Be a force for change and join Amara’s community as a volunteer subtitler!

The Internet is bringing many more people across the globe closer together. Yet, we’re still hitting barriers in language and accessibility. Within this language divide, there are both great challenges and opportunities for everyone to access more content on the Internet. By adding captions, subtitles, and language translations to video, we can help bridge that divide a little more every day.

When you become a volunteer subtitler with Amara, you’ll be participating in a global community that impacts the life experiences of others. All it takes is for each of us to make more video content inclusive and accessible. You’ll be surprised to know that captions and subtitles can transform lives. By helping viewers gain knowledge and skills, their outlook is improved for better economic opportunities and livelihoods for themselves and their families.

At Amara Subtitling, we believe that subtitles and translation can empower individuals to be the person they want to be.

From the day we made Amara Subtitling t-shirts!

Read on to learn about the benefits of being a volunteer for captioning and subtitling.

4 benefits of volunteer subtitling

Volunteering as a subtitler has several unique benefits that most volunteer work doesn’t offer. Don’t be surprised if volunteer subtitling ends up changing your own life!

Volunteer from home at a time that works for you.

Digital volunteer opportunities like subtitling offer a lot of flexibility. We all have a lot going on in our lives, and sometimes it’s difficult to be able to commit a morning or afternoon every week to a local volunteer program. Online volunteer opportunities by our nonprofit partners are available on Amara 24/7 at a time that works for you, without the need for extra travel time or advance scheduling.

Volunteer as many (or as few hours) a week as you’d like.

Along with being able to volunteer from home on your own schedule, you can decide how much time to devote to subtitling, whether it’s for five minutes or an hour. Subtitle creation is a collaborative effort on Amara. As a volunteer at Amara, you’re part of a team. So when you are done with your volunteer session, others will step in to keep projects moving. Just don’t forget to save your progress before exiting the subtitle editor!

Learn while volunteering.

Many online classes and educational programs have course videos that need captions and subtitles. When subtitling these videos, you’ll be learning the content as well. Some of the educational videos that have been subtitled in Amara’s translation and subtitling communities include learning the process of buying a house and how to draw.

Gain a valuable skill that can turn subtitling into a career.

Many professional subtitlers, translators and offline captionists start their careers as volunteers. The time they spend as a subtitling volunteer allows them to get familiar with editing tools and the subtitling process. By the time they are ready to move on to become a professional subtitler or transcriptionist, they already have experience under their belt.

Some of Amara’s staff members also started out as subtitling volunteers!

Have questions about being a volunteer subtitler?

This sounds awesome. What do I need to become a volunteer subtitler with Amara? 

Not much! All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, an Internet browser, and a little bit of time. No experience needed.

Can I be a volunteer subtitler if I only know one language?

Yes! Subtitles always need original-language captions. In the industry, this is known as the transcript. The Amara subtitle editor lets you create the transcript right inside the editor. It is often the case that a video is created without a written script, and so you will be able to caption videos that are created in your language.

What types of subtitling projects can I expect to work on?

The types of videos you work on can be incredibly diverse. While the subject material can vary, typically the work itself involves creating captions, time-coding captions, and translating captions into other languages. At Amara, you can choose to work as part of a team or you can work independently as an individual.

Amara has volunteer teams available for you to join that are based around different needs and issue areas. Some teams help fulfill general closed captioning requests, while some teams are created by organizations that are focused on specific subjects. They range from art, to music, to climate change, and more. TED is one of the most well-known translation communities using Amara that you can volunteer for.

Get started as a subtitling volunteer

The Amara subtitle editor is free and only takes a second to create an account. Once you’ve created an account, it’s easy to add or choose a video to start subtitling.

As an individual volunteer, you have a few choices. You can work alone or join a group.

To work alone, you have two options:

1) choose a video from Amara Public’s Videos page, where you will see a wide variety of videos to choose from, or

2) add a video from anywhere on the Internet to your account by clicking on your username and selecting “Subtitle a video.”

Important: If you don’t own the video, the subtitles will only viewable from the video’s page on Amara. Amara’s video links are always public if you’re using the free subtitle editor. If you want your captions or subtitles to show up on YouTube, you will have to contact the owner of the video and let them know you created subtitles for them. 

If you prefer to join an organization-based volunteer team, you can view our most popular teams available here or view all the teams created on Amara to join them and get started.

Kaia trying on one of our brand new Amara t-shirts. So darling!

Lastly, check out some of our video tutorials for a quick walkthrough of the editor or just jump right in! Amara’s subtitle editor was designed to be intuitive and easy to use, so that anyone can get started quickly to make videos more accessible around the world.

Amara was originally created with a vision of making it easy for anyone to help make online video content accessible for all. Reduce language and accessibility barriers as a subtitling volunteer. We hope you’ll join us! Please drop us a line at if you have any questions. Happy subtitling!