khan academy burmese translation

Crowdsourcing Burmese translations for Khan Academy videos

Khan Academy is an awesome online service, offering educational videos in virtually every major subject, from math and science to economics and finance. More importantly, it’s free, meaning this resource could possibly be leveraged throughout the developing world. Video content has already been translated into nearly 3 dozen languages.

And that’s where the Khan Academy Burmese Translation (KABT) ( comes in.

The other day, I came across an impressive 100% volunteer effort to corral the Burmese speaking community to pitch in.

Right now, you can help translate subtitles, type out subtitles, perform quality control checks, and even install offline servers. You can help too! There are detailed instructions here if you’ve like to volunteer!

For the record, I already signed up and began typing out subtitles because my Burmese typing speed is rather fast. Pretty user-friendly process, if you ask me (as the subtitles are already properly timed).

The effort was launched by Burmese Americans Ashley Takami and Nyunt Than back in January 2014. Last August, KABT partnered with Ooredoo Myanmar to host a ‘Translate-a-thon,’ that nearly doubled the amount of videos available in Burmese, bumping the tally to 355.

A word of caution. As with much of the Burmese speaking online world, there’s still the incompatibility issue between Zawgyi and Unicode users. I noted that a lot of video subtitles are using Zawgyi encoding, so they won’t be legible to folks who are using purely Unicode compliant fonts. It’ll be interesting to see how KABT handles these cross-compatibility issues.

(Here’s an example of what I’m talking about–for me, the text shows up as gibberish. To see Burmese subtitles, click on the cogwheel on the bottom right hand corner, then select “Burmese” in the “Subtitles/CC” drop down menu.)


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