How to Add Subtitles and Translations to YouTube Videos

Are you looking for a fast and easy way to translate YouTube subtitles? This can seem like a complex process, but it doesn’t have to be.

If you’re a YouTube content creator, podcaster, or journalist, it’s important to have translations for your videos. This allows a larger audience to be able to consume your content.

We’ve developed methods to translate thousands of videos without even knowing how to speak the languages. And we’re going to reveal these methods in the article below.

A laptop displaying the YouTube homepage

Method 1: Directly upload a subtitle

This first method is to upload a subtitle to YouTube directly. We’ll upload the subtitle to YouTube then let YouTube translate the video for you.

Step 1: Click on your account icon in the top right corner of the YouTube screen. Then click on ‘YouTube Studio.’

A red arrow pointing to the YouTube Studio button

Step 2: Click on ‘Subtitles.’

A red arrow pointing to the Subtitles button

Step 3: Click on the video you want to translate. Then click ‘Add Language’ and select your language.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD LANGUAGE button

Step 4: Click ‘ADD’ on the far right under subtitles.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD button

Step 5: Click ‘Upload file’ then click ‘Continue.’ YouTube requires you to select “With timing” with an additional language. This is why it’s important to use an app such as Notta that will create your subtitle with timestamps.

A red arrow pointing to the CONTINUE button

Step 6: Make sure all of the subtitles line up and click ‘Publish.’

A red arrow pointing to the PUBLISH button

Step 7: Click on the video you want to translate. Click ‘Add Language’ and select your language.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD LANGUAGE button

Step 8: Click ‘ADD’ on the far right under subtitles.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD button

Step 9: Click ‘Auto-translate.’ Then click ‘Publish.’

A red arrow pointing to the upload transcription file button

Method 2: Auto-translate

This process will be much easier if YouTube creates automatic captions for your video. If not, you will have to enter subtitles in the native language of the video manually. In that case, skip to Method 3.

Step 1: Click on your account icon in the top right corner of the YouTube screen. Then click on ‘YouTube Studio.’

A red arrow pointing to the YouTube Studio button

Step 2: Click on ‘Subtitles.’

A red arrow pointing to the Subtitles button

Step 3: Click on the video you want to translate. Then click ‘DUPLICATE AND EDIT’ under subtitles in the same column of the language that says “(automatic captions).” 

A red arrow pointing to the DUPLICATE AND EDIT button

Step 4: Copy the text in the box you see here. Close this window, then click ‘EDIT’ under Subtitles in the (video language) column. Paste the text you copied from the automatic captions. Then click ‘Publish.’

red arrow pointing to the PUBLISH button

Step 5: Click on the video you want to translate. Then click ‘Add Language’ and select your language.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD LANGUAGE button

Step 6: Click ‘ADD’ on the far right under subtitles.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD button

Step 7: Click ‘Auto-translate.’ Then click ‘Publish.’

A red arrow pointing to the Auto-translate button

Method 3: Manually Write the Subtitle Yourself

If you know how to speak the language you want to translate, you can also type it yourself. This will be much more time-consuming, but luckily, YouTube may display the original language timestamps for you. This may save you from starting and stopping the video over and over. 

Step 1: Click on your account icon in the top right corner of the YouTube screen. Then click on ‘YouTube Studio.’

A red arrow pointing to the YouTube Studio button

Step 2: Click on ‘Subtitles.’

A red arrow pointing to the Subtitles button

Step 3: Click on the video you want to translate. Then click ‘Add Language’ and select your language.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD LANGUAGE button

Step 4: Click ‘ADD’ on the far right under subtitles.

A red arrow pointing to the ADD button

Step 5: Click ‘Type manually.’ If subtitles are autogenerated from the original language, they’ll display above the typing field. Simply type the translation in the field below the subtitles. Then click ‘Publish.’

Three red arrows, two pointing to the caption fields, and on pointing to the PUBLISH button

Benefits of Translating YouTube Videos

Translating YouTube videos comes with many benefits. Some are obvious, and some are not so obvious. Here are some great benefits of YouTube translation:

Global Audience

You’ve just expanded your audience to a ton of new people by translating your video. Many people may find your video interesting, and they may be compelled to watch it. But if it’s not in their native language, they will move on to the billions of other YouTube videos. If you at least have subtitles in place, you will be able to keep viewers on your video to get more of that precious watch time.

SEO Purposes

Not only does it help a global audience’s ability to watch your video it also helps with SEO. Every language you translate your video in goes into Google’s search algorithm. When people search for keywords in the translated language, your video may pop up. As you add more languages, the amount of reach your video can have goes up.

