Subtitle Your Videos Automatically Using YouTube’s Artificial Intelligence

March 05, 2018

Videos are much more effective for global audiences when they are localized. However, localizing videos can be complicated as it requires you to extract the video's content in a written transcript. In this blog, we will discuss the easiest way to subtitle a video file with the correct timings using YouTube's artificial intelligence.


Automatic transcription is a function of YouTube's Video Manager. It captures the voice and converts it to text. The transcript YouTube generates will likely need some editing, but it does the majority of the work for you.

How it Works

To begin, upload a video to your YouTube channel and click Subtitle/CC from the options above the video. Select the video's language and you will be taken to a screen like this:


gpi-video subtitles-1


Click the Add new subtitles or CC button and you will have three options:


gpi-video subtitles-2


  • Upload a file: this allows you to upload a transcript in plain format without any timings or a subtitle file that you already have.
  • Transcribe and auto-sync: this option will transcribe your video with timings.
  • Create new subtitles or CC: use this if you want to create the subtitle file from scratch and put the timings in manually.


For this blog, we will focus on the Transcribe and auto-sync option. Selecting it will result in the following screen. In this example, English is the video language.


gpi-video subtitles-3


Click English (Automatic) to view the subtitles YouTube created.


gpi-video subtitles-4


In the top right you have the option to Publish the subtitle once it is reviewed and ready or the option to Edit to make any changes to the text or the timings. In the screen below, you can see I changed the starting and ending time of the subtitle line by copying and pasting from one box to another and in the second image, you will see I changed the timings by just clicking and editing.


gpi-video subtitles-5


gpi-video subtitles-6


After you have finished editing the subtitles, you can download the file by clicking Actions and choosing your preferred format.


gpi-video subtitles-7


Now you have your video content transcribed into a subtitle file with timings and downloaded to your computer. This file can now be localized into any language and returned to you in the same format to be added to your video on YouTube as a subtitle or burned out to produce a localized version of the video.

Additional Resources for Translation and Localization


To further understand the entire globalization process, download our  Language Globalization Guides. You may also find some of our previously written blogs useful:



Please feel free to contact GPI at with any questions about our language and technology services. Also let us know if you have any interesting blog topics you would like us to cover in our future blogs. You may request a complimentary Translation Quote for your projects.

Language Translation Facts
video translation, video localization, artificial intelligence, youtube

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Waleed is a native Arabic speaker born in Menofeya (the northern part of the Nile Delta), Egypt. He is Adobe Certified Expert. He has over 13 years’ experience in multilingual design, desktop publishing and localization engineering. Over the years he has worked for localization and design companies verso and Future-Group working in the documentation desktop publishing and design departments. He also has comprehensive training and experience in many localization and CAT tools. He holds an array of professional certifications including, Adobe's ACE (Adobe Certified Expert), Adobe's Digital Imaging certification, CIW’s Certified Internet Webmaster and Programmer, IBM Web Programmer and Macromedia Designer and extensive application experience with the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft products. He is a graduate from Menoufia University with a B.A in English Language and Literature. His hobbies include gardening, swimming and traveling.