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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Auto-Translation for YouTube Captions

The subtitles of YouTube videos can be auto-translated. If you click the arrow icon in the bottom right of a video and it shows “CC”, that means it has closed captioning; click it to turn it on. Next to the CC icon, you’ll also find an arrow, and hovering over it shows the Translate menu entry, where you can select from a variety of from and to languages. The translation quality may be good enough to get the point across at times, and bad enough to cause head-scratching (or worse: misunderstandings) at other times.

Let me back-translate from German a video by Google’s Matt Cutts so you can get a rough idea about the quality of the auto-translation. I’ll try to keep the spirit of the German translation, e.g. by making an error in English where there was an error in German. Note this is not a necessarily representative sample, and it only covers a single language pair:

Hallo zusammen. Welcome back to another video. We do that, what, where, when we speak, on a conference and we’re talking about something importantly, not only questions and answers, we talk about our presentations a bit later and put it this way people can follow, see the slides, and hopefully learn a bit.

Today I want about the canonical link element. And that is something which Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft all knowing, that they supporting in the future to the SMX West. So the date will going to be, that we will this announce, will be February 12th 2009, and the funny thing is, that Charles Darwin was born this day 200 years ago.

This way I started with a slide where I abgedroschen joke, and I said, whether or not you believe the Netz was intelligent by Tim Berners-Lee, or if you think to develop the web needs, either this is an open standard or, which helps people to improve the internet. And due to we way saying, what is a big problem, that people these days, webmasters, SEOs, website owners on the internet?

[Via Matt Cutts.]


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