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Wed, Jul 21, 2010
China Daily/Asia News Network
Translators allow students to watch US university lectures

By Wang Wei and Eric Jou

Liang Liang isn't used to being called a "genius", although he and his team members translated more than 10 open courses of US Ivy League universities into Chinese and received a great number of compliments from netizens for it.

English versions of open courses videos from Yale, Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can now be viewed by Chinese netizens without any language barriers, thanks to Chinese subtitles translated by a nonprofit organization, YYest.

A group of translation-savvy academics in philosophy, psychology and finance established YYest six years ago. Some of them are from overseas, said Liang, team leader of the group.

Liang said they started out translating popular US movies and soap operas such as Friends. They've had a hand in almost every US movie and television series with subtitles on Chinese video-sharing websites.

When they learned famous US universities had open courses posted on-line, they decided to give it a try, according to Liang.

So far, they have translated more than 10 open courses from top US universities. Internet users download the subtitled courses more than 10,000 times a day.

The translated courses include "justice" from Harvard University, and "death" and "financial markets" from Yale University.

"We do it for fun and to better our English," he said.

"We are so flattered that people think so highly of us."

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