Last week June Cohen of TED ("Technology Entertainment and Design" -- a yearly conference consisting of fascinating 18-minute presentations) gave me a demo of TED's new Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles for the TED Talk videos in over 40 languages.
It's a very cool project, and even the English subtitles are useful to English speakers because if you click on a sentence in the text transcription, the video jumps to the corresponding spot.
Each of the 400+ talks on TED.com will now offer:Check out the TED Talks here.
+ Subtitles, in English and many additional languages (several videos carry up to 25 languages at launch)
+ A time-coded, interactive transcript, in multiple languages, which lets you click on any phrase and jump straight to that point in the video. This makes the entire content of the video indexable on search engines
+ Translated headlines and video descriptions, which appear when a new language is selected
+ Language-specific URLs which play the chosen subtitles by default
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects