Clubhouse finally has live captions on iOS

Clubhouse announced yesterday that closed captioning is now rolling out for iOS. This essential accessibility feature has been long missed from the live audio app. Without these live transcriptions, which were already the norm for competitors like Twitter Spaces, Clubhouse had rendered itself unusable to people who are deaf or hard of hearing. Now, Clubhouse can reach a broader audience.

“We currently support 13 languages for captions, with more on the way. These 13 languages include: English, Cantonese, Mandarin Chinese, Yue Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Turkish,” a Clubhouse representative told TechCrunch.

One user reported on Twitter that Spanish live captioning worked in one room, but in another, the Spanish speech was transcribed as English gibberish. An engineer at Clubhouse replied that this means the language detection might not have worked, so it seems that the app is still learning how to distinguish among non-English languages in beta.

Clubhouse has rolled out a number of features recently like Wave, which makes it easier to start a conversation with a friend, replays for asynchronous listening and recorded rooms. Recorded rooms help the app compete with startups like Callin and Space Pod, which seek to help creators turn live audio recordings into widely distributed podcasts. But live captioning has been a glaring omission since the app’s initial bout of popularity. Clubhouse doesn’t have an estimate of when closed captioning will roll out on Android, but hopefully it won’t be long.