Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category.

Building a Universal Translator

It’s absolutely amazing how fast technology is advancing. Unbeknownst to most users, Google Chrome has the built in capabilities to create a universal translator using nothing but HTML and Javascript.

Chrome implements the Web Speech API which allows you to use speech synthesis and speech recognition from Javascript. In this post I’ll outline how we created https://universal-translator.dotsub.com.

universal translator

First let’s decompose the steps required. The universal translator needs to do three things:

  1. Recognise what the user is saying.
  2. Translate the spoken phrase.
  3. Speak the result.

Speech Recognition

As I mentioned before Google Chrome has a built in speech recognition engine. Using this engine is pretty simple.

It is important to properly set recognition.lang to the language the user is speaking. In the full source code this is driven from the spoken language select. Now we have the spoken input from the user. This is all we need to complete step one.  

Machine Translation

We will use Google’s Translation API to translate our text.

Speech Synthesis

The Web Speech API also includes a speech synthesis engine. It only takes a few lines to get the browser to speak any line of text.

Here is the full speech synthesis part of our universal translator. It takes input from the user translates it to the target language and speaks the result.

Conclusion

There you have it, less than 150 lines of Javascript that makes a universal translator. The finished demo here: https://universal-translator.dotsub.com/. You can look over the code here: https://github.com/dotsub/universal-translator

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:

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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:

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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!

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

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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

Dell’s Video Team Chooses Dotsub

delllogo

In early 2014, Dell chose the Dotsub platform because it offered an excellent price/performance ratio and just the right tools and features needed for scaling video globally.  At this time, Dotsub joined the network of trusted vendors that enable Dell’s successful video globalization process.

As with most large companies, Dell’s forays into the world of video and video localization grew organically. Captioning and translation of video are essential to Dell’s competiveness in international markets. The growth of video globalization was largely driven by regional demand and availability of resources. The results were some inconsistencies, and fragmented translation processes.  Of particular concern, the translation process could delay coordinated world-wide product launches.

Today, Dell has configured a multi-vendor end-to-end solution of which Dotsub is an integral part. Dell’s Video Team manages these diverse systems creating a centralized video translation business process.  They work hand in hand with Dell’s dedicated localization team and make use of a complex translation management system and various tools to automate the process.  Ralph Jung, who is Video Localization Program Manager in the IT organization at Dell, agreed to spend some time with us discussing their operation.

Dell has a deep commitment to video, localizing over 250 e-commerce videos per year into 14 target languages.  Jung states, “This commitment requires a process that is scalable, cost-efficient and fast, and that still offers a high level of quality.”

The majority of the videos Dell produces are product launch videos that explain features, emphasize the design, and provide demonstrations addressing real-life situations. Sometimes the video may be targeted at the Enterprise audience:

while others are made for the Consumer marketplace.  


[The video will automatically show the captions in the language of the page. Just click on the CC button and then Options to change the language as required.]

In the past, it was a challenge to coordinate all required video translations, at times holding up a world-wide campaign launch. Thanks to Dotsub, stakeholders can review and make any edits and corrections to the video’s translation at any time, even after the video was published.  Jung says, “Because Dotsub is easy to use, our reviewers can make changes for themselves,” he continues, “and then Dotsub will automatically sync their changes with the online videos in real-time.”

We asked Jung what he sees as an upcoming challenge in video localization. He feels that embedded and on screen text that needs to be translated is a particular headache.  Currently, it requires a separate copy of the video for each language and a person who is working with a professional video editing system.  Jung told us, “I imagine a future system where these translations are stored and handled in a similar fashion as closed captions on Dotsub, with easy editing through a web interface, and the ability to make corrections at any time.”

Over time, the Video Team’s processes have become Dell’s centralized one-stop-shop for anyone who needs their videos translated with closed captions.  The smoothness and precision of the operation has saved money allowing them to add four new languages to Dell’s international arsenal.

