Working in a multi-lingual environment… translating a video on Youtube


A “friend of mine” recently suggested me to share a couple of on-line tricks that greatly facilitate access to contents originally published in foreign languages*. I hesitated first and then decided I’d do it. But first, a couple of apologies:

  • First, to those for whom what I write is obvious.
  • Second, to professional interpretors and translators: I know how difficult and often ungrateful your work is. Almost invisible (particularly when well done) and under-accounted for – hence the pray of last time and off-budget requests …

I think that until we’ll find means to secure better access and more social security for people whose work is being replaced by algorithms (possibly imposing a tax on those who make a profit out of the latter) we should refrain from using machines without restrictions.

Admittedly, automated translations are not (yet) up to the job people do and ultimately it’s end-users who should accept to endorse possible consequence derived from mis-interpretation.

With all these caveats in mind, getting content across and understanding what is the others’ mind is often really worth the effort.

Let’s take as a practical example the video on “Maestranze e tecnici dello spettacolo” that is:

Show-workers and technicians

featuring Donato Nubile, the CEO of Smart in Italy and Emanuela Bizi (the national Union SCL-GCIL), both discussing about next steps and way out of COVID.

To access translation from the original to the target language, we need to undetake a few steps (beware as some are counter-intuitive):

Step 1) Click on the gear-wheel located the bottom right of the screen to activate subtitiles:

Step 2) Select / activate the original language (here italian)

From there, subtitles should be appearing in the original language…:

Step 3) counter-intuitive: first click again on the gear-wheel and – from there – click on the automatic translation menu item:

Step 4) from there, you can now access a long list where you may select your target language :here in English

I hope this helps.

Enjoy content !

* Automatic captions are currently available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish: from any of these languages to dozens of other languages (including catalan, albanian, arabic, …)

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