Anywhere, Anytime, Now In Any Language Learning


Consider this:

  • Coursera is in the possession of more than 1,200 lectures.
  • All these lectures have been made available by Coursera’s partner universities.
  • Anybody from anywhere could access these lectures
  • All these lectures are made available free of cost
  • All these lectures are available only in English

Clearly, Coursera has not been able to bridge the linguistic barriers. In a bid to remove the last big hurdle towards universalizing of education, Coursera has joined hands with crowdsourced captioning service provider, Amara (formerly, Universal Subtitle). Under the agreements, volunteers, associated with Amara will translate and transcribe Coursera’s courses in dozens of languages.

What does this mean? This means, non-English speaking learners could access lectures from Stanford, Rice, Duke, UCSF and a dozen other schools in their own languages. This agreement could take crowd-captioned education to the next level.

Coursera has more than one million registered students. Its courses are already taken in 190 different countries. By breaking the language barrier, its courses will sure gain more popularity across the countries.

Coursera is not the only education provider which is joining hands with Amara. Last year, Amara had entered into a partnership with Khan AcademyThe agreement with Amara blends perfectly well with Salman Khan’s vision of expanding its reach beyond the English-language world.

Co-operation with Amara has made it possible to watch Salman Khan’s popular educational videos with subtitles in up to two dozen different languages. Web-video with sub-titles also make them more accessible for both deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers.

Each and every video on the Khan Academy’s website now comes with a subtitle menu that allows viewers to pick the language of their choosing. Some of the videos, like the first lesson of Khan’s Arithmetic course , already feature plenty of translations, ranging from Spanish to Chinese to Tamil.

Why Closed Captioning?

Closed captioning has been getting more attention lately because of pressure from both disability advocates and regulators. In the US, broadcasters and others distributing TV content online have been asked to start provide contents with captions.

The likes of Coursera and Khan Academy aren’t bound to this mandate. However, they are adopting this technology, as it helps them expand into new territory. Through this technology, they could also increase discoverability through search engines.

About Amara

Amara is a technology that lets people bridge linguistic barriers in the world of video. Amara started out as a project of the Participatory Culture Foundation, and has received $1 million in funding from the Mozilla Foundation and the Knight Foundation. The site offers tools for crowdsourced captioning, and its enterprise solutions have been used by companies like PBS and Netflix.

Adapted From

Coursera Partners with Amara for crowdsourced captioning

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