About Dell

Dell Inc. listens to customers and delivers innovative technology and services that give them the power to do more. For more information, visit www.dell.com.

About Dotsub

Dotsub is a language product and services company making your online video available to all via translations, captions and voiceovers.  By increasing the global reach of your video, its value increases dramatically with added accessibility and audience engagement.  Our closed captions meet federal standards for the deaf and hearing impaired, and by offering translations in over 500 languages, Dotsub extends the influence of your video world-wide.  www.dotsub.com

Michael Smolens Speaking at Cross Video Days (Video)

Dotsub’s Chairman. Michael Smolens gave the keynote speech at Cross Video Days in Paris. Michael’s talk emphasized expansion of video reach via language translation.  With more than 1,100 participants, Cross Video Days has established itself as a major event of the audiovisual industry in Europe gathering all actors in the value chain: authors, producers, TV, digital platforms, funding bodies, communication agencies and the most innovative cross-media brands and startups.

Here’s the keynote with English captions or Spanish translation.

Publishing Dotsub Videos to Facebook

Facebook is now one of the fastest growing video platforms, capturing over 1 billion video views every day. It’s not just friends and family who are posting videos, businesses are actively using Facebook video to promote their brands.

We have just released ‘Facebook Publish’. This new feature allows you to upload your Dotsub video’s captions and translations into Facebook seamlessly. You can publish to your personal Facebook account or to any Facebook Page you administer.

This feature is available to all our users starting today.

Expanded Project Configuration

Our Enterprise clients will be glad to see we have expanded the configurable settings in their Dotsub projects. All these new configuration options expose settings that give you more control over your own projects.  These new configuration options include:

Media Ingest: Configure the download settings to get videos from your OVP into Dotsub.

Media Push: Configure how Dotsub uploads subtitles back to your OVP.

Standing Orders: Configure what your organization orders by default when a new video is ingested into Dotsub.

Default Subtitle Specifications: Configure the settings that define what type of subtitles your organization needs.

Project Defaults: Configure your project’s basic permissions, managers, language and license.

We have also updated our Enterprise Documentation, adding examples on configuring Dotsub for two popular OVPs (Brightcove and Kaltura). If you have any questions about these new configuration options please let us know!

Dotsub Vimeo Connect

Dotsub is happy to announce our new ‘Vimeo Connect’ feature. This allows you to caption videos in your Vimeo account without uploading them to Dotsub.

You can even purchase Dotsub’s professional captions and translations for your Vimeo videos. Our Enterprise clients can now have their Dotsub project setup automatically connect video from their Vimeo account, as well as having the captions and translations pushed back to Vimeo.

This new connect feature can be accessed from our new upload page. Just hit ‘Videos in my Vimeo’ to start the process.

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If you have not already approved Vimeo access for Dotsub, you will be asked to. If you have already given Dotsub access to your Vimeo account, you will be brought directly to the Vimeo Connect page. Here you can select the videos in your Vimeo account by clicking the checkbox on the left. Once you have selected all the videos you wish to connect to Dotsub, select your desired license, permissions and video language at the bottom of the page and hit ‘Connect’.

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In a few seconds, you’ll see your video is in your Dotsub account ready to be captioned and translated. The caption and translation process works exactly the same as a video uploaded to Dotsub. To upload the captions back to Vimeo just hit ‘Sync Captions to Video on Viemo’ under ‘Publish Video’.
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The same great Dotsub caption and translation services are available to you for your Vimeo connected videos. You can order our services by clicking order from ‘My Videos’ or from the video page.
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Please note that because Vimeo connected videos are not stored on the Dotsub platform, we cannot create MP4 burn-ins. If a burn-in is required, the video must be uploaded to Dotsub. Also, clients who have established workflows, can continue doing it using the prior methodology.

For more details on automatically connecting videos in a Vimeo account or auto syncing caption content back to Vimeo, please contact your account manager.