With more than one billion users around the world, YouTube has cemented itself as the destination for content in just about every language. But when it comes to finding that content, things can get a bit tricky, especially with the multiplicity of tongues spoken on the global platform. In fact, the Google-owned entity points out, there are 76 languages represented on YouTube, and in order to connect all these languages, YouTubers are relying on one another.
Two years ago, the video sharing site introduced community-contributed subtitles, which were a boon for people who could actually find content in foreign languages. But now, YouTube is making it possible for “Community Contributions to translate your video’s titles and descriptions in addition to your captions.” As a result, the platform says, “You’re only a few clicks away from having viewers translate your videos so more people around the world easily discover, understand, and ultimately fall in love with your content.”
Thus far, more than 900,000 contributors have translated various videos on YouTube, and some power contributors have made a sizable dent in the YouTube canon. Tee Ponsukcharoen, for example, is a Stanford student who dedicates around 10 hours a week translating YouTube content. And since he’s begun, he’s helped translate more than 2,500 videos.
“Translating content to me now is like washing my face, brushing my teeth, or working out. It’s a part of my daily routine that I do without thinking much,” Ponsukcharoen told YouTube.
“There are three components that drive my motivation to translate videos: autonomy, mastery, and purpose. Translating content on YouTube serves all three,” he continued. “I can choose videos that I am interested to translate. I sharpen my English, Thai, and the subject of the video every time that I translated. Finally, I know that my translation will be beneficial to other people. Some Thai students who don’t know English well can use my subtitles to learn better. Our work can be used as language educational examples.”
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