Skip to main content Skip to footer

Automatic Subtitle Translation on YouTube

How to watch my videos with subtitles in any language

YouTube has a really cool feature that lets you automatically display the subtitles of my videos in countless languages around the world.

Please note:

On my website, all videos are currently streamed ad-free from Vimeo and not from YouTube. To use automatic subtitle translation, you can watch the video on my YouTube channels dhyanmikael-en (English) or dhyanmikael-de (German).

Soon this will be possible directly on my website itself.

Automatic subtitle translation on YouTube is based on the subtitles of the original language, which are carefully corrected by me. Therefore, the quality of the automatic translations is amazingly good.

Stumbling block: 2-step process

Basically, it's very easy to turn on automatic subtitle translation for a YouTube video. However, there is one small, confusing detail, because the whole thing happens in 2 stages:

  1. Turn on existing subtitles, for example German. In this first step, the automatic translation option is not yet displayed.

  2. Now switch to the subtitle settings once again. Only now – because a subtitle language is already active – the option for automatic translation is displayed.

To illustrate this, I have prepared a short video tutorial. Further below there is also a written step-by-step guide with pictures.

Step-by-Step Guide

1. Open Settings

In the YouTube player, click or tap on the gear icon to open the video player settings. The screenshots are from the desktop version. On mobile, the settings look a little different.

2. Open Subtitle Settings

In the Settings menu, click or tap "Subtitles" to display the available subtitle languages. The number in parentheses after the word "Subtitle" indicates that there are subtitles in one language in this case.

3. Select Language

Now the subtitle languages are visible, in this case "German". Click or tap on "German" to turn on subtitles in German.

4. Reopen Subtitle Settings

The subtitles are now displayed in German. Now the subtitle menu must be opened again to switch on the automatic translation.

5. Enable Translation

Only now the option for "Translate automatically" is visible. Click or tap this to open the language selection.

6. Select Language

Now the numerous available subtitle languages are displayed. Click or tap to select the desired language.

7. Done!

Now the translated subtitles are displayed, in this example in Latin.