Helpful Guidelines

Translation Guides (Helpful Links)


1) 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 a few examples of how one would be careful about being concise. The phrase in the brackets are the preferred way of saying the same thing.

2) Translate the whole sentence

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 than the order in which you would have it in English -- especially 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 sample 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 the translator was trying to make clauses (or phrases) into a meaningful sentence.

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.

Furthermore, 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 it.

Since the grammar structure of the Burmese language is not the same as English, oftentimes direct translation from English to Burmese will sound awkward and will be hard to understand. We, therefore recommend using 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.

3) Use correct spelling

In Burmese, often, what we spell and what we say are 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 the 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 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.

4) Use common technical word

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 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:

5) Use Local Term

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.

6) Math and General Science Term in Burmese