Translation Guidelines

1. What are the best practices when I am translating?

a) Be concise and short If all things are equal, we would like the translation to be concise, short and less wordy. Among the others, it is way better for the students to follow the captions if there is less to read on the screen. Below are some examples on how one would be careful about being concise. The phrase in the brackets are preferred way of saying the same thing.

b) Translate the whole sentence, not its individual clauses or phrases We are urged by Khan Academy to be consistent with the original video in the translation. One common challenge to the translators is that they are trying to follow the order of the English clauses in the caption lines when translating a long sentence. Yet it often leads to a clumsy and wordy translation as well as becoming inconsistent with the original video unintentionally. 
We must remember that, often, the order in which Burmese say something could be different then the order in which you would have it in English -- especial true for the multi-clause long sentences. It may make more sense to say the second part in English first in Burmese. In that case we do not have to follow the order and translate lines by lines as they appear in the caption, rather translate the entire sentence as a whole.  

For example, look at the below translation, one sentence in English is translated into three separate sentences in Burmese. It is wordy, repetitive, and the flow is not smooth, natural and very odd to say in Burmese. Besides, there are also additional text added (i.e, this blue weight) that are not in the original sentence because translator was trying to make a clauses (or phrases) into a meaningful sentence.

And my question to you is:

What could we do to either side of this scale

in order to figure out

what the mystery mass is?

Below is a natural, concise and very consistent (with the original) translation of it into just one sentence as it was in English. Once again it is only possible because we translate the sentence as a whole.

Therefore, go for the exact translation of the original sentence into Burmese in a very natural way in which Burmese would say it, not worrying about the order in which the clauses appear in the caption lines. 

Further more, in the above example, you would notice that four lines of English text become three lines in Burmese (one line less than in English captions); not to worry, but just leave a line blank. In the review process, we will adjust the time control to match
with it. 

c) Always use the correct spelling, not what we say 
In Burmese, often, what we spell and what we say is not the same. That is because, when we say, we go for the ease of breath and tongue movement.  Below are few examples (what in the bracket is correct spelling of it while the one before is what we found in the video written based on what we say):

For the sake of correctness in spelling and the consistency, translators are urged to try to use the correct spelling of it at all times the best you can. We will also edit it during the review process. 

d) Translate a technical word only if it is commonly used in Burma
If you come across a technical word and there is no known commonly used translation of it in Burmese, you are encouraged to leave it in English in the translation. We thought of writing its pronunciation in Burmese, however, we are afraid that it may lead to the inconsistent spelling of it.  For example, in computer science, we should not translate the word 'variable' – instead we should just leave it in English.  Generally accepted and established terms should be translated into Burmese, but you may also leave math terms such as “logarithm” or “quadratics” keep them in English.

Below is an example of how you can translate into Burmese:

X squared plus 8X plus 15 (in original English captions and dubbing) can be translated to:

Below are a list of useful links

e) Localization
Translation requires understanding of both cultures.  For example Sal may say like "Once he was in the White House".  Translator can translate as "when he became president" in Burmese. 

2. I’d love to help with the translation but I’m bad at typing Burmese!  What can I do?

    No need to worry we have a team of Burmese typists who can type your handwritten subtitles and upload them onto the internet for you!

3. Is there a due date for translating a video?

    We don’t enforce any due dates since the translation work is voluntary and the time it takes to translate a video varies from person to person.  However we do strongly recommend to submit the Burmese subtitles within 3 weeks of reserving a video on the list.  This way we can reassign a video if we do not receive subtitles after a month.

4. Should we translate what Sal says in the video directly into Burmese?

    Since the grammar structure of the Burmese language is not the same as English, often times direct translation from English to Burmese will sound awkward and will be hard to understand.  We therefore recommend to use one’s discretion to rearrange an English sentence of a subtitle so that it flows smoothly in Burmese.  At the same time, please keep in mind to work with the video itself so that Sal’s explanations will sync with the Burmese subtitles.


5. The instruction says to use Myanmar3 to type the Burmese subtitles.  How do I download this font onto my computer?  

    Download the UnicodeGuide pdf below for instructions or email us at for help!

6. I can’t view the Burmese font on my browser!  What should I do to fix this?

Here are two very useful add-on Myanmar Font Converters for Chrome and FireFox browser.
For FireFox:  Myanmar Converter 0.4.2   or  Myanmar Converter Pro 0.4.32