Clara and Elina are two members of the Dotsub family from the production and finance teams respectively. They are both new mothers. Born only a month apart, Elina’s Emma is 11 months old and Clara’s Alejo is 10 months. They live in Rosario, Argentina and work from their homes along with their spouses.
Argentina is under one of the strictest lock-down orders in the world with people facing fines and house arrest for violations. People need permission to go to doctor appointments and to get groceries and supplies. (There’s an app for that). You can take your pets for a walk but not your baby out in a stroller.
The lock down is stressful on all involved as there is no outside support. Relatives who would love to entertain the little ones cannot help now. Both households employ nannies that make it possible for both parents to work. Without them, there has to be considerable logistical juggling. A positive thing is that there hasn’t been a disruption in baby supplies – there is plenty of disinfectant and the diaper service continues.
One sadness is that the babies are in their first year and all of their many milestones cannot be shared with family in person. Clara says, “They are turning one over Zoom! It is definitely not the same.” Neither baby seems interested in the people on the screen anyway. “My brother came by to deliver something, and we met him in the lobby,” Elina relates, “He had his mask on and stayed a safe distance away. I could tell Emma didn’t recognize him. It is sad.”
The other side of that same coin is that both sets of parents are around to witness baby’s first steps and joyfully relish baby’s first words. Of course, Emma and Alejo are blissfully unaware that things are not normal. They continue to learn to walk and talk and to delight their parents every day.
Amelia is a member of Dotsub’s recruitment team. She is a traveler, although, technically, she is a citizen of Argentina. She along with her partner can spend months at a time on the road renting flats and occasionally staying in hostels. As Amelia works at Dotsub full time, the requirements are a quiet place to work and a robust internet connection.
Leaving Argentina in mid-November 2019, the plan was to be away indefinitely. Visas in place: first Spain for 2 ½ months, then France for three weeks. Italy would follow with 3 weeks in Florence, on to Rome and then a visit with relatives in Northern Italy. From there, they would go to Croatia.
As February turned into March, Amelia was settling into an Airbnb in Florence, Italy. Because their travel had been by land, they had not experienced any of the chaos of air travel at the time.
Within a week, things had turned for the worse. Most harrowing was an evening stroll in lovely Florence that abruptly ended with police cars patrolling the streets with loud speakers blasting messages in Italian that our travelers didn’t understand. Although they could get information from the web and from their relatives, not understanding the local messages was very unsettling. Italy shut down on March 9th. Suddenly, all the careful planning was off the table.
Living out of a suitcase for years at a time is a deep commitment. Amelia states, “We’ve made the choice to experience the journey knowing that we are sacrificing the comforts of home.” At this writing, she is still stranded thousands of miles from Argentina. In spite of the recent pandemic, I don’t think that her travel adventures are over.
After monitoring usage for several months, it has become apparent that the free community usage of the Dotsub platform has greatly declined. This is no doubt due to the rising popularity of sites like Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube – and to the corresponding Dotsub functionality of “Facebook Publish”, “Vimeo Connect” and “YouTube Connect” that allows you to take advantage of them.
Effective immediately, video file uploads from free (Basic) accounts will no longer be possible on Dotsub.
Videos that have been uploaded already will remain accessible for captioning, translation and viewing.
Dotsub Basic Accounts will still be able to: purchase Pro Captions, purchase Pro Translations and purchase web-quality subtitle burn-ins without upgrading to a monthly or yearly subscription. Basic users can still connect from Vimeo or YouTube.
Dotsub Pro, Enterprise, and eCommerce clients will not be affected in any way.
Upgrading to Dotsub Pro Account for $9.99/month or $99.99/year gives you:
Unlimited video uploads
No video time limit
Purchase Pro Captions
Purchase Pro Translation
Purchase high-quality subtitle burn-ins
To upgrade from Basic to Pro, go to Menu>My Account>Account Plan>Upgrade, and select Pro.
Dotsub will be upgrading our service on Tuesday June 14, 2016. Making these upgrades will enable Dotsub to provide better service, but they require brief service outage.
