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With the goal of making every web video accessible to the world, launched an app that takes help of crowdsourcing to subtitle any YouTube video. The crowdsourcing platform is being dubbed a ‘Wikipedia for subtitles’, and just like the well-known encyclopedia, it will call on volunteers to caption and translate web videos from around the world.

Amara is a free service and the online platform is open to any YouTube creator who wants to upload video and get translated subtitles. It’s also very easy to use.

Dean Jansen, co-founder of Amara sums up the benefits:

The only way to get millions of videos subtitled is if the viewers are invited to help. By making crowd subtitling available for any YouTube creator, we’re allowing them to reach more viewers in more languages, improve their SEO, and enable anyone who is deaf or hard of hearing to enjoy their videos.


The video above illustrates the process of adding the video URL and calling on viewers to help with the translation. The service is seamless and effortless for the video creator as subtitles get synced automatically. The benefits are wide-ranging and all have to do with better accessibility for both hearing impaired and international audiences. Video creators get to increase their viewership without breaking a sweat. is an interesting crowdsourcing initiative. With the likes of Netflix, Twitter, TED Talks, Khan Academy, Coursera, Udacity, and Google using its enterprise level services, the effectiveness of the service and quality control shouldn’t be an argument. The above names also give us an idea the impact globally understood videos could have.


  1. Dana Mulvany
    February 7, 2013 at 7:51 pm

    Saikat, please ask the "makeuseof" web site administrator or team to learn about and use the embedding process that will embed the subtitles provided by Amara with this video. The subtitles are not showing up, and Vimeo, the video player used by your web site, doesn't itself support the synchronization of subtitles. (I don't know more about what's involved, so I'd suggest contacting Amara for more details.)

    • Saikat Basu
      February 8, 2013 at 1:12 am

      Hi Dana,

      This is the video from Amara themselves. We don't have our own video unfortunately. I don't think embedded URLs are a part of this introductory video.

  2. Mac Witty
    February 7, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    Great - let us hope people participate.

    Even if a lot of people "catch" English I think Nelson Mandela was right:
    If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.

    • Saikat Basu
      February 7, 2013 at 3:02 pm

      Should have put that quote right on top of this post :)

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