, etc. to be translated into another language/s or videos used for learners of English as a second-language. In this case, only spoken language is captioned, together with titles and other important pieces of on-screen text that would need to be translated for the audience to understand the storyline.

Here you have an example of narrative subtitle of Peter Crosby, Chief Revenue Officer of Dotsub, talking about our mission:

Peter1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And those very same subtitles were translated into Simplified Chinese:

peter2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can of course also have your 508 Compliant captions translated into any language you need – the choice is yours. Dotsub is here to help you reach a global audience!

The Mobile Film Festival Winners Announced

 

COPquoteDotsub was a proud sponsor of the 11th edition of the Mobile Film Festival!  Prize winners were announced in Paris during the December 2015 UN Conference on climate change. The competition was organized in partnership with the United Nations under the theme: “Act on Climate Change”.

The challenge was straightforward: using a smartphone, filmmakers were asked to create a one-minute-long film on the topic of climate change. The results were sometimes funny, sometimes moving, but always passionate.  Several of them were rewarded at a ceremony organized by the Mobile Film Festival with 500 guests at the Gaumont cinema on the Champs Elysée.

The 11th edition was the first to be open to international entrants and the first in partnership with the United Nations in the framework of this year’s climate negotiations in Paris. Altogether, 70 countries took part submitting 765 films, of which 75 from 27 countries were selected as finalists.  All finalist films with spoken dialogue were captioned in English using Dotsub.

 

michael2MFF

Michael Smolens, second from the left. Amila Kumarasinghe, third from left.

On hand to present the Public Award was Dotsub’s CEO, Founder and Chairman, Michael Smolens.  Receiving 2.4 million internet votes, the award went to Parametric by Sri Lankan Amila Kumarasinghe.

Other Winners are:

The Grand Prize: No Sense by Julien Lessi

Best Foreign Film:  Neglected Land by Elie El Abidine

Best Screenplay: Criminals by Jeremy Bernard and Guillaume Desjardins

Online Bloggers Prize:  The Blue Planet directed by Mathieu Lamboley

For a complete list visit:  http://www.mobilefilmfestival.com/awards/

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Some Photos from the Event: https://www.ooshot.com/ooshot-production/moodboards/mobile-days-2015

Sources:  http://www.unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/30005-mobile-film-festival-winner-announced

How Things have Changed: The Words of 1995

Back to the Future turned 30 this year.  Dictionary.com and Yahoo! are celebrating 20 years in business.  Over the past 20 or so years there have been lots of words added to the lexicon.  Naturally, many of them have to do with technology.  Many of them are what linguists call a “functional shift” which is when a noun becomes a verb or vice versa (i.e. to friend).  Others are when a word retains the old meaning but has added another – see the Huffington Post link below.  One word that didn’t make that list was the first one that Dotsubbers guessed!  That word: Spam.

The original link to The Huffington Post.
Here’s the link to Yahoo!

 

Dotsub is a Technical Partner for Frontiers of Interaction

foiOnVideum_845x160Dotsub is proud to be a Technical Partner for Frontiers of Interaction.  Along with Dotsub Partner, Videum, we will be participating in the FrontierX: Health track.  Roberto Ascione, Primary Adviser for Videum and CEO at Healthware International, will be the Curator of the Health track, exploring how healthcare is being transformed by digital technologies.  Dotsub’s CEO and Founder, Michael Smolens, and our Chief Innovation Officer, David Orban, are featured speakers.

Frontiers of Interaction is the meeting point of design, technology and everything digital and interactive.  There are over 40 world class speakers from different disciplines and industries. Delegates are expected to number over 600 people this year.   Founders, entrepreneurs, designers, managers, academics, thinkers and makers will share insights, strategies and visions in an open conversation mood during two days of keynotes, workshops, panels and discussions.

The conference will take place on November 12-13, 2015 in Milan, the capital of Italian Finance, Innovation, Design and Art.

Dotsub Convenes Panel at Streaming Media West

PTZOptics-at-Streaming-Media-West

 

 

 

Streaming Media West
November 17 – 18, 2015
World-Class Video: Speaking To the Heart of Enterprise ROI

To deliver video ROI, global enterprises need to touch as many people as possible. Increasing video search, reach, access, and engagement are key.  Video captions are proven to increase video views and completions as much as 40%. And getting local culture right is critical for growing new markets, teams and future revenues. Translated subtitles can connect your company to millions more hearts and minds. This panel of multi-national video pros will discuss what works, and doesn’t, and share insider how to on questions like: Where’s the most ROI? If quality is critical to your company, what are good enough translations? And what are the risks of missing deadlines, cultural faux pas, and brand damage of bad translations.

