Poland, Warsaw, 1st OTP Translatathon

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Location: Warsaw, LANG Language Training Center

Date: 11 May 2014 14:00 – 18:00

Tools: Every attendee needs to have their own laptop, headphones - remind them to take the power cord for their laptop

Good to have:

  1. a power strip, to make sure there are enough sockets for everybody in the room.
  2. a whiteboard to write down information about basics of transcription
  3. a projector or a TV to show the relevant OTP Learning Series clips

Atttendees: Active OTP translators based in Warsaw notified via OTP Polska group on FB, new recruits gathered from a group of TED and TEDx fans in Poland, newbie translators notified about the event through Amara & a guest from TED :)

Make sure that the participants register as TED translators via Amara a few days before the event, preferably at the same time as they register for the event itself.

Registration: It's vital to have a registration form, where you ask for the participants' experience and emails, to be able to follow-up with tutorials, comments and anything else. Also, the registration form gives the event more credibility and people who register are more likely to show up! Just use GoogleDrive Survey tool.

Goal: Community building through continuous engagement, introducing new people to the OTP, transcription training & transcribing TEDxWarsaw talks

Focus: For a mixed experience group like ours it is best to focus on either transcription or translation. If you choose to transcribe, you could contact your local TEDx and propose to work on transcribing talks from their events in exchange for help in finding a venue. If you choose to translate, it may be best to pick TED-Ed talks, they are short and the subtitles need to be compressed a lot, which is a good controlled practice.

Format: Video presentations - How to Transcribe & Compression from OTP Learning Series + Q&A and hours of transcribing together.

Software: We had a lot of questions about spellcheckers for browsers. It's good to have a list of addons that do that for your language. Additionally, make sure that the participants bookmark colorAmara found here: http://archifabrika.hu/tools/ to prevent basic timing mistakes early.

Talks to work on: Choosing the talks to work on prior is really important to prevent confusion and make task assigning easier. TEDxWarsaw OTP team created a document with all the talks and their status on Amara which can be found here. Feel free to copy for your local TEDxes!

Bonus: The participants took part in a group photo They had a chance to talk to TEDx Organizers in Warsaw Got a commemorative 5th anniversary poster from TEDxWarsaw team Got a special registration code to the next TEDx event in Warsaw in two weeks :)

Follow-up: Will try to prioritize TEDx tasks started during the event so that the participants get immediate feedback and feel motivated. Next Translatathon will happen on the 1st of June, in the same place. We hope to see the same people, and more


  1. Come in knowing your focus and stating it clearly. I very strongly recommend either translation or transcription. Otherwise it may become chaotic.
  2. Make sure the Internet connection can handle this many participants. At the peak of the event we had to wait for some videos to load. If you predict connection problems you still could organize the event and have translators pre-pick translations, download the files and work offline in for example SubtitleEdit.
  3. It's a Marathon, therefore you will need to consider food/water options. This time we brought water and cookies with us, but for longer events it would be good to order a pizza together, so check places which do delivery to your location before or notify participants before that everybody should bring some drinks and snacks.

Preparations - Timeline