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Helping each other when Amara staff don't respond (reposted)

 Somehow, the post below disappeared overnight: probably a software glitch [1], but as a precaution, I'll archive this (re) post with Webcite in order to be able to refer to it, should it disappear again. I'm copying the automatic notification I received for it:


From: pculture support <>

Date: Wed, Mar 27, 2013 at 3:49 PM

Subject: Helping each other when Amara staff don't respond

To: [...]

Hi fellow subtitlers

For a month now, nobody from the Amara staff has responded to posts in this forum. This has happened before: Amara is a non profit, and when the staff prepare a revision of the software - as they seem to be doing according to Jules Rincón's February post about localization  - they lack time to respond here.

Some questions can be answered from previous experience by other subtitlers: I've been attempting to do that every few days during this last staff silence, but please join in. 

1 How to ask

  • Do a search first, then choose the "All" option in the results listed by default, in order to get both the "Solutions" AND "Forum" results.
    You might find that your issue has already been discussed, sometimes with a solution.
  • When you ask about an issue concerning a given video or set of subtitles, please do give links: that will spare others the need to first identify what you are talking about, which is time-consuming. Actually, you should give all the indications listed by Amara staff in the How do I because at some point, they will hopefully come back and respond officially, and they'll first ask for the whole lot. But for the present, links are the most important thing for other subtitlers ready to help.

2 When we subtitlers can't help each other:

2.1 Team videos

Videos added to a team (especially if the team uses workflowed tasks) can present specific issues that only the team's owners and admins, or Amara staff, can solve. If yours is such a team-specific issue:

  • check the team's page: often the description offers links to team-specific help resources and/or a communication e-mail;
  • if it doesn't, go to the member list, use the filter to find who the owners and admins are, and send one of them (preferably one who has done some activity of late) a message via the link next to their name;
  • if owners or admins don't answer, send an e-mail to, the contact address for teams, but only do that if the matter is urgent;
  • also post the issue here, either in a related thread you can identify via a search (see 1) or in a new thread, updating your thread according to the response you got: this is very useful for people who might in future be faced by the same issue.

2.2 Deletion requests

Only Amara staff can delete subtitle sets or whole videos, and they won't if the deletion affects other people's work. So:

  • check first that only your work will be affected by the deletion
  • add your request in the Reply here to request to Delete a video or Remove subtitles  thread, in case the deletion might affect others in ways you didn't perceive
  • write to Darren Bridenbeck (in charge of support and community advocacy) at the e-mail address indicated in, but only if you really need the deletion urgently
  • if your deletion request concerns Amara video pages automatically created by connecting your YouTube account to Amara, see below.

2.3 Issues arising from connecting a YouTube account and Amara

Only Amara staff can deal with some issues caused by connecting a YouTube account to Amara. So if you created that connection and don't like the result,

  • first revoke the permission to manage your YouTube account that you granted Amara when you did the connection, lest it goes on affecting your present and future YouTube videos (see How to undo Amara's "Syncing to YouTube")
  • if you want the deletion of the Amara video pages automatically created by the connection, do as in "2.2 Deletion requests" above;
  • if there are many videos you want deleted, you could give the link to the "Videos" tab of your profile rather than listing them individually, but beware that this might actually include video pages you or others might want to keep
  • if you'd like the  "Help us caption and translate this video on" followed by the URL of the relevant Amara page bulk deleted from the descriptions of your YouTube videos: its addition is explained in the pop-up that opened when you made the connection, but not the fact that it would chase your own description into the part that can only be viewed by clicking "See more", and that is not show n in search engine results. So Amara staff must address that issue, and they have already been apprised of it. Until they do, though, delete it yourself, video by video, if it really annoys you.

That's all I can think of for now. If I remember other things, I'll update this post.


Update March 28, 2013

Actually, there IS a critical thing Anna Röing and Safetex reminded me of in the Mixed up subtitles  thread. Athough it concerns the actual use of Amara rather than of this forum, the problem caused might well end up causing posts here too:

Be extremely wary updating subtitles by uploads and in using rollbacks (reverting to a former version). Since March 2012 , when these actions are done, one software bug or perhaps two has/ve been occasionally deleting or mangling the history of revisions of the edited subtitles and of other subtitles, at times even when these other subtitles were not translated from the edited ones.

So if you need to upload subtitles or to rollback to a former version:

  • Download all subtitles of the concerned video first
  • Warn the other subtitlers involved

See also Critical issue with uploads and rollbacks: software deletes/mangles subtitles and revisions .

[1] It was a software glitch: the first posting reappeared a few hours after I reposted it here, but let's use this one from now on

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