Moodle Site is Back Online: Moodle 4.1 Upgrade is complete--you should be able to access your courses as of 1:45 pm EAS, 9/25/23

Spanish Translations of Web Talks: A Result of North and South American Collaboration

Jul 17, 2018
a map of South America

By Peter C. Newton-Evans, Niki Daniels, and Betty J. Fisher

Spanish translations of six Wilmette Institute Web Talks on global issues and interfaith dialogue are now available (as is a Spanish translation of this article). The new translations include:


Globalization and Current Events—A Bahá’í Perspective / Gregory Dahl

The Emergence of Global Institutions / Augusto Lopez Claros

Economic Life: Reflections on the Universal House of Justice Message 1 March 2017 / Gregory Dahl

Is There a Bahá’í Economic System? / Hooshmand Badee

A Psychology That Responds to Our Times: Transforming Inner Oppression into Awakened, Aligned, and Liberated Spirit / Elena Mustakova Possardt


Seven Ways of Looking at Religion: The Major Narratives / Benjamin Schewel

How May I Access the Spanish Translations? Here is an easy way to access the Spanish translation of a given Web Talk? First, open the YouTube video of the Web Talk. Second, at the bottom right of the video, click on “cc” (which means Closed Caption) to make sure the closed-caption function is turned on; you should see closed captions in English. Third, still at the bottom right of the video, click on the gear icon for Settings; you should see ‘Subtitle/CC” followed by (2) or (3) and English. Fourth, click on “English,” and choose “Spanish.” If the listener is bilingual, he or she may want to listen to the presentation in English while following the Spanish translation or to lower the volume of the English talk. Another option is clicking on the Mute/Unmute icon to mute the sound of the presentation in English.

One of six Web Talks with Spanish translations

What Is the Source of the Spanish Translations? The Spanish translations are the result of a collaboration between the Wilmette Institute in North America and ANISA Academy for Social Discourse and Action in South America. The ANISA Academy is a Bahá’í-inspired project created in 2013 by a groups of Bahá’ís living in a number of South American countries. Its aim is to offer online training in Spanish for those interested in social transformation contributing to a culture of world peace. It has offered courses on moral leadership and on deepening Bahá’í-Christian dialogue.

However, due to the scarcity of Spanish-speaking faculty, the enormous amount of time it takes to prepare and give a course, and the reluctance of Spanish speakers to pay for online courses, the ANISA Academy decided to take advantage of academic efforts being made in other languages, especially in English: hence the collaboration that is now taking place between the ANISA Academy and the Wilmette Institute.

How Are Spanish Translations Made? The ANISA Academy first chooses a Wilmette Institute Web Talk to be translated into Spanish, Then, with a team of volunteers, it edits the English subtitles for the Web Talk (an automatic program transcribes English subtitle for the Web Talks, which are fairly accurate but which often include odd words and phrases). Only after the English subtitles have been edited for accuracy—a process that takes several days for a one-hour video—does the work of translating into Spanish begin. The Spanish translation can take one or two days.

How Can I Help? The ANISA Academy needs volunteers to help clean up the English subtitles and to help prepare the English text for the Spanish translations. Familiarity with YouTube and the ability to edit transcriptions on YouTube using YouTube software is a big plus. If you are interested, please contact Peter Newton-Evans at Helping with the translations would make an excellent service project.

What Are the Plans for Future Spanish Translations? The ANISA Academy has started by translating Wilmette Institute Web Talks on global issues and interfaith dialogue. It plans to continue with translations of talks on those two topics and to gradually add additional topics. The Wilmette Institute will publish information on future Spanish translations as they become available.

The Wilmette Institute’s YouTube channel now has a playlist for Web Talks with Spanish translations.

Up Next...