But I'd like to share an idea of mine with readers here.
Presenting my demo, sandbox, not-ready-for-primetime version of Thai Video Transcripts. I've been playing with it off and on for a little while, and sent the link to a number of people who I thought might be interested in the idea, to ask for feedback. Many responded with excellent suggestions and wishlists of features for a site like this. (I apologize for not properly replying to some of those responses.)
So what's it for? It's a place to collaboratively transcribe Thai videos found on sites like YouTube and kosanathai.com.
Maybe that description underwhelms you. So allow me to start at the beginning of my thought process.
In the last year or so, an incredible number of Thai-language videos have cropped up on YouTube (commercials, movie trailers, music videos, TV show clips, even full TV episodes and full movies). I'm sure this increase is in part due to the Great YouTube Drought of Ought-Seven (you know, due to the Streisand Effect and all). Nowadays, you can watch any of Thailand's big network TV shows within hours of their live airing (super-serialized into YouTube-size chunks).
As a second-language speaker, fast colloquial speech in videos is some of the hardest to understand. Scripted dialogue in sitcoms, talk show banter, and off-the-cuff wordplay on variety shows are different from speaking with acquaintances live and in person, who we know and who know we may not always catch every word. And you can't stop the flow to ask about a certain word or phrase.
I often rewatch a clip several times, trying to catch the parts that go over my head. Sometimes I figure it out, sometimes I don't.
So the idea is simple: create a site where anyone (that includes you) can help transcribe the video clips that are already out there. You type out the parts you know, and other people help fill in the gaps. If you can't type in Thai yet, or aren't up to the task of transcribing, you can still benefit from the work that others do. It's a wiki, so it's easy to edit and open to everyone. It's a way to take video clips aimed essentially at native speakers, and add value to them for language learners.
You can help even if you don't know Thai, for that matter. You can create new pages for videos you'd like transcribed, which you can then copy-and-paste into websites like thai2english.com to help make at least some sense of the content.
This brings me to another feature which several people suggested: collaborative translation. I think this is a natural extension of my idea, but I'm concerned it would be like trying to run before walking. But that's the great thing. It's a collaborative site, so anyone is welcome to try what they want.
Here's a sample of the type of thing I've done on the sandbox version of the site:
Get the idea? I've played around with different notations to indicate various things. Personal names in green, difficult or unusual words in red. I also toyed with italics for words shown onscreen (as opposed to spoken words)--this is a common issue for movie trailers), but I think it's kind of distracting. I'm not married to any of it, and I'm sure there are better ways of doing things that I haven't thought of. They don't have to be my ideas or my standards. Rather, whatever the community comes up with and decides works the best is what we'll use.
[00:01] เจ็บที่สุด ... คือการเป็นอีโง่
[00:38] มาตรวจดูแล้วนะครับ คิดว่าเขาน่าจะมีปัญหาในเรื่องการพัฒนาการทางสมองครับ
[01:01] ออทิสติก ความบกพร่อง หรือพรจากสวรรค์
[02:38] จีจ้า ญานิน
[02:43] ฮิโรชิ อาเบะ ซูเปอร์สตาร์จากญี่ปุ่น
[02:55] ภาพยนตร์ โดย ปรัชญา ปิ่นแก้ว จาก องค์บาก และ ต้มยำกุ้ง
[02:58] ตรุษจีน 7 กุมภาพันธ์นี้ ทั้งประเทศ
 Yakuza, Japanese organized crime.
 Transcription of the English word 'autistic'.
 Thai film director and producer Prachya Pinkaew is known for such films as Ong-Bak and Tom-Yum-Goong.
 /trut ciin/, the Thai word for Chinese New Year. This is the release date for the movie (February 7, 2008).
Chocolate at Wikipedia.
Chocolate at IMDb.
As I've said, this is just my sandbox version of my idea, but I'd like to invite everyone to come play around with it, too. Please, make new pages. Start transcribing, if you're so inclined.
I registered a domain name that I plan to eventually move this blog to. And I'll make a subdomain of that domain for the Thai Video Transcripts wiki, using Wikimedia software, which will allow me to better customize the features of the wiki (like hypertext footnotes, a la Wikipedia). Whatever is done in the sandbox site will be moved to the final site when the time comes.
I've also been looking at other Wikimedia plug-ins that would let me do some pretty cool things. For example, if I'm reading their website correctly, Kaltura can overlay dynamic subtitles on flash videos, which would mean being able to turn a static transcript into live subtitles, which would be awesome (but I think that would require actually hosting the videos myself, instead of piggybacking on YouTube). Another problem for another day.
A few words about what I don't plan for this site to do: create videos. The whole point is to bring something to life as simply as possible that is self-sustaining and community based, built around a motivated group of Thai-language students (and, if we're lucky, some native speakers) who can collaborate to create a great learning resource for themselves and others.
So there you have it. My big idea (or, one of them). I think it's got a lot of potential. I'd be much obliged to receive any comments and suggestions you all may have.