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Over the past few months, we’ve been growing very fast. It’s been exciting: more videos, more subtitles, more volunteers. We’ve been seeing an increase in remarkable viral moments, like the (controversial) KONY 2012 video being translated into 37 languages on our platform in less than a week.

And we’re hearing from more and more video publishers that want to launch volunteer communities, as PBS Newshour recently did (you can join their team here!).

For a few important reasons, ‘Universal Subtitles’ is no longer the best name for us. As our community grows and our platform expands, we need a name that’s less specific (what if someday we add functionality that’s not just for subtitles?) and that really captures the sense of community that we’re hoping to build– as a non-profit with a social mission, we are certainly not a typical web startup. Changing a name is hard, but we’ve found a new name that feels right.

And that new name… is Amara. The word ‘Amara’ means several things– it’s a form of the Spanish verb amar, ‘to love’ and it means ‘eternal’ in Sanskrit. We like these meanings and others.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be making the biggest announcements we’ve ever had, and with those, what started as Universal Subtitles will be transitioning to the name Amara. Our URL won’t change at first — it’s a big project that we want to undertake carefully — but ‘Amara’ will start to replace ‘Universal Subtitles’ throughout our site and in our announcements.

We’re encouraged by the community developing around Amara. If you’re excited by the idea of making video accessible to those who are hard of hearing and to audiences around the world in any language, just add a video URL to start subtitling or translating now.

8 thoughts on “Universal Subtitles is now 'Amara'

  1. Huge good wishes! We like the “universal” and yet – sounds exciting there!
    And yes, we hope to collaborate – that’s in our name too.
    Our approach is that it all depends on community and good group work.
    And we are all volunteers.

    Lauren for The Collaborative for Communication Access via Captioning (CCAC) – we are all in this together

  2. Great news! I’m looking forward to the new functionalities: there were already a few unorthodox ones it was possible to play with, like using the widget for translating texts instead of subtitling, or scripting audio descriptions.
    Actually “amara” means “bitter” in Italian, but I guess that kind of thing can’t be helped once you change a name. And Miro / Amara sounds nice.

  3. I’m all for the changes. I think it’s appropriate to have a name change because it could be potentially conflict with other “universal” in project names and/or studios. In this case I support the change to Amara it rolls off the tongue with Miro/Amara.

  4. I don’t want to rain on the parade, but I’m going to be the nay-sayer here:

    Expanding your offerings is great, but that’s what the x in x.universalsubtitles. org is for. If I were searching the web for a hammer, I would not search for the word “aggressive”, or “muscular”, or any of a million other words that might vaguely be used to advertise a hammer or the wonderful uses a hammer could be put to in helping stop war by building schools. I’d search for “hammer”. Eternal / Love suggests a religion to me — though some say that “open source” is a religion. ;-) Perhaps a word suggestive of communication / access would be general enough to cover unanticipated future technologies, while still having some grounding in reality.

    At the very least, as you move forword, consider something like:,, etc. Or, less useful IMHO,,, etc.

    Good luck in any case, but be wary of the overly broad approach of becoming all things to all people.

  5. A pesar de estar um pouquinho froco, vou a luta, porque a vitória e para a queles que são humilde, e paciente

  6. Amara in Italian means bitter, but I like the sound of the name all the same. I wish you a very sweet future! Thank you for a great technology that will help translators like me and volunteers worldwide to make the planet a smaller and more pleasant place to live in.

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