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I would like to offer a translation to another user's video on YouTube. The original video is in Spanish and I would like to write a Hebrew translation that would be relevant to very few people.

The easiest way to do it would be downloading the original video, re-upload it and add the subtitles. This can be a problem for the original author.

Is there any other, more elegant way to do this?

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Currently you cannot add a subtitle/caption track to someone else's video.

However, you can prepare the caption/subtitle file for the video and then share it the author so they can add it to the video (it's simple and I don't think he or she would object since subtitles do not have to be turned on by default).

Since it will be in another language as the video's audio track (and not in English either) you will have to prepare a time-coded subtitle script (or caption file). There are a number of articles about that available online including a good one to start with on Youtube help site.

Overall guidelines on preparing and adding subtitles to Youtube are available here.

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As of 2015, it's now possible to contribute subtitles to some videos (as you can see for this video: youtube.com/watch?v=3AAdKl1UYZs where I have contributed italian subtitles). Still I wonder: why isn't this option available on all videos? – wil93 Feb 4 '15 at 18:50
I like the idea. How can we contact the original video author? – JasonStack Sep 23 '15 at 9:29
Just like @wil93 said, and as explained in Raúl Moreno's answer, Youtube users can enable community contributed subtitles on their videos now. – Flimm Jan 13 at 12:12

I have found Amara UniversalSubtitles service recently that is doing just that. There were some other similar startups before but it seems they got discontinued.

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Its UI is pretty good! – romkyns Mar 31 '13 at 2:14
I just hope youtube buy them to power up collaborative subtitling! Amara rocks from long time already. – cregox May 5 '14 at 15:59
The link seems to be broken. – Flimm Jan 13 at 10:22

As @wil93 pointed out, now anyone can create online and contribute his own subtitles to some videos.

You could ask the owner to activate that option of community contribution for that video, some videos or all of his videos at once as explained here.

Then anyone could create the subtitles oneline, with youtube tools, in the language they chose. Or upload a subtitles file.

You can try it (don't save! ;) ) with the real example @wil93 gave:


EDIT: I see it was more or less answered here, but I consider both answers bring complementary information.

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I have created a chrome extension which lets you drag and drop SRT file on any youtube video. You can check it out here:


Now its updated to search and fetch subtitles directly from Amara and OpenSubtitles right there from the YouTube interface. Do check it out.

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In fact, the OP as I assume wants to publish his subtitle for others, rather than simply seeing it on the video. So, this might not be the answer to the question, the the add-on is good effort – JasonStack Sep 23 '15 at 9:31

Try this Youtube Subtitles add-on for Chrome.

Use this extension to add drag and drop subtitles to any youtube video
This extension lets you add subtitles to any video you are watching on YouTube. Just drag and drop .SRT file or zipped .SRT file for your movie on to the video and the subtitles will start showing up.

Subtitles shown under video

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Could you say a bit more? – batpigandme Jun 17 '13 at 11:02
Make sure your youtube URL looks like this for above chrome extension www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AW7_xtt3h8k – Kris Sep 23 '13 at 3:57
This shouldn't be the accepted answer; it doesn't answer the question. – Danny Beckett Mar 10 '14 at 0:11
Is this the only solution? That sucks! – JasonStack Sep 23 '15 at 9:28

I have created an html5 application for this. No downloads needed. Works with all the latest browsers. Supports many languages.


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Can you upload the video with the subtitles back to youtube, or only watch it on your site? – Adam Matan Jan 7 at 16:37

Try this script: https://github.com/siloor/youtube.external.subtitle

It won't load the video into another player, so there won't be any legal issues. Also the other features of YouTube remain still accessible.

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