I would like to ask if you want to volunteer in project, where we work on captioning Massive Black videos. The initiative was taken about three months ago and project is going fine.
The main goal is to help people who have problems with English, or have hard hearing. Some MB videos were downloaded hundreds times, some thousands times. CA is growing and in future, without doubt, numbers will increase up significantly. In other words, subtitles will help a lot people in few ways. First, it will make art education access a lot easier. Large choice of videos, low prices, possibility to download to your computer and available subtitles (not only in English language, we aim to translate to other languages as well) will confirm it. Second, I hope that project will promote that being in this community doesn't have to mean just grabbing available information. If there's a good idea to help people in becoming a better artist, no matter at what level they are, a initiative can be taken. CA is open to these thing and might support. This project is a proof - I really don't know how much we would go far without their support.
As so far, we have 6 subtitles ready for final tests for minor corrections, two are waiting for proofreading before testing, 11 subtitles have pure text without time stamps and are waiting for synchronizing, 15-20 are currently being transcribed and 10-12 are waiting for assignments. At this moment, there are 28 participants.
However, I would like to boost the project progress, hence this announcement. There are three possible tasks. Before I proceed to them, I would like to tell few things.
It's not a entirely fun stuff. It might be interesting at beginning, but later it mostly probably will be tedious and time consuming. It could be hard to keep working with it, especially if you're volunteering. It's important for you to know for what you're going and being sure you can keep it working. It can be slow, like one or half hour per day, sometimes something might get in way (trips, accidents (touch wood!), sudden job/school tasks etc.), which is normal, but generally speaking, I want the progress to be steady and be sure there won't be problems with motivations. It also allows to predict progress, like X subtitles in Y weeks/months. If someone feels it's too much, she/he can leave project without problems, but please think seriously if it's doable for you before volunteering. I will try to describe these three tasks best as possible later, so you can get the rough image.
We have a private forum section that contains various information and discussions. It's visible only for participants, after adding to needed user group. It helps to get needed information and rough idea how project is going.
If someone lacks video, it won't be issue as Jason agreed to share videos, if it's needed. It means transcribers, synchronizers and proofreaders will get their assigned videos.
For appetizing, I'm throwing few screen shots with subtitles :-)
Now, about jobs - there they are:
1). Transcriber - simply writes spoken dialogues into text. It can be either done with any text editors or subtitle editors which allow to add time stamps (they're needed to tell player when subtitles should be displayed). The average speed of transcribing is one real hour per five video minutes. Almost all titles (including parts of titles) are one hour. So if you spend one hour daily, you should finish title within two weeks, including checking subtitles one/two times. With half-hour per day, it's 3-4 weeks.
Artists in videos speak in different ways (faster or slower, with pauses or all time etc.), so the transcribing difficulties vary. Sometimes it can be done in smooth way, without rewinding video back and checking much. In worst cases, you might rewind few times if you're not sure if written dialogue is correct. If someone still can't figure out word, she/he marks it with "(?)" and may ask author artist or/and proofreader for help.
If transcriber doesn't add time stamps, she/he simply pass to synchronizer before proofreading. But since we're currently lacking time stampers, proofreaders have harder time with editing subtitles.
Criteria: Good English and skill in digital/traditional painting (it just helps with understanding what they say in videos and hearing various painting terms, program functions and like this).
2). Synchronizer - as name implies, it means synchronizing text dialogues to voice through adding time stamps to each sentence or its parts. Person must be skilled or be able learn to use subtitle editors to add time stamps to texts.
Learning subtitle editor shouldn't be hard, as it usually uses keyboard hot keys or program buttons. But the whole synchronizing process might be tedious. It's not just adding time stamps, synchronizer must be sure the subtitles are read fairly easily - not too short, nor too long displaying duration times and not too early or late displaying times. The number of subtitles lines on video should be less as possible, 1-3 is a comfortable range, so it doesn't overlay the video too much.
Criteria: skill in using subtitle editors or being able to learn this and watched quite videos with subtitles (mainly DVD movies, or cinema movies when they have original dubbing and subtitles in viewer's language), so person knows what well synchronized subtitles is done.
3). Proofreader - the main task is to make subtitles read in comfortable way. It requires balancing between spoken dialogues and text ones, meaning subtitles can't be exactly like what is said in video, because it would cause excessive displaying subtitles on screen and harder reading (spoken errors are easier to ignore, while written ones aren't). But it can't be too different as well. Unfortunately, there's no rule of thumb for this balance - it's up to transcriber and proofreader. After synchronizing and proofreading, subtitles will be tested few times to make sure they're made well.
Criteria: Very good English - as first language or very fluent additional language. Experience with proofreading various texts is a very nice bonus.
The number of positions in these are rather limited. 10-15 transcribers, about 10 synchronizers, 10 proofreaders should be enough.
Jason said that anyone who puts quite effort, will get prize. I can't tell it now for rather obvious reasons
That's all. If anyone is interested or have questions, please write there or send me a mail (firstname.lastname@example.org, or in my profile). Write a short information about you, your experiences - anything that will help me figure out if you're going to make a good job!