The Importance of Getting Professional, Multilingual Captions for Your Video Content

YouTubeLike many other businesses, Capita Translation and Interpreting has recently set up a YouTube channel to showcase and market some of their existing and up-coming video content. In the course of uploading their first couple of videos, they came across the Automatic Captions feature that YouTube offers which are currently only available in three languages; they translate captions for other languages (which are currently in Beta).

It’s safe to say that the results could be described as ‘interesting’. Capita have included below a transcription followed by the YouTube captions. As humorous as some of the translations were, we’re sure Telefonica Digital would not be too pleased to be described as a place to see re-offending criminals:

“Telefonica to still is a place where will see a recidivist”!

Telefonica-captions-1 auto-captions

But jokes aside, your business could get into a whole world of trouble if the auto captions were to pick up on something perfectly innocent and relay it as something controversial. YouTube are clearly testing the water and presenting these auto captions in multiple languages; so you could quickly find your prized video content is offending viewers in multiple languages while you remain blissfully unaware.

So, how can this be avoided? The instructions provided by YouTube’s help section are as follows:

Change default settings for captions

Here’s how to always show or hide captions by default if they’re available:

1.            Go to your Account settings page.

2.            Select Playback from the left-hand menu

3.            Check or uncheck Always show captions

(Check Show automatic captions by speech recognition (when available) to enable automatic captions for videos that don’t already have captions provided)

4.            Click Save

But what if you want to include captions for your audience? YouTube does provide you with the option to upload your own transcript, but I couldn’t see an option to upload the same script in multiple languages. Therefore you are either going to have to get your script translated, and upload the video multiple times, assigning a different language script to it each time, which is time consuming and less than ideal; or chance your hand at letting Google Translate do the work for you (which YouTube state is the translation engine used for the multilingual caption creation).

Using Google Translate highlights a whole list of data security issues, outlined in this blog

If you want to ensure your video captions are in safe hands, the only option is to entrust a professional translations agency like Capita Translation & Interpreting, who will not only make sure your translations are accurate but also reflect your message in a way that best engages your target audience.