With 640 volunteers and growing, Amara and PBS NewsHour are reducing accessibility barriers by translating the 2012 presidential debates in up to 12 languages

October 2, 2012 (NEW YORK) – Tomorrow’s first presidential debate will be spoken in English, but Americans and people throughout the world for whom English is not their first language, and people who are deaf and hard of hearing, will be watching as well. Amara, a crowd sourced subtitling platform that engages volunteers from around the world to translate online videos, has partnered with the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) to translate each presidential debate into multiple languages.

The PBS NewsHour Open Vote 2012 Subtitling Team is comprised of over 640 volunteers who are currently translating politics-themed videos into languages ranging from Chinese to Arabic, to German in a matter of 24 hours following a live broadcast. In August and September, Amara and PBS engaged volunteers to translate speeches from the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, which can be found by clicking here.

“The chance to see the candidates explain their ideas and highlight their differences in the debates is a unique opportunity for Americans to decide how they will vote,” said Hari Sreenivasan, correspondent for PBS NewsHour. “PBS NewsHour is determined to make the debates available to over 50 million Americans for whom English is a second language, for over 30 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing, and people watching around the world. The volunteers who translate these debates are providing a tremendous civic service.

PBS and Amara began partnering in January 2012. Since then, they’ve translated more than 187 videos in 52 languages and counting. For more information on the PBS NewsHour Open Vote 2012 Subtitling Team, or to volunteer, click here.


About Amara
By partnering with organizations such as PBS, TED Talks, Khan Academy, Coursera, and Netflix, Amara gives individuals, communities, and larger organizations the power to overcome accessibility and language barriers for online video. Amara’s technology offers a robust API that allows companies to use the platform for internal collaboration as well as allowing individual customers to translate video content. Backed by a million dollars in funding from the Knight Foundation and Mozilla, Amara’s award-winning platform has been recognized by the Federal Communications Commission, the United Nations and TechAwards. For more information, visit Amara.org and follow @AmaraSubs on Twitter.

Media Contact:
Josh Segall
(334) 328-9184