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How translating TED Talks helped me recover from a serious illness

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TED Blog

Ai Tokimatsu watches a TED Talk on her phone in the hospital, with her two children. Photo: Courtesy Ai Tokimatsu Ai Tokimatsu watches a TED Talk on her phone in the hospital, with her two children. Photo: Courtesy Ai Tokimatsu

Today, our Open Translation Projectcelebrates its 5th anniversary. This global volunteer effort brings together people who speak 104 languages with a shared mission—spreading ideas—and changes lives in the process. We asked one translator to tell her story.

By Ai Tokimatsu

The illness hit me on a beautiful summer weekend. I woke up early and did an hour of exercise, feeling very excited to take my children to a local festival that evening. We all put on our summer kimonos, called yukata—my then 5-year-old son turned into a little samurai and my 2-year-old girl became a princess. It could have been one of those perfect days that you cherish for the rest of your life.

Earlier in the day, my 2-year-old daughter was playing in our living room and jumped on…

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