The benefits of translating YouTube videos

According to recent studies, over two-third of watch time on YouTube comes from users who live in places other than the channel owner’s home area.

This means that translated videos will allow YouTube visitors from other regions who speak different languages to understand and enjoy videos. Therefore, translated videos can really help bloggers grow their audience substantially.

Due to this, the demand for professional YouTube video translation services has increased. And in this article, you will find a set-by-step guide on how to translate YouTube videos to English and any other languages.

Translating YouTube captions

Youtube captions or closed captions are written transcripts of a video in the language spoken. They provide a text alternative for the spoken words of characters, narrators, and other vocal participants. According to some studies, they increase a channel’s reach as the viewers have an option to read words instead of listening. The captions are considered to be beneficial to audiences who are hard-of-hearing, or who are watching in a loud environment and don’t want to turn the sound on.

Subtitles are translations of captions. They offer visitors who do not speak the same language as a video the option to read a translation of the words spoken.

Before translating videos, it is better to determine where across the world the channel has audiences. Thanks to YouTube Analytics, you can write a list of which languages would be the key to have translations for the channel.

Get started by navigating to your YouTube Studio, and select Subtitles from the left-hand menu. To download a caption file in order to translate a YouTube video, click on the three dots menu under Subtitles column and select Download.

download youtube captions

You will get a time-coded caption file exported as an .sbv file. You can open the exported .sbv file with a text editor and re-save it as a .txt. file and start translating it.

It is recommended that you copy and paste the translation into a new .txt file in your text editor. And afterward, save as filename.sbv. If you translate YouTube videos to English and other languages, be sure to save each to a different .txt file.

To upload the translated subtitles or captions, go to the YouTube Studio, click on the Subtitles on the left-hand menu and click on the title of the relevant video. You will be directed to a new page, where you should click on the button “Add language” and choose the name of the language of the subtitles that you translated.

After setting the language of the translated subtitles, to upload the translated file, it is necessary to click on “ADD” in the “Subtitles” column.

translate youtube subtitles and captions

After that, a new window will open where you click on “Upload file” in order to download the translated subtitles / closed captions.

After you are done uploading the translated captions, click “Publish” and repeat the process for any additional captions.

Translating titles and descriptions

Youtube video titles and descriptions are indexed in search results. Every YouTube blogger seeks for getting more views and subscribers. Therefore translating them to English or any other languages can lead to greater discoverability by viewers who speak other languages.

Due to this, translating titles and descriptions is not enough, since they must contain the words which the target audience is using while searching YouTube. These words are called keywords. And they serve as guides to bring viewers to a blogger’s channel.

For this reason, it is important to fill the titles and descriptions with the relevant keywords that the target audience is using.

Today you can find a lot of tools and SEO strategies on searching the best keywords so that the translated video would rank on YouTube. One of my favourite one is to use YouTube’s Search Suggest feature. All you need to do is head over to Youtube and pop-in a word or phrase and you will get a bunch of keywords related to what you type in:

With a keyword identified, insert it naturally in the translated titles and descriptions. For this, go to the YouTube studio, then – Subtitles in the left-hand menu. Afterwards, select a video. If you haven’t selected the language for a video, you will be asked to choose the language and confirm.

Following that, select “Add language” and select the language you’d like to translate. When it is done, you can select “Add” under “Title and description” and translate YouTube videos.

YouTube video translation tools

Youtube built-in translation tools

Youtube offers a set of built-in tools to translate Youtube videos. If a video blogger wants to order professional translation services, it is advisable either to get access to Youtube management dashboard or provide a translator with a file containing captions, titles, and descriptions. In this way, the channel owner will update the corresponding videos with the relevant translation.

Third-party tools to translate videos to English and other languages

It is possible to manage the professional translation services of captions, titles, and descriptions with third-party tools. I have compiled a list of the most popular tools which you might find useful:

3Play Media – the leading provider of high-quality closed captions. You authenticate 3Play Media to get access to the Youtube channel and the tool processes the captions. The pricing policy is applied.

Amara – the award-winning technology to create and translate captions of any video for free. For large projects, the subtitle translation process is easy thanks to the management tools.

Cielo24 tool provides automatic captioning integrations for $1 per video minute. This tool provides simple and easy solutions to translate YouTube videos to English and any other languages: link your YouTUbe account directly to your profile at Cielo24, and your video captions and translated subtitles will be automatically loaded into your video.

Rev is a technologically-advanced platform enabling freelance translators and other freelancers seamlessly transcribe, caption, and subtitle content. This platform is based on an industry-leading speech recognition engine to transcribe speech to text in minutes.