Insights September 15, 2021

Instant comment translation – friend or foe?

By Living Word

You might have heard the news that Google is currently testing a new feature that instantly translates comments on YouTube. But what exactly does the future hold for this novelty? And what’s the feedback so far?

The feature was tested on Android and iOS until the 9th of September this year and was available for YouTube Premium subscribers only. But while the idea of instant comment translation might seem like a good one, there are still quite a few obstacles to overcome before it can become a permanent feature of the YouTube package.

The good

If you’re a creator on YouTube, the instant translation feature might be good news. It can not only help creators to better understand the reactions and feedback on their videos, and quickly, but might also help viewers to better understand all types of content from all over the world, ultimately making YouTube more inclusive and users more connected.

The bad

As is the case with many other machine translation offerings, the idea often sounds better than the actual product. After a couple of weeks of trying the new YouTube feature, many users shared the same concern: the translations weren’t always accurate and sometimes didn’t even make sense.

The conclusion

Reading comments under viral videos can be highly entertaining – and this new feature could finally help us understand the many Japanese and Chinese comments, for instance. The instant translation of comments is a fun and convenient feature that still needs a lot of improvement to fully work – but if or when it actually does, and it gets fully incorporated into YouTube’s general features, it has the potential to bring us all that bit closer together.