Crowdsourcing translations with community contributions
Community contributions can make your channel more accessible to a global audience without spending a penny.
Enable community contributions on your channel
Translated subtitles, titles and descriptions can help your channel be discovered and viewed by audiences who speak a different language than you. Community contributions (found in the Translations & Transcriptions tab of Video Manager) lets you crowdsource captions and translated subtitles, titles and descriptions from your YouTube community. This tool offers a scalable and free way to potentially reach a wider audience.
Community contributions work best for established channels with tight-knit communities of active, dedicated fans, however, it doesn’t hurt to experiment with them if you’re just starting to grow your audience on YouTube, too.
You can enable Community contributions for your all videos on your channel in the Translations & Transcriptions tab in Creator Studio, by clicking on the gear icon. (You can also choose to enable this feature on individual videos too.) Once you've turned it on, community members who speak another language and want to help out can provide translations.
See it in action
Get started with Community contributionsLearn step-by-step how to enable and manage your Community contributions.
Publish high-quality translations
YouTube uses a two-fold approach to ensure accurate and non-spammy translations are published:
When a translation has been submitted, YouTube automatically screens the submission for proper language match and to catch spam, bad words, and avoid submissions from those with a history of spamming. Good quality submissions get passed along to be manually reviewed by your community.
After a translation has been screened by YouTube, contributors will be prompted to cast a vote for it (instead of being prompted to contribute a new translation). If the translation is not up to their standard, contributors can mark a translation as incomplete, contribute improvements, or flag it as spam. (Spammy submissions will be removed and reviewed manually).
When enough positive votes have been cast, translated content is automatically published. While auto-publishing saves you time, you can optionally monitor the process from the ‘In review’ tab. Here, you can manually check submissions in review and approve or reject them. Google translate is integrated in the review to help you understand contributions in foreign languages. Note: translated titles and descriptions for a video will only be published when submissions for both the title and description have been submitted and positively voted on.
Every week, you’ll receive an update email that shows you which videos have received submissions and which translations were published.
Rally your community
Interaction between YouTube creators and their audiences sets YouTube apart from other media platforms. If you have a great relationship with your audience, consider asking them to contribute translations & transcriptions for your videos. This can be a win-win, especially if your audience is already asking for video transcripts in other languages or if you see multilingual comments on your videos.
In return for contributing translations that get published, viewers (who have a channel) can opt in to be credited in the video description with a link to their channel. Note: they won’t see a credit if their submission is not published or if it needs further edits. Learn more.
While it may feel awkward to ask your audience for help, many YouTube creators have found that their audiences are eager to help. Try incentivizing your audience with these tips:
- Create a new video explaining why you’re passionate about having a global channel and how community contributions work. Ask them nicely to try it out. Consider including YouTube’s Help Center article or video in the video description.
- Be available to them and let them know how to reach out to you if they have questions or need help.
- View who contribute the most by looking in each video’s description.
- Add links to the videos you want contributions for in your video description. You can also get a link to the full list and promote it on social media.
- Find creative ways to thank them on your channel. Give a shout-out or make a thank you video.
- Let your audience know they can get credit for contributions in the video description.
- Be grateful for their time, language skills, and help!
To further promote that Community contributions are available on your channel, YouTube may automatically show a card to viewers who understand a video's language and another language asking them contribute. (These are auto-setup and not controlled by the creator.) Learn more.
Community contributions work best for channels with a dedicated community, but that’s not to say they won’t work for you--especially if you have a multilingual audience. The best way to get started is to experiment--turn them “on” for your channel and see what contributions your audience submits!
See it in action
Instructions for how to contributeThe Help Center offers a step-by-step video guide you can share with your audience to help them see how easy it is to contribute.
Tom Scott is blown away by the contributions he has receivedTom Scott shares how grateful he is to viewers who have contributed and notes how he gives fans credit for their help. He also offers some advice to anyone interested in submitting community contributions.
A simple and sincere request for community contributionsPatrickJMT asks his audience, if they have a few moments to spare, to contribute translations.