Universal Subtitles comes to Streetfilms

Over the last years, Streetfilms has become a resource for people all over the world who are interested in improving the street life of their cities. People have also started to translate the films and create new videos with subtitles for their native audience. Here’s an example of a Streetfilms video translated for Streets of Iran. This is all very exciting for the Streetfilms team!

Today, in an effort to facilitate this process, we’ve released an update to Streetfilms.org which incorporates Universal Subtitles into the site. Universal Subtitles is a system in which any film can have subtitles added to it and displayed in any language. People can play the film with subtitles by choosing any of the available translations, or even with English subtitles which is helpful for the hearing impaired.

The real genius of Universal Subtitles is that translations are crowd-sourced, that is, anyone can add a translation. Once it is added, it is available immediately on the site for anyone to use. Hopefully, over time, Streetfilms will grow a large repository of subtitles for many of our films.

The editing platform for adding subtitles is quite nifty and supports uploading of existing subtitle files, notifications on updates to a video and rolling back to previous revisions. See more about it.

Here’s an example of a Streetfilms video embedded with the Universal Subtitles button:

One of our concerns in adopting the Universal Subtitles system is that, if the Universal Subtitles service were to go out of business and shut down, we would lose all the work that went into translating the subtitles and embedded videos with subtitles would stop working. We raised this issue with the service and they assured us that they were well supported with a mix of grant funding and earned revenue (see list of projects and supporters). They also provide a way to export subtitles for use in other services.

It’ll be interesting to see how people use this new feature on Streetfilms over time. Hopefully it will become a well-used part of the site and will help Streetfilms reach an even wider audience.

2 Responses to “Universal Subtitles comes to Streetfilms”

  1. vanessa Says:

    great, this is a fantastic improvement to the site. streetfilms can now go worldwide in new ways. thanks for making it happen.

  2. Streetsblog Los Angeles » Today’s Headlines Says:

    [...] Universal Subtitles Come to All Streetfilms (CYJ Abraham) [...]