The official documentation says "Automatic captions are available in English, Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish."

Is there a reason why YouTube doesn't add more languages ? Like Mandarin/ Cantonese Chinese, Arabic (Egyptian Arabic or else), Hindi or Turkish ?

Isn't it worth the cost or what ?

1 Answer 1


The quality of recognition varies between languages. Google spends time and money improving the recognition for languages in which it has more audience, advertisers and paying users—i.e. English first of all, considering especially that it's understood as second language in many countries.

I'm not sure about speech-to-text specifically, but afaik algorithms made first for Western languages struggle with Chinese and such—e.g. in machine translation or optical recognition. Moreover, Google's algorithms are built in large part on statistics instead of language syntax—so they likely have an easier time with languages that use separate words and little inflection, like English, instead of a more complex morphology.