Subtitle a Workshop

This handbook will show you how to add subtitles to an English workshop using Otter.ai. If you prefer another tool or you are transcribing from a different language, follow the WordPress.tv subtitle instruction (all Learn workshop videos are on WPTV) and just complete steps 7 and 8 of this page.

Step 1. Join the Otter.ai Contributor Group Step 1. Join the Otter.ai Contributor Group

To start using Otter.ai, send an email to learn@wordpress.org and tell us that you’d like to help transcribe Learn WordPress videos. Make sure to specify the email address you want to use for this Otter.ai account.

You will receive an invitation email after you’re added. Click “Sign up for FREE” to create an account or log into your existing account.

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Step 2. Pick the video you want to subtitle Step 2. Pick the video you want to subtitle

Using the Learn WordPress Workshop Subtitle status sheet, pick the video that doesn’t have any username under the “Captioner” column for your intended language.

If you are not the creator of the original video, search the workshop title or presenter name on WordPress.tv to find the source video. There’s a download link for the video on the right sidebar of the single video page. Medium quality MP4 should work.

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Step 3. Upload the video to Otter.ai Step 3. Upload the video to Otter.ai

Log into Otter.ai and use the “Learn WordPress” folder to upload the video. They accept mp4, avi, mov, wmv, and mpg formats for videos.

Rename the project to match the Learn Workshop/WordPress.tv titles (or you can rename the file before uploading to save you a step).

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Step 4. Review the generated transcription Step 4. Review the generated transcription

Once you finish uploading and processing, click the title of the project to start reviewing & fixing mistakes.

  • Basic instruction of the Otter.ai review process can be found in this documentation and this video.
  • You don’t need to assign speakers, but start a new speaker with a new paragraph.
  • Common mistakes that you may see: WordPress/WordCamp camel-case, unnecessary line breaks, names of people, products, and companies, names of cities or locations
  • If you run into any inaudible part, it’s ok to skip a few words (and mark [inaudible] if you want) as long as that’s not highly relevant to understand the content. If it’s something that is critical, contact the speaker for clarification

Bonus point: If you are interested in learning more about subtitling best practices, check out BBC’s Subtitle Guidelines which is a great resource.

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Step 5. Share that you finished reviewing Step 5. Share that you finished reviewing

To export the subtitles with timestamps from Otter.ai, you need to be logged in as a PRO (paid) account user. So if you don’t have access to the account, simply send another email to learn@wordpress.org to let us know which transcription you have completed, or ask in #training channel of Make WordPress Slack.

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Step 6. Export a transcription file Step 6. Export a transcription file

This step is for users with PRO account access only. Go to the 3-dot menu near the Edit button, and click “Export text.”

Export in .srt format. You can tweak the Max character per line depending on the language, but other settings should be as follows:

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Step 7. Upload to WordPress.tv Step 7. Upload to WordPress.tv

Since the .srt file is not compatible with WordPress.tv, use the Subtitle Converter to convert it. This tool can also be used to convert from a YouTube and various other subtitle formats.

  1. Upload your .srt file using the “Upload” button and selecting it from your computer.
  2. Choose TimedText 1.0 (.xml/.ttml).
  3. Click the “Convert” button.

An .xml file will start downloading. Rename it to .ttml.

Then you can follow the Step 4 of WordPress.tv subtitle upload instruction to upload the file.

After uploading, the file needs to be approved by one of WordPress.tv admins. You can request approval on #wptv channel or ask one of #training volunteers who are admins.

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Step 8. Add subtitle language info to the workshop Step 8. Add subtitle language info to the workshop

Once you confirm the subtitle is working, edit the workshop post and add the subtitle meta information, using the “Workshop Details” in the right sidebar (you will need Editor access to the Learn WordPress site).

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Step 9. (Optional) Readjust timing on Amara.org Step 9. (Optional) Readjust timing on Amara.org

If you’re not quite happy with the timing or line breaks, you’ll need to use a subtitle editing tool to readjust the timing. Again, follow the WordPress.tv subtitle upload instruction for more information.

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EXTRA: Other useful Otter.ai features EXTRA: Other useful Otter.ai features

  • You can use comments for collaboration.
  • Add frequently-used terms to the vocabulary for future use.
  • ESC key (or Ctrl-Space) will play/pause. Keyboard shortcuts can be accessed from “?” icon at the bottom right.
  • Use alternate speed and “Skip silence” option as you get used to listening faster (bottom left)