Sunday, November 2, 2008

YouTube Launches Auto Translate for Videos with Captions to Help Bridge Language Barriers

The YouTube Blog announced a new innovation in language translation which helps further break down the barriers of communication in our ever widening online networks. It builds on Google's AJAX Language API and extends that capability into any YouTube video with a caption track.

Mark Robertson of ReelSEO wrote today, "Adding captions and subtitles to your videos not only make your video accessible to those with hearing impairments, but adding them in multiple languages can help to drive additional traffic from non-English speakers and international audiences. Last month, we wrote a beta feature in Dailymotion that allows users to add subtitles, with support for multiple languages, to web videos. Youtube has gone one step further." - from Auto-Translate Your Youtube Video Captions and Subtitles Automatically

The YouTube blog announced yesterday, "In August, we added captions and subtitles to YouTube videos to help uploaders reach a wider audience. While we've been working to offer captions in as many different languages as possible, there are often only a few translated versions available. To solve this problem, we added a new "auto translate" feature. Google Translate adds real-time machine translation to any caption tracks you upload. Now you can enjoy this video spoken in Italian, even if you don't understand Italian.... To get a translation for your preferred language, move the mouse over the bottom-right arrow, and then over the small triangle next to the CC (or subtitle) icon, to see the captions menu. Click on the "Translate..." button and then you will be given a choice of many different languages." - from Auto Translate Now Available For Videos With Captions | The YouTube Blog

YouTube Captions and Subtitles
Description: Add multiple captions or subtitle tracks to your videos!About captions and subtitles feature
English script can be found here.

With so many different languages, dialects, pronunciations and meanings there's always room for error with the real message getting lost in translation and the YouTube blog admits , "While machine translation is not perfect, we hope this will help creators to offer you a better understanding of their videos."

Although software-based translation can have its inherent flaws it's definitely a step in the right direction to help us reach across cultural and language differences to reach a better understanding.

For information about how to use captions, visit this YouTube page.