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HI THERE IS A COMMUNITY HERE ! "Copy/pasting text into Amara's transcription" issue

(The community can't create a new topic so i'm editing a old one)

Ok I will be quick. My name is Verone and i'm the webmaster of TraduZic, a website with 5000 amara's videos. We did all these videos by copy/pasting a text into a amara's transcription. 
 2 months ago an amara's upgrade came and we lost the possibility of doing this AND the possibility to send a txt files. It was a big issue and 2 weeks after amara's team came saying "we are sorry and we'll do a new upgrate as soon as possible because we are listening the community".
The 3rd of July : new upgrate and now we can send a txt files (better than nothing) BUT letters "à,è,ê,ç" doesn't work. These are important letters in French (and other languages) and we are spending 10 minutes by video putting back these accents manually. We are speaking about this since the 3rd of July but Amara is too busy creating a Google team, forgetting all the rest of the community. This is the reason i'm creating this topic, to show at the amara's team there is a big and real community on this website with needs.
Thanks to answering with "i'm agree with this" if you are a member with the same problem.
Ok je vais faire cours. Je m’appelle Verone et je suis le webmaster de TraduZic, un site avec 5000 vidéos d’Amara. Nous avons fait toutes ces vidéos en copiant-collant un texte dans une transcription Amara. Il y'a 2 mois Amara a fait une mise à jour et nous avons perdu la possibilité de faire ça plus celle d’envoyer des fichiers au format txt.
 C’était un gros problème et 2 semaines après l’Equipe Amara est venu en disant « nous sommes désolé et nous feront une nouvelle mise à jour dès que possible car nous écoutons la communauté ».
 Le 3 juillet : Nouvelle mise à jour et maintenant nous pouvons envoyer un fichier au format texte (mieux que rien) MAIS les lettres « à,è,ê,ç » ne fonctionnent pas. Ce sont des lettres importantes en Français (et autres langages) et nous passons 10 minutes par vidéo à remettre ces accents à la main. Nous parlons de ça depuis le 3 juillet mais Amara est trop occupé à créer une équipe Google, oubliant tout le reste de la communauté.
 Ceci est la raison de la création de ce ticket, pour montrer à l’Equipe Amara qu’il y’a une vraie et importante communauté sur ce site avec des besoins.
 Merci de répondre par « i’m agree with this » si vous êtes un membre avec le même problème.

Hey Verone,

Sorry it's taken some time to get back to you-- we've had a lot going on in the platform, and it sounds like something you were doing before may not be working as expected. Just to make sure I'm understanding the issue properly, do these accented characters work when you upload a double-spaced, UTF-8 formatted TXT document?

Yes sure accents are working if we are uploading a UTF-8 txt but very few people got a software to do this and most of all, nobody know what is UTF-8
Hi Verone,

We will be releasing detailed documentation for uploading and formatting TXT files as UTF-8 (in both windows and mac with software that is available on these platforms as-is), to help users until we are able to fix this permanently. As for a permanent fix: our developers have these issues scoped, and are working to prioritize them in future releases to Amara.

I'll provide an update on the forums as soon as this documentation is live-- I'd appreciate any feedback / suggestions that you have once it is up!

Darren, after consulting with Verone, we've decided to try yet again to explain, though over 2 months have now gone by since Amara removed the possibility to copypaste a plain transcript, a possibility you still list in the FAQ here, btw.: see the version I just archived in

Darren, volunteer subtitlers want to subtitle, not to have to learn how to format transcripts as UTF-encoded .txt files because over 2 months ago, Amara developers decided of their own bat to deprive them of the possibility to copypaste a plain transcript. They want the copypaste solution back. That's the only solution compatible with Amara's claim to be an online subtitling platform, let alone "The easiest way to caption and translate any video".  Moreover, you can't create and upload a .txt file if you have to use a public computer (in a cybercafé, community centre, library) because you don't have a connection of your own, because you can't save stuff on public computers.

Users have been deprived of this copypaste option - and asking to have it back - for over 2 months now. Let developers restore it now. "...working to prioritize [these issues] in future releases to Amara" is just not good enough.
Hello Claude and Verone, 

Thank you for bringing up these points. The reason why special characters get mixed up or go missing on regular .txt files is why we are encouraging users to use the UTF-8 encoding, since it is very useful to preserve special characters used in many different languages.  I have updated the solutions topic to reflect the changes in our system: it no longer includes the instructions to copy and paste text so users don't get confused and it also includes the short instructions on how to save with UTF-8 encoding on notepad.

We understand your desire to reinstate the copy and paste field for transcripts, while that gets sorted out, we'd really like to help those who can't use the upload function.
I have also used public computers in the past and understand the limitations there are with saving files and also with working offline. It would help us tremendously if you could provide us with some specific use cases as to why or when translators or transcribers can't upload so that we can come up with an interim solution while the copy paste capability issue is resolved. 

How were these users getting their txt files to copy paste into Amara when it was enabled? If they were using a USB drive, could they upload the file directly from it?  If they were using a file sent to their email address, could they use the internet connection to send the file to email to upload it to Amara?  It would be quite useful to know details of what kinds of systems are making it hard for them to use our software so we can in the future take these limitations into account. 

Thanks again for continuing to care about improving Amara.
HI, Jules

Thanks for your reply and for the UTF-8 tuts to cover temporarily the issue. When copypaste was possible, users would e.g. copy an existing online transcript and slap it in the copypasting box, then make the empty lines to roughly separate the unsync'd subs in the result - I mean just as you can do with, except that SH also allows you to just use line-breaks without empty lines to do that. Then the software produced the unsync'd subs, with no encoding issues, as it does with SH.

So of course, people  - if they can download the result to a computer -  could also use SH to get something encoded in UTF-8 to reuse in Amara. Or they could use Piratepad, actually: exported as plain text .txt was correctly UTF-8 encoded, and that's what I used in But having to use an external software - be it desktop or online - is impractical, and anyway, you need to be able to save on a computer, as you recognized.
Hi Claude and Verone,

Thanks for the use-case and clarification, and the pirate pad option is a great tip, I'll add it to the solutions as well.   

Thank you for understanding about the disabling of the paste transcript option, we are working on improving the interface for all users and hopefully it will be back soon. In the meantime, while it won't be as easy as the option to copy and paste the entire lyrics, users who can't save a .txt file on the computer or USB drive so they can upload it, always have the option to copy and paste the lyrics line by line into the widget. While not ideal, and more time-consuming, it will enable them to work with existing content without having to save a text file.


Actually, now YouTube offers the possibility not only to copypaste a transcript, but to write it unsynced in the admin interface of the video - and then the YouTube software syncs it.

Provided that their very simple instructions for formatting transcripts are followed, the result is really quite good. Moreover, I linked to the English version of those instructions, but they are also available in tens of other languages by changing the language in the droplist at the bottom of the page.

Of course, you have to be the video uploader to use that feature. But in some cases, you might get permission from the original uploader to reupload it for subtitling. Worth a shot, anyway.


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