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Translations journey - 2 years

In October 2010, Khan Academy began a volunteer driven effort to translate its video library into the world’s widely spoken languages.  This involved both text translations (captions) and voice translations (dubbing/re-doing videos).  In early 2011 Ben Kamens and Dean Brettle (one of KA’s passionate volunteers) integrated the Universal Subtitles widget to enable crowdsourced subtitling of videos on Khan Academy.  Today we have 14,000+ subtitles in 50+ languages.

The journey of the translations completed so far:

For voice translations, we needed to find individuals who could not only be Khan Academy’s voice in another language, but also have the commitment to translate an entire topic’s playlist.  The latter was key to ensuring consistency in voice within a topic.  Khan Academy relies on an amazing group of “Advocates” for each of the languages it is supporting, to ensure the effectiveness and quality of the translations.  Currently we have 7,500+ voice translations in over 23 languages.

Sal introducing the Advocates:

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We've crossed 10,000 subtitles...

This week we reached 10,000 subtitles across 50+ languages!  Congratulations to our dedicated volunteer translators.  We are inspired by their selfless contribution towards making quality education accessible for anyone anywhere.

While we’ve crossed a significant milestone, there is much that we can accomplish with your help towards providing a global educational resource. 

Subtitling is as simple as 1-2-3:

  1. Select ‘Options’ (below any video on www.khanacademy.org)
  2. Select the ‘Translated subtitles’ option
  3. Click ‘Add New Translation’

To get started visit www.khanacademy.org/contribute.  We’d love for you to join us!

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Ready, set, subtitle!

Now if you visit www.khanacademy.org/contribute, you can pick a language, click a button and be taken to a video to subtitle!  You can also filter by language and subject and select a specific video.  Help educate the world.  Ready, set, subtitle!

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Khan Academy teaming up with Renren to bring free online education to China

With nearly 500 million Internet users, China is the largest online population in the world.  Our video lessons will be hosted at khan.56.com for free by Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN), one of China’s leading social networking internet platforms, through its online video subsidiary 56.com.  We’re excited about cooperating with Renren to further expand our education model outside the United States and continue to realize our mission to makeworld-class education available for free to anyone anywhere.

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Making education more accessible around the world

We often get emails from people around the world who use Khan Academy.  There are now over 2.4 million visits per month coming from outside the US (hurray!).  Much of this usage is from people who heard or stumbled upon our resources and just started using it for themselves.  However, there are also many schools and organizations in countries such as India, Brazil, South Africa and Ghana that are experimenting and using our materials as a core element of how they educate their students.

One such organization that is using Khan Academy is the African School for Excellence (ASE), in Accra, Ghana. Despite being constrained by the limited number of computers and broadband access, the teachers at ASE incorporated Khan Academy as their Math curriculum in a 4-week pilot.  What is exciting how they managed to innovate around their infrastructure constraints, and ASE’s CEO has written a thoughtful article about the creative fixes they used. ASE plans to run a few more pilots early next year in Ghana and South Africa and will continue to find new ways to work with the resources that they have available.

It is amazing to hear about how these organizations (and more that we have not even heard about) are innovating to bring world-class education to their students — especially in regions where getting basic education is a hurdle for many children.  There’s a magic that happens when high quality content is available for free to the world, and it is exciting to see what happens when people are inspired to take action and change the world one step at a time.   

We love hearing these stories, so if you are helping bring Khan Academy to other parts of the world — let us know by posting a comment below!

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