How to subtitle offline
Since we need to break lines offline anyway, here's a quick way to breaking lines during approval for PC users:
1. Download and install Subtitle Edit (http://www.nikse.dk/SubtitleEdit)
2. This, you only do once: go to Options/Settings. In the "General" tab, put "42" in "Single line max. length." Note: depending on your version (I'm using a beta), you may also see "Max chars/sec" below: enter a value for your language (22 for most Latin-script based languages)
3. Download the subtitles (translation and original)
4. Open the translated subtitles, and pull up the original (File/Open original subtitle (translator mode))
5. Go to Tools/Fix common errors (or use Ctrl-Shift-F). Remove all selections (click "Select all," then "Inverse selection"). Tick "Break long lines." Click "Next," and click "OK" in the next window.
6. Go over the subtitles (in "List view" - i.e. simply the main window) and look for
. This tag marks the place where the line was broken. The lines have been broken automatically, but in some lines, you may need to fix/change the breaks (see http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Transcribing_talks#Line_breaks). You can edit the subtitle you highlighted in the List view in the Text box below (there are even buttons, to the right, that will Unbreak or re-Auto break the lines for you). You have the original English subtitles to the right to help you when a line needs to be rephrased just to make good breaking possible.
When you're done, you can also run a spell check. Subtitle Edit is a great tool for editing subtitles, but remember that Amara currently doesn't allow us to upload drafts with changed timing or split/merged lines. You can also edit with the video downloaded from ted.com, but remember that the timing doesn't fit - the subtitles from Amara don't allow for the TED intro. You can move the subtitles by the length of the intro (Synchronization/Adjust all times), and move them backwards later before uploading the draft. To get more out of Subtitle Edit, explore the Help secion and the keyboard shortcuts.