Have you ever wondered where the subtitles on any video come from? It’s not always as simple as you think.
The subtitles that you see when you watch a video are not uploaded by anyone at Woodpecker Learning, they are uploaded by the people who uploaded the video or even via crowd-sourcing where people come together from all over the world and contribute their own subtitles. Crowd sourcing is a popular way for video uploaders to enrol volunteers to subtitle videos in different languages. If videos have subtitles they will be easier for search engines to index, they will be more popular with language learners and deaf people and videos with subtitles in foreign languages can access a whole new audience.
This video explains how to add subtitles to a video:
This video explains how others can help with adding subtitles in other languages and also add subtitles for you in English if you don’t have a full script to do it yourself.
There are many successful crowd-sourced subtitling websites. People do it for recognition and to help others.
Here are some examples of videos from people appealing for crowd-sourced subtitles for their YouTube channels.
We think that subtitles on videos are something every channel owner should consider. It will grow the audience, the ratings, the views and the advertising dollars.
On Woodpecker, we play the subtitles according to timing information given by the uploader. Sometimes when there are two subtitle streams playing, you will see sentences come on screen in these two languages at different times. This happens when a translator chose to split the sentences differently between subtitles.
We do notice that mistakes are more frequent on videos where the work has been done by volunteers. However, generally volunteers do a great job and really help with understanding a whole sentence – much better than computer generated translations.
When you load the videos in a channel, our default ranking is to prefer those videos with a subtitle stream in the audio language of the video and a second subtitle stream in the “language I know” setting in the app on your device. Then those videos with both subtitle streams will be ranked by their view count in YouTube.