I'm not quite sure what the goal was of asking users to translate these subs in Amara.
The result for this video is a good illustration of the facts
Of course, as Darren Bridenbeck explained in Can't upload subtitles directly today , the original sub layout is preserved in the Amara .srt file (well, as long as no one edits them in Amara). However, it is not preserved in the .srt files of the translations: see the attached .srt files of the Amara English and Italian subs of "Project Glass: Live Demo At Google I/O"
Logical conclusion: if you want to preserve the original layout when you translate these subs, don't use the Amara translation widget, but translate the .srt file directly, with Notepad, Piratepad or any other desktop or online text editor (1).
Of course, if you then upload the translated subs to Amara, they will still get messed up in the player by the Amara-imposed 32 character wrapping, like the English subs. But at least, it will be possible to download the correctly formatted .srt file and add it to the original video, should the Google Developers wish to do so.
Somehow, though, having to do that to preserve the layout seems in contradiction with Amara's claim to be "The easiest way to caption and translate any video." So once more, can Amara developers pretty please:
(1) Or if you have a Google account, you can translate the original .srt file with Google's own Translator Toolkit. You'll have to reintroduce the manual line breaks in your translation, but they'll stick in the exported .srt of the translated subs. Besides, the Translator Toolkit also provides an automatic translation: it is unpublishable as it is, but good enough in most cases to be editable in less time than required to do the translation from scratch - contrary to the Microsoft automatic translation offered in the Amara translation widget, which is usually just totally unusable.
Thanks to naomib who told me about the Toolkit when we were working together on the English subtitles for Android 4.0 Accessibility Demo: Turning on Accessibility: it also proved invaluable for translating original subs that though complete, were made unusable in the Amara translation widget by the Amara-imposed moderation.
Draft only Subtitles translated from English. Showing Revision 6, created Today by Claude Almansi .with a task assigned to me erroneously saying :
Video: Watch President Obama's Full Speech... (27:40)
Subtitles: latest draft translated by Laura Emack
with the link on "latest draft" leading to Laura's previous revision, which is also the version shown to others than me when opening the French subs.
In this obsolete version "for others", the Edit Subtitles works, but when you click it, there's a message saying:
These subtitles are moderated. See the NewsHour: Vote 2012 team page for information on how to contribute.
which at least prevents others from editing the obsolete version, but nevertheless this new avatar of the Amara-imposed moderation mess belies again Amara's claim to be "The easiest way to caption and translate any video."
Now in his June 22 answer to Richard Gresswell Can't upload subtitles directly todaypost concerning the removal of the possibility to copypaste a plain transcript, Darren Bridenbeck wrote: Moreover, concerning the Amara-imposed moderation of subtitling in videos added to teams that do not foresee any such moderation, in a June 17, 2012 e-mail to me and to the owner of the Music Captioning tea, Darren Bridenbeck had written: By the following Sunday - June 24 - that root issue not only had not been fixed, but had evolved new ways of crippling collaborative subtitling via imposed moderation. See, on this forum: New effect ot the paralyzing Amara task-assigning / draft status slapping glitch, Amara-slapped task for Amara-deleted subs? and 53 lines of subtitles showing as "(0 Lines) (in progress)" in the navbar.
So Darren Bridenbeck wrote me yesterday (June 26), about the Amara-deleted subs: but as in his reply to Richard Gresswell's post, he did not specify a date for this release.
So when is this release going to take place? Considering the crippling effect on collaborative subtitling of the Amara-imposed moderation, it is important to know when it will go away, because it is also hitting subtitling in Amara video pages added to a team by people who did not publish the original, and cannot therefore have their normal subtitling held hostage much longer by this glitch.
And about testing: when it was still called Universal Subtitles, Amara had some kind of testing by users of future releases: the https://github.com/pculture/unisubs/wiki/Dev-Center page still indicates a "Testing mailing list (for anyone helping us test)". But there has been no activity on that testing mailing list since March 20, 2011.
It is particularly important that this new release be tested by normal Amara users, not only by geeks who may know the sofware well, but seem to have little idea of what we users actually do with it, if we go by the annoying to deleterious effects of recent changes imposed by Amara, apparently without testing by Amara users:
Moreover, some updates concerning teams in the file for translating the Amara site on Transifex are worrying:
So if any of the above-listed annoying to deleterious features is meant to be included in the new release of the Amara software, users should be allowed to test it before it gets imposed on them.