Strangely, on a day where the Washington Post is lamenting the lack of online video captioning for the hearing impaired, YouTube announces that they have added six languages to the auto-captioning feature. Now, auto-captioning is usually hilariously bad, but recently YouTube made it so that you could get help with captions in a variety of languages. Captioning is an extremely easy process, it helps with SEO, and it allows viewers who may not understand the video a chance to enjoy it, so there's really no reason why anyone shouldn't put captions on their videos.
YouTube's Adds Six Languages to Auto-Caption Feature
The six new languages are German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch, adding to the existing Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.
The YouTube Blog says:
As automatic captions will have some errors, creators also have several tools to improve the quality of their captions.
Yeah no kidding there are errors:
Speech recognition is getting better all the time, but almost everyone speaks differently and at different speeds. Computers have no chance right now to distinguish them all.
But as said before, it's really not hard to create captions for your videos. Usually, you're already going to have a script, and you can download the text/word file into the video. In this case, YouTube is very good about being able to figure out what is being said and when. But if you need them, YouTube has instructions here. If tweaking needs to be done to either the downloaded or auto-captions, you can edit them with these instructions.
On the YouTube Blog, this example of auto-captioning is given:
There is actually an entire playlist with all six new languages represented. Considering that you can now "invite and share with translators" you can get your video translated into 300 languages. So while the auto-captioning is a welcome addition to YouTube, you really should get off your lazy duff and get someone to actually translate your video into other languages. It helps hearing-impaired and foreign viewers, increases your viewing audience, and is an overall awesome thing to do.