Learning2gether with Claude Almansi and Lucia Bartolotti about Amara and media caption tools

Learning2gether Episode 169

Download mp3: https://learning2getherdotnet.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/learning2gether-with-claude-almansi-and-lucia-bartolott-about-amara.mp3

Google+ Hangout recording available


Claude Almansi and her colleagues have been using Amara <http://www.amara.org/> to create subtitles to media recordings.  They came online to tell us more about this tool. Part of the impetus is that they are working on English subtitles at this link


for the learning2gether #ltis13 meeting. The work so far has been mainly done by Lucia Bartolotti, but there are still several passages marked “check” or “inaudible”.

Claude suggests that if Learning2gether participants might be willing to have a go at editing the subtitles, that could be a practical introduction to the Amara software. If interested, visit http://www.amara.org/en/videos/YSU7qZTGsp94/en/506070/ -> Edit and resolve the issues noted.

There is copious more information at the shared PiratePad document giving more specific instructions on editing, as well as other details about Amara and other tools for captioning media: http://piratepad.net/amara4learning2gether
This is where Claude and her community have been putting a lot more information about Amara and other captioning tools and their potential for language learning.

All are welcome to join us at this session and learn more about this and other captioning tools as well.

Community response

Sandra Rogers shared this list of recording and editing resources: http://usailc.org/ilcnew/resources/

at which this worksheet is given: How to create captions using Amara.org,


6 thoughts on “Learning2gether with Claude Almansi and Lucia Bartolotti about Amara and media caption tools

    • Hi Benjamin,
      I’m copying here the comment I left on your YT screencast, because ther’s more room here:
      “Are you using a Mac, perhaps? I’ve always had the same problem with the arrow keys commands on a Mac with the present editor. What I do is I stop the video with the tab command, then set the beginning and end of each subtitle dragging its edges on the time line.
      Vice versa, with the beta new editor, I can use the arrow keys to set the beginning and end of each subtitle, but the tab and shift tab commands that should make me go to the next and former subtitle don’t work…”

      Not much point in asking for the arrow keys commands to also work on Macs in the present editor, as Amara plans to replace it with the new one rather soon. But I’ve mentioned the new editor’s issue with tab and shift tab in a Google spreadsheet I started when the NE was in total beta, i.e. only available on a special sub-site. See Let’s try the new subtitle editor and report about it on the Amara help forum.

      • Sorry: your video hadn’t fully loaded when i wrote the previous comment. So yes, there’s a problem with keyboard shortcuts on Macs. But saving is a different issue, affecting ecumenically any user occasionally after the last upgrade. I.e. presently the system is running 2 editing tools – legacy and new – and so it maxes out at times.
        In fact, it did so as I was trying to make subs for your screencast in http://www.amara.org/en/videos/8ymz1VJPwTI2/info/amara-syncing-subtitles/ – and without even the option to download subtitles (actually copypaste a subtitle file) that normally appears when there’s a saving problem 😦
        Therefore presently, do save and exit often when using Amara. If saving doesn’t work twice in a row, wait a few hours before trying again.
        Let’s hope things get better when the server starts running only the new editor.

  1. Thank you, Vance, also for the audio recording: it’ll be possible to twiddle it with Audacity for the few passages where the audio is unclear in the YT video. BTW, the subtitling page for it is http://www.amara.org/videos/1cAHHNGqVjIq/info/learning2gether-with-claude-almansi-and-lucia-bartolotti-about-amara/ , with English subs in progress if anyone wants to have a go 😀

    I didn’t really answer your question about “other media” that can be subtitled with Amara, sorry. So here goes:

    In http://www.amara.org/en/videos/YSU7qZTGsp94/info/fabrizio-bartoli-lucia-bartolotti-organize-a-discussion-of-the-cmooc-ltis13/ , “the video that is not a video” to quote Nina Liakos, what is streaming is an .ogg audio file I made from your original .mp3 and uploaded on the Internet Archive (see the “URLs” tab).

    For a while, .mp3 audio files could also be streamed in the Amara player, but that stopped working, though they plan to make it work again in the new editor. That’s why I went roundabout to get an .ogg file to stream.

    A list of file formats and video platform URLs that work with Amara is given in the Subtitle videos page where you can create a new Amara page.

  2. Pingback: Phil Hubbard on Digital content curation for CALL using TED Talk YouTube video | Learning2gether

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