Meet the winners of our first Review-a-thon!

From March 15 to March 22, the TED Translators program held our first program-wide Review-a-thon. One hundred reviewers and Language Supervisors from 30 language communities participated in this event, helping to prioritize backlogged review assignments and accept review requests from linguists in their language communities. Together, they reviewed and published 898 sets of subtitles!

We’re sending a huge thank-you to everybody who participated. Be sure to check out this video highlighting their success!

To honor the five Language Supervisors who completed the most reviews, we are sending them a TED Translators Mystery Bag packed with branded goodies! So, without further ado, check out the winners and their favorite talk reviewed during the Review-a-thon.

Sebastian Betti

Spanish/English Language Supervisor

Favorite Reviewed Talk: 

Blair Braverman: What sled dogs can teach us about courage.

Sebastian told us this is his favorite talk because “I think this teaching is even true outside of mushing. Thus, if we keep our mind open to it, we can learn vital lessons from animals in the face of the unknown.”

Ido Dekker

Hebrew Language Supervisor

Favorite Reviewed Talk: 

Qingwu Meng: How Do We Grow Food Anywhere, Without Soil?

Ido recommends this talk that teaches you how to grow hydroponic food at home. He said, 

“This talk is the one I enjoyed the most since I have a few hydroponic systems at home!”

Ola Królikowska

Polish/Russian Langauge Supervisor

Ola, who finished 58 reviews in seven days, told us that “It would be impossible to name one favorite talk, as each project is unique in its own way.”

Jorge Santos

Brazilian Portuguese Language Supervisor

Favorite Reviewed Talk: 

Matthew Ferry: Start an Opinion Diet: A Detox for Your Mind.

Jorge picks Matthew Ferry’s TEDx talk as his favorite. He said, “I found the message very important for my life and to those who will see it. A very real and impactful message in the days where everyone thinks they are right.”

Thanh Quynh Nhu PHAM

Vietnamese Language Supervisor

Favorite Reviewed Talk: 

Jamie Jung: Asian Representation in Media: Past, Present, Future.

Nhu shared that this talk resonated with her because, “As a Vietnamese working in advertising, representation is also one of the things that I care about. I’d love to see more diversity and inclusivity in the world’s media and popular culture.”

TED Translators get innovative during COVID-19 quarantine // Part 3

For the third edition of our “TED Translators get innovative during COVID-19 quarantine” series, we took a quick look at what the Indonesian language community has been up to during the global pandemic.

In late March, Indonesian Language Coordinator (LC) Ade Indarta and TED Translator/TEDx organizer Deera Army Pramana hosted an educational webinar that was attended by 35 translators in the Indonesian language community.

The event began with a tutorial on Amara that was led by Deera. Ade followed up Deera’s “Amara 101” session with a presentation that focused on mistakes TED Translators—especially new volunteers—often make in their work.

A Q&A period wrapped up the webinar, during which participants posed any translation-related questions they had to Ade and Deera.

This virtual gathering was further proof that TED Translators communities, whether in Indonesia or elsewhere in the world, continue to thrive despite the drastic burdens COVID-19 has imposed on all of our lives.

P.S. If you’d like to host a TED Translators virtual workshop, discussion session, translate-athon, transcribe-athon, or if you’re part of a TEDx team looking to recruit TED Translators for your online event, feel free to reach out to us at We’re here to support you!

TED Translators get innovative during COVID-19 quarantine // Part 1

Kurdish LC Daban Jaff (center) with Koya University students and TED Translators

Greetings, everybody! It’s been a while since our last post, so we’re excited to share this new story with you. But first and most importantly, we here at TED Translators hope you’ve all been safe and sound during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

As it’s spread around the world, forcing us to isolate and social distance indefinitely in order to slow and stop it, the latest novel coronavirus has altered our lives in countless profound and drastic ways. It hasn’t, however, diminished our individual and collective creative capacities. Case in point: TED Translators in many countries have come up with various inventive means to continue translating and collaborating in their respective language communities.

In this time of worldwide fear and uncertainty, then, we’re happy to highlight the ingenuity of several of these translators in a multi-part series. For this first installment we spoke with Kurdish TED Translator and Language Coordinator (LC) Daban Jaff, an instructor at Koya University in Iraq, who recently organized and has overseen a virtual translate-athon with his students.

“Once the university shut down,” Daban told us, “my students (many of whom are experienced TED Translators) and I began to brainstorm how we could keep busy during quarantine. We eventually devised a project wherein each student would translate at least four TED Talks into Kurdish in 10 days. So far,” Daban reported, “nearly 40 of my students have translated well over 100 talks, and 60 more translations are in the works.” For his part, Daban has been reviewing all of his students’ translations and providing them with both individualized and group feedback.

Koya University students and TED Translators in Iraq

Daban also told us that this virtual translate-athon has been a tremendous psychological boost for him and his students during these days of self-isolation. For student and TED Translator Aga Ismael, “Nothing but volunteering has been able to cheer me up. The opportunities for collaboration and mutual support—for human connection—that it offers are boundless and have been heartening for me. I hope this TED Translators project continues for as long as possible.”

What’s more, in an effort to expand the Kurdish translation community, Daban arranged for a few local newspapers to publish his students’ translations along with links to the translated talks. You can find articles here and here.

Daban and his students’ virtual translate-athon, by any measure, has been a remarkable success and an exemplary blueprint for how TED Translators, wherever they’re based, can keep their language communities motivated and active while waiting out COVID-19’s demise.

In the next two weeks, we’ll bring you more stories of such resilience from other translation communities, so do check back in with us for those.

And stay safe out there!