YouTube Caption Translation

Reach YouTube’s 1 billion+ multilingual users around the globe

1. Transcribe

Create a caption transcript in the video’s original language

2. Time sync

Upload and auto-sync your transcription in YouTube

3. Translate

With just a few clicks, order and approve caption translations

YouTube caption translation service - screen 1

1. Transcribe

YouTube transcribe video

To start, open a new document and begin to transcribe your video.

When transcribing, remember to insert a hard return after pauses in speech. Don’t worry about messing up a line or two at this point.

When you have a complete draft, repeat playback 1-2 times and fill in the errors or missing sections until your transcription is complete.

Tip: Hit space bar to pause the video.

YouTube create full transcript

Creating a full transcript usually takes up to three times the length of the video (about 6-8 minutes of transcribing for a 2 minute video).

It was important for us to find translation providers who have the technology to deliver affordable high quality translations. I’ve been impressed with the quality and speed of the translations that Gengo delivers.

Jane Dickinson

Jeff Chin, Product Manager, Google

2. Time sync

YouTube video time sync

When you finish the transcript, sync it to your video and add time codes. To do this, go to YouTube’s “My Videos” section and choose “Captions” from the dropdown menu of your selected video.

YouTube video upload transcript file

Select “Transcript file.” The track name will be the name of the language your transcript is in (i.e. write “English” for English, “日本語” for Japanese, etc.)

Google speech recognition transcript

At this point, Google will use its speech recognition software to match the audio to your transcript.

For details on how they do this, see this blog entry.

Google auto sync progress

Autosync takes about 1-5 minutes, depending on the length of the video. Once it finishes, your captions are ready.

Download final caption file

Click to download the final time-coded caption file. It will be exported as an .sbv file.

Need to translate captions?

3. Translate

Open the exported .sbv file using a text editor and re-save as a .txt file.

Open up Gengo, upload the .txt file with your original captions and order captions for all desired target languages.

Copy and paste the translation into a new .txt file in your text editor and save as filename.sbv. If you created multiple caption translations, be sure to save each to a different .txt file.

Return to the YouTube video settings page. Click to create foreign language captions for your first target language and upload your translated .sbv caption file.

After you’re done creating the translated captions, click “Publish” and repeat the process for any additional captions.

See it in action

We created captions for one of our own videos and translated them into Mandarin Chinese and Japanese—click to watch the video on YouTube and toggle using the “cc” button.

Want to boost your own international viewership? Try translating captions using YouTube and Gengo for yourself below.