By Seelan Palay
November added another milestone to the Lingua project, as my colleague Cheekay Cinco and brought EngageMedia and Amara through Manila, the capital of the Philippines.
Over the course of a week, we held workshops and presentations of video distribution, Internet security, and online subtitling with a wide variety of organisations, including Amnesty International, Greenpeace, The University of the Philippines, KODAO, Southern Tagalog Exposure, the Etniko Bandito Infoshop, and the Computer Professionals Union.
The 2 larger workshops we held in cooperation with KODAO were well attended by a mix of film makers, human rights workers, journalists, environmental advocates, and church people.
Introducing Amara in the Philippines was particularly interesting as most of the people there had a reasonably good command of Tagalog and English, which made translations to and from both languages more interactive and spontaneous. Some participants were also proficient in translating to Cebuano, a dialect spoken widely in the Southern parts of the country.
As with all the other trips we’ve made around Southeast Asia this year with the Lingua project, the general feedback by participants was that Amara seems to be the simplest and fastest way to produce subtitles that they’ve come across. Many felt encouraged by the fact that could contribute even though they had no experience in video production.
In December, we take Amara to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, organising an open workshop with our local partners, KOMAS. Stay tuned for news from that event, and in the meantime, remember to join our subtitling team page, and our Facebook group for more regular updates.