Translate Your Closed Captions into 300+ Languages with YouTube’s New Translation Tool

Translate Your Closed Captions into 300+ Languages with YouTube’s New Translation Tool

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If you make videos that are universal, that is, not confined to English-speaking countries, it will do your videos a world of good to be able to provide a number of languages so that almost anyone in the world can enjoy them.  We’ve covered in-depth how closed captions can help with YouTube SEO as they assist in telling the search engine what your video is about.  So you have two reasons to take advantage of a new caption translation tool that YouTube announced this week which can help you translate your captions into 300 languages via crowdsourcing and Google’s translation toolkit.  You can now request to have your captions translated by someone, or you can translate it yourself.

The New YouTube Caption Translation Tool: How It Works

First, you’ll need to actually make captions for your video.  YouTube allows you to upload a transcript, which it is then able to sync up correctly using a speech algorithm.  It can do this with English, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean.  And you’ll want to do this for now, because when it automatically translates your actual spoken words into captions, it’s hilariously awful (see here – Caption FAIL).

So here’s where you can now get your captions translated, under the captions tab in your video manager, you have a link that says “Request translation.”  Now you have two options: you can “create caption translation documents” or you can “invite and share with translators,” which I’m assuming most people will do.  In the example provided, they are sharing with a translator:

What is also cool about this is that YouTube has embedded the video here so that you are provided context while the video is translated:

This new feature is pretty fantastic stuff, and another great way to build your audience if you’re looking to expand outside the U.S., and a great tool for getting your video located in search.

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