Amara/Universal Subtitles gets $1MM from Mozilla and the Knight Foundation to internationalize Web video

Amara, the free/open subtitling/dubbing project that used to be called Universal Subtitles, has just landed $1,000,000 in funding from the Knight Foundation and the Mozilla Foundation. Amara is run by the Participatory Culture Foundation, a charitable nonprofit that produces technologies to increase and deepen the average person's ability to participate in the online world. Amara is a technology that lets people bridge linguistic barriers in the world of video. Here's TheNextWeb's Anna Heim on the announcement:

In other words, it is a great example of what crowdsourcing can achieve. According to its parent non-profit, Participatory Culture Foundation (PCF), the platform’s users have translated over 170,000 videos since its founding in 2010, including popular videos such as President Obama’s message to Sudan and KONY 2012.

However, it could expand into other territories, such as dubbing – hence its rebranding with a broader name, which may also help it capture the sense of community it is trying to create. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Mozilla was interested in supporting the platform, its executive director Mark Surman explains: “Mozilla’s global translation and localization communities have always been at the heart of who we are. For the first time, Amara lets us extend our community translation work to include video,” said Mark Surman, Executive Director of Mozilla. “We are proud to support Amara as they build a crucial part of the open web.”

Knight Foundation and Mozilla invest $1m in crowdsourced video translation project Amara

(Disclosure: I am proud to volunteer on the board of directors for the Participatory Culture Foundation)


    1. In economics, M is thousand, and MM is million. However, I’m completely unaware of any Canadian/UK bias to using MM for million outside of economics.

      Cory has done this twice, so clearly something’s up.

  1. I love Amara as a user, but as a developer it’s got some serious shortcomings. It works with Vimeo, but not on iOS – however nowhere on the Amara site does it say what players/platforms combinations it’s compatible with. Their API is not very well documented, and their tech help doesn’t always answer easy and direct questions*. I only bring this up since Cory says he’s on the board and hopefully the extra money can help with some of the issues I’ve been having.

    * –

  2. It’s to differentiate between M (thousand) and MM (thousand thousand). Cory got it right.

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