YouTube Expands Automatic Captioning To 6 European Languages, Now Supporting 10 Languages Total

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Video-sharing site YouTube announced today that it’s expanding the number of languages that will automatically be captioned in videos uploaded to its library. The new languages supported include German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch, so that deaf, hard-of-hearing, and viewers who speak other languages will be able to follow along to those videos.

YouTube has been doing this captioning thing for a while: It started automatically adding captions to English-language videos in 2009, but over the past few years it’s been slowly but surely adding increased support for more languages. Today’s addition now brings the total number of supported languages to 10, which also includes Japanese, Korean, and Spanish.

The move comes as YouTube is seeking to make videos more accessible to all its viewers. In addition to auto-captioning, the site has launched tools to enable its users to create their own captions and translate them into different languages. It recently integrated the YouTube Video Manager with the Google Translator Toolkit, providing support for 300 different languages.

Since a large majority of YouTube’s viewers actually come from outside the U.S., expanded support for captions — automatic or otherwise — only makes sense. Altogether, YouTube says it has more than 200 million videos with automatic and human-created captions on the site.