One strategy in making your videos more accessible to a wider audience may be to include captions and subtitles in multiple languages with your video.  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.  If you recall, back in late August, Youtube already released a new feature that allowed users to include captions with youtube videos.  On Saturday, Youtube announced on their blog that they have added a new auto-translation feature to any captions uploaded.  Using Google's Translate service, the captions can be auto-translated in multiple languages.

To use the new feature, mouse over the arrow in the bottom right of the player and then choose the CC option to see the captions menu.  Once you do, you will see the default language and the ability to "translated" the captions.  Once you click on "translate," you will be able to choose from 35  different languages.

I haven't had too much time to play with this feature, but being that I have seen what the auto-translation does to my blog (see the right rail for other languages), it is clear to me that their may be some odd translations.  It would be nice if Google added a suggestions feature to the captions that are auto translated from users who are multilingual and can help to further translate more difficult words, slang, etc...  If anyone finds a comedic example, please let us know so we can share.

  • Patrice Van de Walle

    ...oh and any idea how one makes the translated CC permanent?

  • Patrice Van de Walle

    Hmmm, it doesn't work very well. Just the CC is off quite a bit and the translation from English to French is very funny.

  • Jyotisman Moitra


  • Yang Shamsuddin

    I have download youtube video but it didn't have subtitle. what can I do to find the subtitle?

  • Mahes Dines

    wow nice

  • Pablo Garate

    Excelent tools to users of Youtube, specially video-music. It's a big help for us is needful...Much obligED!!

  • Christian Biesbrouck

    This is so great. Living in the middle east what has a large expat community this is would be great for television. But the biggest advantages that people would learn the native language on the go.

    • Don Affaires

      Nu eerst maar eens zien of het goed werkt.

  • Anonymous

    It doesn't work on every video >:(

  • Kayla Hargan

    I like to watch alot of videos on youtube and some of them do not have english subtitles is there a program I can download so I can watch them with english subtitles rember I cant take those peoples videos and repost them just to get subtitles.

  • Pr Iness 248

    whats if the video on youtube doesn't offer cc how do i get it?

  • Mold Testing Port St. Lucie

    A big thanks for this information.

  • subtitle translation software

    I think this is a good area where google and youtube has made improvement. Now one will be able to watch the youtube video in any language of their choice and that also in a few easy steps.

  • 線上英文發音

    A big thanks for this information. I have stumbled it and will definitely let the rest of my friends know. They without a doubt should find it as interesting as myself.

  • Hamedmarzo2

    bla araf

  • Kate

    I'd really love to see an article about best practice in international video SEO. I've really looked pretty hard and can't find much detail, maybe because most people are focused on a single language at the moment. So here's what troubles me:

    If I have a collection of videos for example about learning English (say 100 video English lessons), and those videos are only in English but that makes sense given the topic, what's the best practice about optimizing them for rankings on youTube's search engine in various languages? Do I create 1 channel per language (a german channel, a french channel, a japanese channel, etc.) and then upload copies of my 100 videos to each with translated, optimized titles, descriptions and keywords in each language? As far as I can tell, this is the best solution if I want to rank well on "apprendre l'anglais" as well as "ekaiwa" or "englisch lernen". Captions aren't enough, right, because youTube puts so much value on titles, descriptions and keywords in the rankings? Also, I want my channels to be in local languages so the channels themselves rank well on relevant keywords. But this is a big hassle to maintain. If I want to put up a new video or maintain old ones, we're talking about putting the exact same video file up on say 30 different channels (if I have 30 languages). There's no way around this right? And how do captions play into all this? Is it best practice to caption my English-language channel with all my other various languages? Or is it better to put French subtitles on my French channel, Germany subtitles on my Germany channel, etc.?

    I would be just thrilled if this were a topic you chose to address in a future post. I think it's a topic that nobody is talking about in sufficient detail for those of us who work on multi-lingual sites with video assets either translated or not.

  • anders

    Hi there. Is there a program for automatic subtitling videos? I have a lot of movies that has no subs. Is there a way to auto subtitle them?

    • Mark Robertson

      Check out There are others as well if that doesn't help

  • Muneer

    hi there,
    by any chance would you know how a youtube video can automatically play the subtitles, i have a parody video where I have changed the subtitles to be funny,
    but it automatically plays as a default without the subtitles which defeats the point,
    you can see what i mean here

    or do you know any software where i can add the subtitles and upload by any chance?

    • Mark Robertson

      you can enable that in your settings but would need to upload a closed caption files. currently, the video you pointed me to has the subtitles in the actual movie iteself.

      • Muneer

        Thanks very much for your reply Mark, i accidentally sent you the wrong link probably when i was looking at related videos - this is the actual link

        I have already uploaded the closed caption files and it is on there but you actually have to switch them on still, they don't come on automatically.
        As a small temporary work around i have asked people to put on the subtitles by using an annotation but obviously it will be much better if they came on automatically,
        any help you could give would be greatly appreciated and i thank you for your reply :)

        • Mark Robertson

          Yup, if you want to force it in the embed, you can add &cc_load_policy=1 to the video's embed code. Hope that helps

        • Muneer

          That is brilliant thanks so much, exactly what i needed actually
          since i was going to put it on my blog:)
          I will try that and let you know how it goes, thanks again for your replies and help

        • Mark Robertson

          Great... yes please do let me know if it doesnt work for some reason - seems to work when I tested it.