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YouTube tools to translate your content

On average, over two-thirds of a creator's audience watch time comes from outside of their home country. You can use our translation tools to make your videos more accessible to fans and grow an international audience.

Tools for translation

Add your own captions & subtitles

Learn how to add your own subtitles and closed captions to help open up your content to a larger audience, including deaf or hard of hearing viewers or those who speak languages besides the one spoken in your video.

Add translated titles & descriptions

Learn how to add translated video titles and descriptions to your videos. Your fans will be able to discover your videos in their own language, and we'll show the title and description of the video on the watch page and everywhere else on YouTube in the right language, to the right users.

Have your community add subtitles

Learn how to let your community add subtitles in their own language to your videos. When enough viewers have added to and approved the subtitles, the content is automatically published to your video.

If you're a viewer, learn how you can contribute subtitles to your favorite creator's videos. 

Buy translations for your videos & captions

You can order translations for your videos' titles, descriptions, and captions directly in your Video Manager. When the translation is done, we'll automatically publish it to your video and let you know in an email update.

Use our subtitle & closed caption glossary
  • ASR: Automatic Speech Recognition. YouTube uses automatic speech recognition to add automatic captions to videos (available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish). This is not available for all videos.
  • Automatic Caption: Caption track created by ASR.
  • Closed caption: Closed captions are for hard-of-hearing and deaf viewers. Content includes a transcription of the spoken words as well as sound cues like "[music playing]" and "[laughter]" and identification of speakers like "Mike: Hey there!" or by using positioning on the screen.
  • Contribute: To create and submit a new caption track or edit to be reviewed and published to the video.
  • Contribution: A new subtitle or closed caption, or edit to an existing one, reviewed and published to a video.
  • Contributor: A volunteer who has submitted a new subtitle or closed caption or edit.
  • Creator: Video uploader/owner.
  • Submit: To send a completed or partially written track for review to be published to a video.
  • Submission: The complete or partially written track that is sent for review to be published to a video.
  • Subtitles: Text tracks that accompany a video in a language other than the spoken one in that video. Primarily for foreign-language viewers. Content is a translation of spoken words and written text. Usually not positioned and always show at the bottom or below the video ("sub"titles).
  • Set timings: When a user submits a transcript, we use our sync server to automatically align the transcript with the video, creating a timed caption track.
  • Transcript: Unformatted (and un-timed) text, transcribed verbatim from the video.
  • Translation: Subtitle created by translating existing subtitles or closed captions.

How translated videos display to viewers

YouTube uses signals to automatically match a video's language (title, description, and captions) to viewer preferences. Signals can include a viewer's interface language, location, and recently watched videos. These signals help detect and display videos in the language that's the best match for the viewer, even if it's not the viewer's main language setting.

This means that if a viewer changes their YouTube interface language (on youtube.com or in the mobile apps), they may not immediately see all videos in that language — even if the video has translations available in that language.

For example, if a viewer has their YouTube interface set to English, but signals indicate that they also understand French, then they'll likely see the original versions French-language videos instead of English-translated versions. 

Note: We’re working to make it easier for viewers to specify their language preferences.

Check how translated videos look

If you want to see what translations look like on a video, you can view the video using a different YouTube interface language.

  1. Open an incognito browser window using Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, or Opera.
  2. Go to www.youtube.com and scroll to the bottom of the page.
  3. Use the Language drop-down menu to choose the language you want to check.
  4. Go to the video's watch page or search for it using video title or ID.

You can also modify the video's URL to display it in a specific language — just add "&vl=" (lowercase) and the ISO 639-1 language code to the end of the video's watch page URL.

For example, to see a Japanese version of a video, you would change the URL from "www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9cKgwnFIAw" to "www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9cKgwnFIAw&vl=ja". This shows the translated metadata, and you can then enable the corresponding subtitles using the gear icon in the player.

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