In the last year, YouTube has made it easier for creators of different languages to get their captions translated into other languages. It’s a sign that YouTube is trying to help creators reach audiences worldwide with their content. Many prominent YouTubers already have captions available in a few foreign languages while others like Corridor Digital are asking their fans to help in translating their videos.
So how can creators reach those global audiences with translated captions? Here’s a look at the three main ways content creators can get their captions translated on YouTube, with pros and cons for each of them. All of these features require already-made captions.
Crowdsourced Captioning Services
Content creators can request translations from friends or other users by going to their video manager page and clicking the “Request Translation” button. Creators can choose from the languages available for translation, and they can request for help by going to the “Manage Translations” button in the request translations page and sending invitations to friends or others via email.
Pros: Volunteer captioning is available in over 300 languages from Italian to Inuktitut. Best part — it’s free!
Cons: No guarantees that translation will be the way you want and on time since it’s all done manually and on a volunteer basis.
Pay To Translate
If creators want the most accurate translations, YouTube is working with Gengo and Translated.net to offer content creators professional translations for a fee. Much like the crowdsourcing option, users can go to the video manager and click on the “Request Translation” button. Choose from the languages that are available from the vendors and then click “Start Order.”
Pros: Professional quality translations in multiple languages with estimated time of completion.
Cons: It’s not free, and creators only have a couple of companies to choose from.
YouTube Automatic Translation
If creators need translations quick, YouTube has a service where it transcribes dialogue using speech recognition technology and turns them into captions. YouTube can translate the dialogue into 10 languages, including Spanish, Japanese, German and Portuguese.
Pros: It doesn’t require much work from creators, and it translates the content based on the spoken dialogue of the original language. It works when creators already have automatic captions in the native language of your video.
Cons: It’s only available in select languages, and even in those select languages, automatic translation often fails horribly at understanding human speech, as documented in our “5 Worst Hilariously Catastrophic Auto Caption Fails.”
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