There will be two 5-20 minute maintenance windows on June 14th: 1:00pm – 1:30pm EST 4:30pm – 5:00pm EST
If you have questions or issues that arise with this outage, you can write to: [email protected].
We regret any inconvenience this may cause. As always, we appreciate your patience and thank you for using Dotsub for your media language needs. We will send a follow up email confirming that the server maintenance is complete.
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).
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.
Profiles of U.S. Hispanics studying Spanish: The Guardian
Videos Without Borders – Storytelling & Messaging to the World
If a picture is worth a thousand words, how many words is a video worth? Cisco says that in 2018, 76% of internet bandwidth will be consumed serving up video. Multinationals, SME’s, NGOs, government agencies, and even the 500,000+ conferences held globally – all have stories to tell about their products, their services and their brand. They all want to send their message to millions of consumers in the most engaging, cutting edge digital ways – all using multilingual video viewing on all platforms including mobile. Effective, impactful video is by far the most efficient way to communicate with your audience, but viewing multilingual video is more a technology challenge as a language problem. This session will explore a variety of ‘end-to-end solutions’ to help companies of any size to cost effectively create global video campaigns to tell their story to the world. In addition to traditional professional subtitling, we will discuss crowd sourcing, global one-minute mobile film contests, and delivery of in multiple languages using microSD chips on feature phones in all rural areas of the world.
Michael Smolens Bio
After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1969 with a dual degree, Michael became a lifetime serial entrepreneur. Dotsub is his ninth start-up, the first one in technology – the first eight being outside the US in high-risk emerging economies employing thousands of people primarily producing textiles & apparel. These were in Haiti, Mexico, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Egypt, Jordan, Russia and Azerbaijan.
Dotsub was conceived in 2004, launched in 2007, becoming the world’s first browser-based technology to enable video, created in any language, to quickly and easily become available in any other language, using either machine, human or professional translation, and then viewable on all existing and future video enabled devices and platforms, including mobile. Dotsub was awarded patents on its technology in 2014. Dotsub is proud to be a founding partner of Videum Health, the world’s first multilingual video portal in the Healthcare & Pharmaceutical Industry, with its Italian partner Esense.
Michael’s life vision is “To remove language as a barrier to cross-cultural communication using multilingual video”. As video becomes the dominant way to communicate and tell stories, he has started the journey to help provide knowledge to 7.2B people in the world, in their native language. He recently added the title ‘Collector of Puzzle Pieces’ to his more traditional ones of Founder, Chairman & CEO.
Michael is on the Board of Translators Without Borders, Hands to Hearts International, Mother and Child Health and Education Trust, Media for Change, and One Plus Two Media. He lives in NYC with his wife Daryl, and has two daughters Lauren & Ali, and three grandchildren, Daniel, Dylan and Hayden.
Are you getting enough from your video assets? To make the most of your video investments, you should seriously consider investing in captioning and translation. By increasing the reach of your video, the value of these assets and their effectiveness increases dramatically with added accessibility, audience engagement and global understanding. Dotsub products and services open huge, untapped worldwide markets as well as addressing the deaf and hard of hearing community.
One of our customers, WETA, the public broadcasting station in Washington D.C., performed studies that show that captions can increase the number of viewers who watch more than half a video, or watch all of it, by more than 40%. And that was just captions – imagine what translation would do!
Video is becoming the communication method of choice for enterprises. All aspects of their business including corporate communications, product training, marketing, and social awareness make use of the medium. In addition, it is predicted that within a couple of years 90% of all internet traffic will be video. Most of these videos are in English yet only 5% of the world speaks English as a first language. Translations make business sense.
What is really puzzling is why captioning and translations are often only considered after “post-production”. To not plan or budget for these services because “we can take care of that afterward” is just bad business. Otherwise conscientious business people can be absolutely stunned when their English only training videos are useless in Brazil! If your business plan says “expansion into South America” it should well budget for globalization and localization up front.
