Found in Translation: Language tools for building a global audience

Do you ever feel like your videos are getting lost in translation? YouTube has over a billion users and is available in 76 different languages. So it’s easy to understand why it can sometimes feel that way.

On average, over 60% of a channel’s views come from outside of its creator’s home country. That means two out of every three people who watch your channel might speak a different language than you. So how can you make sure viewers around the world can easily discover, understand and love your content? That’s where our latest set of translation features comes in. Designed to help creators make their content more accessible and understandable to an international audience, they include:

  • Community-contributed subtitles and CC - crowdsource your video subtitles and let your community help you reach more people in more languages. Opt-in by clicking here.
  • Translated titles and descriptions - add translated titles and descriptions to your videos.That way fans can discover your videos in their native languages. We’ll display your video information in the right language to the right viewers.
  • Translation marketplace (beta) - order professional translations of your content right from your Video Manager. Once you've chosen the target language(s) you prefer, simply checkout and pay. When the translation is complete, we'll auto-publish your content and send you a confirmation email.
Some of our partners have already tested out these features and the impact has been pretty remarkable. Take VICE. Their channel more than doubled the daily watchtime on translated videos from Spanish and Portuguese speakers. In fact, watchtime from Spanish users tripled. ¡Impresionante!

These new features have the potential to fundamentally change the way VICE distributes its YouTube content on a global scale”, says Jordan DeBor, Video Partnerships Manager at VICE. “By removing the language barrier, YouTube delivers the opportunity to build new audiences in local markets and expand in our existing ones.”

With the help of over 20,000 volunteer translators, TED, another important YouTube partner, has been experimenting with crowdsourced translations across thousands of videos in more than a hundred languages. They joined the new translation tools pilot just a few months ago and for the first time combined translated captions with translated titles and descriptions for two thousand videos in 11 languages. They saw major growth in localized watchtime – the channel’s localized watchtime increased from 20% to 35% overall, and in several cases up to 60%.

"For more than five years, we’ve been working to remove the barrier of language from TED’s mission in spreading ideas throughout the world”, says Kristin Windbigler, Director of TED’s Open Translation Project. “As one of our most important partners, YouTube has pushed the boundaries in making our videos not only accessible but also discoverable for viewers around the world.”

Ready to start using these features? Check out the translation tools overview page for more information!

Vladimir Vuskovic, Product Manager, recently watched Deb Roy: The birth of a word