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dotSUB June 1, 2007

Posted by Edwin in Tools.

A while ago, I conducted a brief experiment on collaborative transcribing of Youtube videos. I received a few positive feedbacks, but that seemed to be the end of the story. I found the whole process time-consuming, and I just could not imagine anyone would want to indulge in this kind of activities. Well, at least not for free.

Yesterday, I stumbled upon a web service called dotSub, which provides an easy way for people to upload videos and add subtitles. You can also allow others from around the world to add subtitles, and each video can have more than one subtitle. Everybody can then collaborate and contribute pieces to make up the whole transcription. This is exactly the idea I had before.

I think the website is not intentionally targeted for language learners, but it is definitely an excellent tool for language learning. The site is fairly new, but there are already a bunch of videos in different languages uploaded. I do believe dotSub has a lot of potentials, so I signed up for the free membership right away without giving much consideration. I am expecting to see it to grow substantially. I am looking for the day when world-wide collaborative transcribing becomes a trend.



1. Michael - June 1, 2007

Hi – I am the founder and CEO of dotSUB, and thanks for the kind words. Would love to speak with you about your thoughts about multiculturalism and language learning – one of the things dotsub is perfect to facilitate. We are working with several organizations you should be aware of, so let me know how and when to contact you.


Michael L. Smolens
Founder & CEO
dotSUB llc – Any Film Any Language
360 East 72nd St. #C3104
New York, NY 10021 USA
michael@dotsub.com – email
1-917-742-0158 – tel
1-646-403-9944 – fax
mlsmolens – Skype
http://dotsub.com – website

2. edwinlaw - June 1, 2007

Hi Michael,
Thanks for you comment.

An effective way to improve a language learner’s listening is to repeatedly listen to the same contents. He must know what have been said word by word. In other words, he needs the transcripts.

There are contents widely available on the Internet for language learners. However, they usually don’t come with transcripts, or you have to pay for them. Most often, a learner would come across some interesting contents but there is no one to transcribe the contents for them. I believe your web service can solve this problem nicely.

I hope you can provide this service freely to the transcribers. You may also keep it free for those who reference contents from elsewhere, such as Youtube. But you may want to charge the content owners since you are in some way advertising for them.

How does that sound?

3. John - June 1, 2007

Please, if you could, continue to transcribe. These videos that you ahve provided are a very helpful tool.

4. edwinlaw - June 3, 2007

John, I will do more transcriptions in the future for sure. But I am thinking of using dotSub. Stay tuned.

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