Clarification on videos needing subtitles

Dear friends,

I am seeking clarity on which videos are in need of subtitles (in English). I’ve come across two different instances where I am unsure if a video needs subtitles or not and I am hoping the community can help me understand each situation. Both videos appear as needing subtitles on the tool that list videos in need of English subtitles.

The first are videos that seem to not have been added to Amara yet but already have subtitles displayed. An example is We cannot continue without peace and joy which is shown in the screenshot below. Perhaps the subtitles are automatically created by YouTube or other platforms?

The second are videos that have been subtitled by Amara Bot. The Meaningful Life video, shown below, is an example of this. Does this mean that Amara automatically created subtitles but an actual human is needed to review and confirm the timing and accuracy?

Thank you in advance for helping me understand both of these situations!


Hi Marc,

With regard to the first - the subtitles are embedded, so it does not need subtitles.

With regard to the second - I don’t know what the Amara bot is in the this case - but it seems to have done a really good job! So I would leave that one alone as well.



Dear Marc,

The first video that you have linked to has “burnt in” subtitles that are actually embedded in the video itself – we don’t need to subtitle such videos.

In relation to the second instance, I have never seen an Amara Bot before – this is a new and exciting development! :slight_smile: Searching on the Amara site, I see the page Importing and Exporting with Amara Teams suggests that this is shown when subtitles are imported from the Plum Village website. It says “Subtitles imported from your integrated external site will appear on the Subtitle Details page on Amara as imported with video by Amara Bot”. So, it appears that this may be a set of subtitles developed outside of Amara and then imported in.

However, apparently with “Amara Plus” or “Community team” it is possible to request auto-generated subtitles: English automatic captions and Amara.

To make sure my “educated guess” above is correct, I would try to find some words in the video in Pali, or similar, since automated tools are likely to produce errors on such subtitles. In this way you can check that the subtitles are prepared by a human rather than a bot.

Best wishes,


Hello everyone,

These are great questions @Marc_Badura and helpful answers @Beverley_Zabow and @Matthew

Regarding the shorts which have “burnt in” subtitles, it is true that there are not needed in English. However people may wish to add subtitles in other languages. Also, adding English subtitles may help someone else to translate the subtitles into another language.

@Matthew Your educated guess is correct! In this case, the “external site” is YouTube. When our team uploaded this video it included subtitles, so Amara Bot was able to import this automatically. So, any subtitles added by Amara Bot should have been prepared by a human (although perhaps with some bot assistance!)

Thank you everyone :pray::lotus:


Thank you @Beverley_Zabow, @Matthew, and @Justin_Emery! Your answers were all very helpful! Once I am finished with my current video, I will likely explore reviewing subtitles added by Amara Bot and report back. From this, I hope we can gain a deeper understanding about the accuracy of Amara Bot, especially for non-English words, as Matthew noted, or any changes it may have made to the subtitles, as Justin noted. It seems that subtitles “prepared” by Amara Bot should at least be reviewed by a human being.

Thank you all again!

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Thank you very much, dear everyone, for your wonderful findings about Amara Bot and responses to Marc’s questions 🩷🙏

As Matthew and Justin have shared, the Amara Bot on the Amara platform obtains the subtitles from what the Plum Village App team (human) manually uploaded on our YouTube channel. Amara Bot doesn’t create any subtitles but only does the “uploading” of human-created subtitles from YouTube to Amara, so these subtitles have already been checked by human, so you can safely ignore the videos with subtitles obtained from our YouTube by Amara Bot, dear @Marc_Badura :tulip: And of course, you can always subtitle these videos in other languages if you wish :pray:

I’m grateful to everyone, may you all be peaceful in the moment.
Thank you very much

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