YouTube Now Lets You Enlist The Help Of Friends For Caption Translation In 300+ Languages

By Megan O'Neill 

YouTube wants to help you make your videos available to everyone in the world, no matter what language they speak.  To that end, today they’ve announced that it’s now easier than ever to translate your videos captions into more than 300 languages.

Jeff Chin and Brad Ellis, YouTube product managers, write on the YouTube Creators Blog that, “Growing a global audience on YouTube means having your videos reach many people, speaking many languages.”  That’s why, starting today, you can easily translate your own video captions or enlist the help of your multi-lingual friends to do the work for you.

Before you can start translating captions, you’ll have to set up a caption track for your video.  You can find out more about how that works in the Getting started with captions and transcripts section of YouTube Help.  Once you’ve got that set up, head over to your YouTube Video Manager and select ‘Request translation.’  YouTube will then create caption translation documents that you can use to translate yourself or invite friends to help you translate.

YouTube has also embedded the YouTube video into the caption editor so you (and your awesome friends who agree to help you translate) will be able to watch the video while translating.  Additionally, Chin and Ellis add, “For several languages we’ll provide first draft of the translation using Google’s machine translation technology.  We’ll also provide preview of what the translated caption looks like on the video so you can make sure the translated captions fit.”

Once you’re done, all you have to do is click “Publish to YouTube” and the translated caption will go live (or, if a friend did the work for you you’ll be notified and asked to give your approval).

Chin and Ellis write, “By providing translated captions, you’ll not only make your video globally accessible but also improve discoverability in other languages.  Now you can increase your audience by reaching more people around the world.”

Image credit: Syaheir Azizan via

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video enthusiast 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.