Subtitling Success!

After attending WordCamp Austin 2014 I decided to try and contribute by working on subtitling videos. Seeing as I am not a developer and sometimes it sounds like a foreign language when those guys and girls get to talking I knew I’d have to be selective about which videos to try and work on. But, I figured it was worth a shot since there is such a variety of videos, including ones that aren’t very technical.

This seemed like a way to contribute to a great thing, share in one my husband’s interests, and keep up some computer skills while I’m staying at home with our toddler and not spending much time working on a computer anymore.

So, here’s how it went…

  • First, I read the post on about how to do it.
  • Created an account with Amara, the recommended program for this project.
  • Read their instructions.
  • I then looked for a video that didn’t sound too technical.
  • Found one that was listed as popular, thought “hey, that could be a good one to get done”, clicked on it, found that what I saw didn’t match the instructions, and a bit later figured out that was because someone else had already started on it.
  • Realized I don’t know the etiquette – like, should I go ahead and pick up where that person left off? Or, should I not? Would they be glad, mad, who knows? So I “unfollowed” it and looked for a new one.
  • Noticed a video from Chicago 2013 WordCamp by Matt Medeiros titled “Land Bigger Clients While Working From An Island”. Thought I’d heard his name before and found the title interesting.
  • Decided to give this video a try.
  • Started watching and subtitling the 36 minute video.
  • Wondered about guidelines… do I type every word he says? Do I add punctuation? Do I try and use proper capitalization?
  • Paused and restarted a lot. This guy talks fast!
  • Did this over several days as the toddler was at Sonshine School or napping.
  • Had Morgan edit it for technical jargon I didn’t understand.
  • Finished, reviewed, and submitted.


It took about a day after I submitted it before the subtitles were available for everyone to see!

Based on encouragement from Jen Mylo’s keynote I decided to pledge 24 hours worth of subtitling. This one 36-minute video took me about 7 hours! I’m hoping some of that was just the learning curve, creating accounts, etc. Otherwise this may not be the job for me 🙂

So, now I’m ready to do another one.  The trick is figuring out which one. Finding the right mix of not too technical, not too fast, in English, and one that people will find useful.


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