On the plus side, according to Common Sense Advisory, an independent research company specializing in the translation market, enterprises are increasingly adopting and implementing full-scale company-wide strategies for globalization and localization. In other words, forward thinking companies have captions and translations efforts “baked in” from the get go.
We have been working on planning with some our larger customers on this and next year’s plans. They recognize that their strategies for world domination must incorporate language planning into the mix from the start.
Video has revolutionized the way we teach, the way we learn, and the way we do business. The next step is to reach more and more people with captions, translations and voice-over. It’s the natural progression.
Call for Videos – Deadline for submission is September 28, 2015.
This year the Mobile Film Festival is international and focused on the topic of Act for Climate Change. In collaboration with the United Nations, Dotsub,BNP Paribas, and Translators without Borders, this festival will celebrate the selection of 100 finalists and one Grand Prize winner presented under the auspices of the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP21 -see sidebar) in Paris in December.
We sat with Bruno Smadja, founder and CEO of the Mobile Film Festival, to listen to his compelling story.
Now in its eleventh year, the Mobile Film Festival has always strived to discover, support and assist filmmakers following one single premise: 1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film. This year, the Mobile Film Festival is bringing an exciting opportunity to content creators – the festival is going global! Smadja’s challenge is to reach out to the whole world to find one minute films made on mobile phones that express the artists’ unique viewpoint on the topic of Act on Climate Change.
As you can imagine, lining up organizations as diverse as this year’s sponsors, is the culmination of months of cooperation and collaboration.
BNP Paribas has supported the Mobile Film Festival in the past and continues their commitment to all aspects of cinema in France, as well as all types of film-related events, both in France and abroad. The BNP Paribas Grand Prize winner is granted € 30,000 to make one film in one year.
The participants will naturally shoot their films in their native languages. 100 films will be selected for the official competition. Dotsub founder and CEO, Michael Smolens, and Smadja have a long relationship, so it was natural for Smadja to reach out to Dotsub to provide the platform for captions and translations. “We were delighted to join in this inspiring endeavor,” explains Smolens, “The removal of cross-cultural and cross-lingual obstacles is Dotsub’s mission – which applies so well to the UN Conference and the Mobile Film Festival.”
“We are very honored to be partnering with the United Nations for this very special and international festival,” said Smadja, “We are also excited that Dotsub enables us to tell this story of worldwide importance by breaking down language barriers, giving these filmmakers the chance to vastly extend the reach of their films to a global audience.”
As submissions are in the artists’ own languages, Dotsub will provide the platform for providing captions and translations for the 100 finalists with translation into being done by NGO Translators without Borders as well as other approved translators in scores of languages.
These 100 films will be selected in competition. The first place film maker will be awarded a grant of €30,000 from BNP Paribas to be used for the production of a film within a year. All awards will be awarded in a ceremony on December 7, 2015 in Paris.
“We have asked for film creators to tap into their passion for the environment as well use their ingenuity to suggest solutions – all in one minute shot on a mobile device. The results are incredible, we already have submissions from all five inhabited continents!” exclaimed Smadja.
Smadja continues, “It has always been our mission to discover and support young film makers. But to be able to focus on a topic with global impact, and to showcase their talent at such a prestigious event, the UN Conference on Climate Change, well, it is a dream come true!”
Bruno Smadja created the Mobile Film Festival in 2005. For the past 11 editions it has been dedicated to discover, support and accompany young directors by proposing to take part to a smart challenge based on a unique idea 1 Mobile, 1 Minute, 1 Film.
The Mobile Film Festival 2015 is an online film competition to discover new talent while raising awareness of climate change worldwide. The use of mobile technology creates a more level playing field that gives wide distribution to new storytellers. Judged by a panel of filmmakers such as Fernando Meirelles, winners will be announced at a live awards ceremony at The United Nations Climate Change Conference 2015, with the Best Film getting put into production by a professional crew.
Dotsub is a language product and services company making your online video available to all via translations, captions and voice-overs. 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