YouTube Adds Automatic Caption Support In Six European Languages

By Megan O'Neill 

German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian and Dutch speakers will now be able to take advantage of YouTube automatic captions feature.  As of today, the online video giant has added these six languages to their translation repertoire.

Previously automatic captioning, which first launched in 2009, was available in English, Japanese, Korean and Spanish.

Hoang Nguyen, YouTube software engineer, writes on the YouTube blog, “Now in 10 languages, automatic captions are an important first step in the path toward high-quality captions for the 72 hours of video people upload per minute.”  Captions are an invaluable tool for creators, as they ensure that their content is available to everyone, from the deaf and hard-of-hearing to viewers from around the globe who don’t speak the language that the content was originally created in.

Previously, creators making content in English, Japanese, Korean and Spanish could use the feature to create captions and viewers could translate these captions into 60 different languages.  Now creators making content in these six European languages will be able to take advantage of the feature as well.

Nguyen admits that “automatic captions will have some errors,” and for this reason  YouTube also provides tools to help creators improve captions.  Automatic captions can be downloaded and edited, or they can be edited in-line on Youtube.  Creators can also upload plain-text transcripts of their content and use the auto-captioning technology to synch these transcripts with the video to create captions.

Nguyen writes, “You now have around 200 million videos with automatic and human-created captions on YouTube, and we continue to add more each day to make YouTube accessible for all.”

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.