Translating the State of the Union With Your Help

BY Hari Sreenivasan  January 24, 2012 at 12:05 PM EDT

The capitol rotunda. Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

I’ll tell you how we got here in a second, but if you can read and write in another language, and are interested in becoming part of the NewsHour’s team of translators for Tuesday’s State of the Union address, join us by clicking here.

You can log in through Facebook, Twitter or other means. As soon as we post video of the State of the Union on our site, following President Obama’s speech at 9 p.m. ET, you can jump in and help make the video more accessible.

Our use of the Universal Subtitles captioning and translation tool for the 2011 State of the Union was an experiment. It worked, so we’ve brought it back this year.

In case you missed it, check out what we did with the president’s speech in 2011. Within a matter of days, the speech was transcribed and translated into several different languages, all through the work of volunteers. They made it readable for a couple of billion more human beings on Earth, for whom English may not be the primary language, or who are hard of hearing.

Quite a bit has happened since then. Universal Subtitles has continued to grow, and win awards and recognition for its efforts.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recognized how making video more accessible is core to its goals and awarded the PBS NewsHour, Mozilla and the Participatory Culture Foundation this grant in order to make key moments of the election cycle more Open than ever, and to help usher in a new generation of context laden video.

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