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Presidential Debate: Closed Captioned and Translated in 12 Languages for 80 Million Americans

Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Times

Amara and PBS team up to translate the Obama-Romney presidential debate. “PBS NewsHour is determined to make the debates available to over 50 million Americans for whom English is a second language, and for over 30 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people watching around the world. The volunteers who translate these debates are providing a tremendous civic service." states, Hari Sreenivasan, correspondent for PBS NewsHour. “The chance to see the candidates explain their ideas and highlight their differences in the debates is a unique opportunity for Americans to decide how they will vote,”

The debate will be spoken in English, but Americans and people throughout the world for whom English is not their first language, and people who are deaf and hard of hearing, will be watching as well. Amara, a crowd sourced subtitling platform that engages volunteers from around the world to translate online videos, has partnered with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to translate each presidential debate into multiple languages.

The PBS NewsHour Open Vote 2012 Subtitling Team is comprised of over 640 volunteers who are currently translating politics-themed videos into languages ranging from Chinese to Arabic, to German in a matter of 24 hours following a live broadcast.

PBS and Amara began partnering in January 2012. Since then, they’ve translated more than 187 videos in 52 languages and counting. Most PBS videos currently receive between 2 and 12 full translations. For more information on the PBS NewsHour Open Vote 2012 Subtitling Team, or to volunteer.

About Amara

By partnering with organizations such as PBS, TED Talks, Khan Academy, Coursera, and Netflix, Amara gives individuals, communities, and larger organizations the power to overcome accessibility and language barriers for online video. Amara’s technology offers a robust API that allows companies to use the platform for internal collaboration as well as allowing individual customers to translate video content. Backed by a million dollars in funding from the Knight Foundation and Mozilla, Amara’s award-winning platform has been recognized by the Federal Communications Commission, the United Nations and TechAwards. follow @AmaraSubs on Twitter.


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