Moderator: Peter Crosby, Chief Revenue Officer – Dotsub.com

Charlie Ung, Workforce Communications and Enablement – IBM Digital Media

Anja Schaefer, VP – Lionbridge Global Solution Team

Michael Novak, CEO – One Plus Two Media

The New Video Web

The New Video Web blogged by David Orban

Apple-TV-speech-recognitionThe next generation information devices are going to seamlessly display video content not restricted to a simple window within the browser. The entire screen will be a video, with smart elements that must be understood by the computer in order for the user to fully interact with them.

When the Web was born, even support for still images was a last minute add-on. Slow connections, and uneven graphics support meant that to deliver full multimedia experiences (as it was called at the time), CD-ROMs were preferred. These had proprietary authoring platforms, and their user interfaces had relatively primitive navigation menus, with limited options for interactivity.

Slowly, video has been integrated into the online experience. “Bolted on” would be a better expression. Famously, the most popular plugin for browsers that played video, Flash, was the source of vulnerabilities, made browsers slower and was a drain on batteries. The proprietary nature of Flash made the entire Internet ecosystem dependent on one vendor, Adobe, and was not sustainable.

The HTML5 standard includes native support for video through a new tag in the language. HTML5 was released last year, and the various browsers are being updated to include full support for it. But in the meantime, through the years, an even more important change happened: the ubiquitous presence of Internet-connected devices made it necessary for video content to accommodate a variety of ways of interacting with it (via smartphones for example), not just through traditional browsers and computers.

What will this new video experience be? What we will see is the blurring of the boundaries between traditional browser experiences and video. The entire screen will become a “smart” video, with the entire field being interactive. The objects and components of the video will be live and recognizable by the device, and the user will be able to activate and manipulate them. Multiple modes of human interface will be available, including voice, haptic, motion and gestural. Rather than Web video, we will have the Video Web. (This concept has been suggested to me by my friend Michele Leidi, a live mind mapping expert.)

singUni

This is one of the reasons why platforms like Dotsub are so important. (Full disclosure, I am the Chief Innovation Officer of Dotsub, a New York based company which I led as CEO for four years.) Dotsub allows videos to be fully understood by computers, and people, in any language, as sound, text, context, and meaning. Making captions and translated subtitles a universal part of the online video experience, we can exploit their full value.

An important example of how this works in the new video web has been demoed by Apple during the keynote launching the latest Apple TV. On stage, at around minute 61 of the demo there was one particular moment of speech interaction: using the new remote with speech recognition. “What did she say?” The audience could listen to the audio track while reading the text at the same time so that what was said could be understood. This is a concrete example of how the presence of enhanced video, in the form of speech recognition and captions, and the universal assumption that captions will be available, enhances the user experience. Moreover, the entire Apple TV operating system itself, with all of its moving parts, and seamless integration of the videos, is an example of the concept of the emerging Video Web. Be on the lookout for more examples of this and an explosion in the richness of the Video Web in the near future.

David’s blog can be found here.

This post is also available in: Italian

Benefits to Children in Multilingual Environments

A recent study released from the University of Chicago, reveals that children who are exposed to multilingual environments have more experience interpreting what the speaker says than children who are exposed only to single language environments.

The most interesting finding was that the children do not even have to be bilingual themselves; it is the exposure to more than one language that is the key for building effective social communication skills.

So how did they test this?  The researchers had 72 children, aged 4-6 play a game with adults that involved moving objects according to the adults’ directions. The children were in three categories: monolinguals, bilinguals and a third group that of children who primarily spoke English, but were exposed to other languages as well.

“Children in multilingual environments have extensive social practice in monitoring who speaks what to whom, and observing the social patterns and allegiances that are formed based on language usage,” said Katherine Kinzler, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Chicago who co-authored the report.

The results? The monolingual children were not as good at understanding the adult’s intended meaning in this game, as they moved the correct object only about 50 percent of the time. But mere exposure to another language improved children’s ability to understand the adult’s perspective and select the correct objects. The children in the third group selected correctly 76 percent of the time, and the bilingual group took the adult’s perspective in the game correctly 77 percent of the time.

This is important as it shows that children benefit directly from exposure to diverse lingual environments.

Sources:
http://news.uchicago.edu/article/2015/05/11/children-exposed-multiple-languages-may-be-better-natural-communicators#sthash.esMu9Tma.dpuf
http://www.ibtimes.com/kids-exposed-multiple-languages-are-better-communicators-study-1923781