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Learn how to display captions on a YouTube video

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The YouTube catalog includes a very large number of foreign videos, series or films. If you dried up your English lessons in college, you may not understand anything. To help you properly follow a video or watch movies with muted audio, YouTube offers a subtitle system. We explain how to activate it..

Watch a video with subtitles

Watching a program or film in its original version is not for everyone. This exercise requires having a solid foundation in English, Spanish, German, etc. Take the test and sit in front of a film in English when you don't understand anything. You can get bored very quickly.

Fortunately, thanks to advances in technology, you can now follow a program in a language that you do not fully master. To do this, simply activate the YouTube subtitle function. The dialogs will then appear at the bottom of the screen. The system works with films, television series, documentaries but also news..

Subtitling is not only used for people who speak zero language. This device proves to be an essential tool for all individuals suffering from hearing loss. Be careful not to confuse the subtitles with the audio description.

This is a technique developed for the blind and visually impaired to describe the visual elements of a video via voice-over commentary. The descriptions of the scenes and the actions are done during idle times when there is no dialogue..

Why should we prioritize VO?

Subtitles are a great way to improve your language skills and improve your vocabulary. It also allows you to keep in touch with the oral language and to have access to the local culture. Unfortunately, classic learning methods generally focus on writing at the expense of speaking.

Keep in mind, however, that captioning doesn't always translate exactly what the characters are saying. This is particularly the case with films and humorous series. It is sometimes difficult to translate jokes and humor into another language.

Activate subtitles on YouTube

To get started you need to make sure to update your YouTube app. This operation is not mandatory to take advantage of the subtitles but if you want to take advantage of the latest features of the video app it is preferable.

  • Open the Play Store app on your phone
  • Click on the menu button at the top left
  • Select the option my games and applications
  • Make sure you have the latest version of YouTube
  • Then open the YouTube app
  • Select the video you want to play
  • Press the menu button at the top right of the screen to display the video settings panel
  • Click on the subtitles option and select the choice that best suits your needs image

Some YouTube channels make the effort to offer their own subtitles in several languages. This allows them to reach a wider audience. Unfortunately this is not the case with all videos. Some creators are reluctant to transcribe in writing all the dialogues. It must be said that this work is tedious and lengthens the time of online content.

If the video editor has not added its own subtitles, rest assured nothing is lost. The voice recognition service of YouTube is able to automatically generate dialogs in the form of text at the bottom of the screen when playing the video.

Please note that the result is sometimes far from satisfactory. The expressions are sometimes translated literally without any relation to the primary meaning of the dialogue. It should not be forgotten that it is a machine that performs this task.

Change the size of the captioning

Finally, the last important point concerns the size and style of the subtitles. A suitable font makes it easier to focus on the film. In the YouTube app, you can change the appearance of closed captioning.

  • Open the YouTube app
  • Go to the home page
  • Click on the icon showing the avatar of your Google account. If there is no image, Google displays the first letter of your first name
  • Select the settings option then subtitles
  • Press the switch show subtitles at the top of the screen
  • Select font size to adjust the font size image
  • Click on subtitle style to choose the text color as well as the background color image

Note that the Google Podcasts application has a similar function. Here is who should appeal to addicts of this type of sound programs.


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