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Automatic Transcription and Translation of Subtitles on Youtube

Google has been working hard on expanding and improving the subtitling on the videos hosted on Youtube. The main goal is for them to be used by the millions visitors to the site who wish to view videos in a language they are unfamiliar with or for those who have hearing impaired and wish to view videos in a language they do speak.

Since it is not common for users who upload videos to Youtube to include captions, it is quite interesting to look at the function of automatic transcription in terms of generating captions in videos. It uses Google’s voice recognition technology, which was developed for other tools and services such as “Voice Search”.

Transcription and Translation of Subtitles

With automatic transcription, videos are able to automatically incorporate subtitles using the audio track as the basis. However, at the moment this service is only available for English-language videos.

Having subtitles available for a video offers tremendous advantages, both for the audience and for the author of a video. It allows users with hearing impairment to view them and appreciate all of the content, it enhances the searches for videos, and it makes it possible to then translate this text into other languages. All of these factors make the video available for a larger number of users.

This technology is still in development and the results are still not perfect. But as they say at Google, “It’s better than nothing.” One thing that is sure is that it is a marked improvement for users with hearing problems and it will be of great assistance for many others in understanding the videos better.

The translation of the text of the subtitles is a highly interesting aspect for those who do not understand spoken English; in just two steps, the audio can be transcribed and then translated automatically. Text can also be translated if it is incorporated into the video file itself (translated as subtitles, not as part of the video).

This function uses the Google translation tool, which has been available up to now on he search page and it was recently added to the Chrome browser. This system translates texts in over fifty languages, to and from each.

Adding Subtitles to Videos Uploaded by Users

For users who are looking to add subtitles to their videos, Google offers the tools necessary and also has several tutorials and help pages about how to prepare them and also how to add them or edit them. In addition, the users who upload the videos can request automatic transcription for their videos from their user dashboard.

The transcription can be edited later with a conventional word processor. Again, it is worth mentioning that this feature is only available for text in English.

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