Accessibility

Translating your videos also helps people consume your content who may not be able to listen at the time. Many people watch videos with no sound and only subtitles. You’d be surprised at the amount of people that watch YouTube videos with captions on. It’s important to translate your video for these viewers who simply enjoy videos with subtitles on.

YouTube Video Translation Tools

The YouTube subtitle editor allows you to add subtitles with or without timestamps. Uploading subtitles without timestamps can be a pain. You will have to line each sentence up correctly with the video for it to make sense. 

Three are tools that you can use to generate subtitles with timestamps to make your life a little easier. Let’s take a look at some of these tools:

Notta

Notta is a YouTube subtitle translator that will automatically create subtitles and captions for your. It has 98.86% accuracy. You can export your subtitles in multiple formats with time stamps.

Notta’s SRT Generator page

Step 1: Copy and paste your YouTube link to the Import Files feature in Notta.

Step 2: In a couple minutes you can review your transcript.

Step 3: Export your subtitles in SRT, PDF, DOCX, XLSX, or TXT.

Pros:

Exceptionally high accuracy

Export in multiple formats

Translate subtitles within Notta

Exports subtitles in YouTube friendly format for SEO

Cons:

Not able to customize fonts and colors

VEED.io

VEED is a tool that automatically creates subtitles for videos. It allows you to animate and personalize them as well. You can export subtitles in SRT, VTT, and TXT.

VEED.io subtitle page

Step 1: Use the auto subtitle feature to generate subtitles.

Step 2: Personalize the text of your subtitles with fonts and animations.

Step 3: Export the video in your preferred format

Pros:

  • Personalize subtitles

  • Export in multiple formats

Cons:

  • Takes a long time to render videos

  • Subtitles are embedded into the video, which may not help SEO

Happy Scribe

Happy Scribe is another tool that uses AI to convert video content to subtitles. It allows you to use fonts and colors that match your brand. It also lets you translate the subtitles from the editor.

Happy Scribe subtitle page

Step 1: Upload your video to the platform.

Step 2: Wait for the website to generate your subtitles.

Step 3: Edit your subtitles and export them

Pros:

  • Match subtitles to your brand formatting

  • Translate subtitles within the editor

Cons:

  • May take substantial editing to get subtitles accurate

FAQs

How to translate your playlists

Whether you want to translate a YouTube playlist or any type of audio playlist, it’s more simple than you might think. You just need to use an audio-to-text converter to transcribe it to text and then translate it. Here’s how:

Step 1: Upload the audio or video to an audio-to-text converter such as Notta. It will generate a transcript in the language the audio is in.

Step 2: Open the transcript and use the converter to translate it into your desired language.

Step 3: Export the translation in your desired format.

How to change the default language of your YouTube video

If you have subtitles for your video in multiple languages, you can choose the default language it shows up in. This will be the first language that shows up when a viewer turns subtitles on. Here’s how to set the default language:

Step 1: Click on your account icon on your YouTube page, then click ‘YouTube Studio.’

Step 2: Click ‘Content’ then click on the video you want to set the default language for.

Step 3: Click ‘Edit.’ Then scroll down, select the ‘Video Language.’ and choose the language you want to change. Click ‘Update Videos.’

How to change YouTube subtitles to English

Most English YouTube videos have English subtitles. However, if your profile is set to a different language, subtitles will show in your default language. Here’s how to change it:

Step 1: On the video you’re watching, click the ‘gear icon’ on the toolbar at the bottom of the video.

Step 2: Click ‘Subtitles/CC’ and select ‘English.’

Why is YouTube Translate not working?

YouTube’s auto translator only works if the default language has timestamped subtitles. If there are automatic captions generated, you can copy and paste them into the main video language subtitles. If there are not automatic captions, you’ll have to upload or manually type them before YouTube Translate will work on new languages.

How to change subtitles language on YouTube

Changing the language of subtitles on a YouTube video is very simple:

Step 1: On the video you’re watching, click the ‘gear icon’ on the toolbar at the bottom of the video.

Step 2: Click ‘Subtitles/CC’ and select the language you want to see.

Final Thoughts

Translating YouTube captions doesn’t have to be rocket science. With the methods we outline here, you can translate your video into dozens of languages and skyrocket your videos’ reach.

It’s important to use a YouTube subtitle translator such as Notta to generate your translations. This will speed up your process significantly. Sign up for a free Notta account today.

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