Volunteers creating community sourced captions for YouTube

Community-sourced translations and closed captions for YouTube videos

Mar 12, 2021 | Blog, How-to

Does Google currently offer crowdsourced, collaborative closed captions for YouTube?

YouTube no longer offers the option to use crowdsourced captions, formerly called “Community Captions.” Many creators are struggling with how to get closed captions for YouTube videos now that the popular Community Captions feature has been discontinued as of September 28, 2020. Most channels will still have access to automatic captioning in one language, but not all creators will have access to YouTube’s tools for editing these captions. Additionally, YouTube’s automatically translated subtitles often translate poorly in the instances where that option even exists.


How can spf.io help creators make and edit YouTube captions/subtitles?

Spf.io has several advantages over other programs that offer closed captioning tools. Use spf.io’s Community-Sourced Translation features to mobilize your fans, your team, and your community to make your content accessible in many languages:

Youtube + spf.io

1. Built for collaborative work

Spf.io allows creators to add collaborators for no additional charge. Collaborators have access to edit only the captions for that channel’s video. Each collaborator receives a unique login to spf.io’s Dashboard, so creators retain control over video content, titles, and descriptions. Instead of using crowdsourced captions with potentially inconsistent quality, you can choose your own team by adding only trusted community members to your workspace.

Add closed captions for YouTube with community-sourced captions with the spf.io dashboard



2. Get access to over 60 languages for your YouTube channel

Spf.io allows you to switch languages for free, and automatic translation is available for over 60 languages (over 3600 language pairs!). Many tools charge significantly more for each language you use, and they only translate from English to another language. For example, the Amara subtitle editor only imports the default automatic speech recognition file from YouTube in one language. If you use more than 5 subtitling languages, you must pay additional fees. Many of these subtitle editors do not have any autotranslation features and require manual translation of closed captions for YouTube.


Options to add and edit over 60 languages on closed captions for YouTube, using spf.io



3. Quickly view and edit captions and subtitles for each video

Spf.io integrates fully with YouTube. Your spf.io dashboard quickly shows you what subtitles have been added for each video, making it an ideal workspace for teams. Once you click on the subtitle files, you can use spf.io’s document comparison tool to see where the current version differs from the original document. This makes it easy for translators to work in pairs – if you need to check someone else’s work, you can immediately see where changes have been made to the uploaded original.


Edit and Compare Closed Captions for YouTube in spf.io



4. Transcribe and auto-translate YouTube videos using artificial intelligence:

Spf.io gives you access to powerful AI tools for speech recognition and translation. For example, you can easily produce transcripts for both live and recorded YouTube videos. When it comes to editing, you can teach the AI to correct common captioning and translation mistakes with autoreplacements, allowing you to batch process your videos quickly.

Automatically edit closed captions for YouTube with autoreplacements



5. Take advantage of smart, cutting-edge automatic translation of closed captions for YouTube

Instead of asking collaborators to make subtitles from scratch, you can apply spf.io’s Automatic Subtitle Translation feature to quickly produce translations in over 60 languages.  Spf.io creates subtitles intelligently by working from an auto-generated transcript behind the scenes, so translations are much more accurate than usual. Generally, automatic translators produce confusing sentence fragments when captions are translated since they work with incomplete phrases instead of complete sentences. Spf.io associates complete sentences in the transcript with your subtitles, automatically adding subtitle timings when the translation is complete.

Automatically translate English to Spanish subtitles for YouTube



6. Easily track the subtitle editing progress

If you’d like, you can have a human translator review the automatic translations and track their edits with spf.io’s line-specific “reviewed/not reviewed” status. This step of pairing AI and human translators can produce more accurate translations and is especially important for character-based languages.

Subtitle editor for YouTube captions



7. Do more with spf.io

Spf.io customers use our all-in-one software for many different platforms. Since our tools include document translation, slide translation, and speech-to-text features for both live and recorded media, it’s easy to localize all your content using our platform. As you give spf.io’s AI more content and train it using media specific to your projects, you’ll continuously improve its ability to translate and transcribe for you and your team. Also, since spf.io was built with communities in mind, you can easily invite volunteers (at no additional charge) to add Community-sourced Translations to all of your content!


Why we believe in producing better closed captions for YouTube (and more!)

Originally, we built spf.io to increase accessibility for both in-person and live events. Today, we provide easy solutions using cutting-edge technology to create better experiences for people with hearing loss. We’ve also developed tools for communities with multilingual members, so everyone can feel welcome at local events. We’ve chosen a pricing structure that helps organizations and communities achieve more with projects that involve teams of volunteers, at no additional cost.

When we heard about YouTube’s decision to discontinue community captions, we added even more features to our all-in-one tool so creators could easily create closed captions and subtitles for YouTube.    We believe in empowering individuals and communities to take the next step when it comes to providing accessible content.   We are constantly creating features to make this easier on a variety of platforms, making spf.io an ideal product to meet all your captioning and translation needs. Whether you want to reach a differently abled community or an international audience, spf.io can help you diversify your content and make accessibility a key part of your channel.

Get started today and see what spf.io can do for you!

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