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Ready, Set, Translate! Myanmar’s First-Ever Translate-a-thon a Success


Khan Academy Burmese Translation (KABT) and Ooredoo Myanmar hosted the country’s first ever Translate-a-thon event in Yangon on August 10th, followed a week later by a second event in Mandalay on August 16th. 

Hosted at Ooredoo’s offices in Yangon and the Jefferson Centre in Mandalay, the purpose of the Translate-a-thon was to gather volunteers to translate as many of the Khan Academy’s educational videos as possible into the Myanmar language, making these materials more accessible to the people of Myanmar. 

On machines provided by Acer, Yangon’s 65 translate-a-thon volunteers translated 140 Khan Academy videos. With the 36 videos translated at Mandalay’s event, itself attended by 47 volunteers, the overall number of videos translated reaches 355, over double the 160 videos that existed in the Myanmar language prior to this.

Thanking the 112 people that attended both events ThiriKyarNyo, Ooredoo Myanmar’s PR Manager and Community Engagement spokesperson commented: “We are delighted by the success of these two events.  This is only the start of our work to make education more accessible to the people of Myanmar, helping support the country’s huge appetite for learning.Soon these educational materials will be readily available to our customers, in their pockets at all times, on their mobile phones.  We look forward to hosting more of these events along with Khan Academy Burmese Translation.”

Ashley Takami from KABT added: “Until recently only 179 Khan Academy videos were available in the Myanmar language.  Following both these events we now have 355 videos on subjects including math, science, computer programming, health, and finance translated into the Myanmar language. Our work doesn’t stop here, following the incredible success of these events we plan to host future Translate-a-thons to continue these translation efforts, and help make free, world class education available to everyone in Myanmar.”

Both events marked the start of a partnership between Ooredoo Myanmar and KABT.  Together they will help ensure the Khan Academy’s educational materials become freely available in the Myanmar language.  Their overall objective is to bring the opportunity for a world-class education to the nation at no cost.  The partnership will also support the roll-out of these videos as a resource for education providers across Myanmar with Ooredoo’s next generation technology providing online access to these materials in both rural and urban areas.

For every video translated, Ooredoo Myanmar donated a school-pack to the Bago Orphanage School meaning that from these two events alone, 176 packs were received for the children under their care.

Volunteers at the event were gratefully rewarded for their time.  The three volunteers who translated the most Khan Academy videos received smartphones from Singtech.  All translators received an event t-shirt, an Ooredoo gift bag and a DVD of the Khan Academy videos.  Lucky door prizes for the volunteers were provided by Ooredoo and Mojo Bar and included Myanmar language writing tablets (converts handwriting to digital text) as well as vouchers for Mojo Bar.  Acer provided the laptops for the translation work at the event and Redbull provided drinks to keep the volunteers focused. 

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