How to automatically voice-over foreign subtitles on YouTube for Free?

How to automatically voice-over foreign subtitles on YouTube Video

You’ve probably encountered a situation where you find an interesting video on YouTube, but it’s available in a language you don’t know. There are a lot of interesting videos on YouTube that are hard for us to understand because we don’t know the foreign language well enough.

That happened to me when I wanted to watch a YouTube movie that is in Spanish but doesn’t have an English translation.

How do I translate subtitles on YouTube?

You probably know that YouTube has a feature to translate subtitles into any language. It will help you if you found a video in a foreign language and want to translate it into English. The only problem is that I don’t want to read the subtitles and I want to listen to the video and do extra things.

The quick answer: you can use the free YouTube SubSound plugin for automatic YouTube subtitle dubbing or you can use the YouTube video translation tools.

Translating subtitles on YouTube

Let’s start at the beginning. Most YouTube videos have subtitles, and they are either auto-generated or uploaded by the creators. You can quickly activate them by clicking the “CC” button in the lower right corner of the video.


YouTube subtitles can be turned on in any video’s settings. Click on the little gear and you’ll see an option to enable subtitles.

Note that the terms “subtitles” and “closed captioning” are often used interchangeably, but they are not. Subtitles include only a written version of what was said. Closed captions contain important information about the speakers, verbal cues, emotions, and other aspects of the production.

The decision to download a YouTube transcript is useful because it allows users to better understand what you are saying or teaching. It’s also useful if the person’s environment is not ideal for listening to audio. What’s more, if you upload subtitles from YouTube, it makes the content easier to hear if you have a hearing problem.

Businesses can also create transcripts for their popular content if they want to translate it into other languages.

Generated subtitles on YouTube

They are on most videos, but they are not always accurate.

They have generated automatically through speech recognition. The feature is available for most popular languages, including English.

By default, the generated subtitles appear in the original language of the video. But the user can enable auto-translation, for example, from Spanish to English (as in my case). You can activate this function like this: gears – subtitles – translation.

Downloaded subtitles on YouTube

They are not available on all clips, but they are pretty accurate.

They are only available if the author of the video made them and uploaded them to the video. Because they are human-made, they will be more accurate, but usually these subtitles are done by creators of large-form content like documentaries or travel blogs.

Uploaded subtitles, unlike automatic subtitles, will not be tagged about auto-generation.

Download subtitles from YouTube manually or automatically

If the user not only needs to watch the video but also gets a transcript (for quotation purposes, for example), he can download subtitles.

  • Manually. You need to click on the three dots on the right under the video and select Show transcript. After that, a window will appear on the right with lines by minutes. You can copy them into a text document and use them.
  • Automatically. To do this, you need to use third-party sites, such as Downsub. At such sites, all you have to do is paste the link to the YouTube video – and then you will get a text document with subtitles.

Download subtitles via DownSub

The easiest way to download subtitles is through DownSub. All you have to do is paste the link to the video on the DownSub home page and click the download button. You can do this both in your desktop and mobile browser on iOS or Android.


Depending on the video, the service will offer to download subtitles in any of the available languages. And if the text in the desired language is not on the list, you can download an automatically generated translation. It is far from ideal, but it is still possible.


Subtitles are downloaded as a file with the extension SRT. It can be opened in most modern media players or in a text editor.

If you need to download a video with subtitles you can use YouSubtitles service. It works the same way as DownSub, except that in addition to the SRT file, you can download the video itself.

Subtitle Upload via YouTube Function

YouTube has a full-text transcript feature that allows you to copy the subtitles from your browser like regular text.

To save subtitles in this way, click the three-dot icon just below the embedded player and click “View video transcript”.

When the subtitles appear to the right of the player, select the desired language below them, select all available text and copy it with Ctrl + C. After that you can paste the transcript into any text editor.

The subtitle bar itself also has a three-dot menu. There is only one option, and it hides/discloses timecodes – the timestamps of the video, i.e. the binding of the transcribed phrases to the minutes and seconds of the video. Hiding timecodes is needed if you want to get a clean transcription, pure text without time inserts.

The main challenges with translation

Generated translations (whether text subtitles or simultaneous interpretation) are not always accurate. Their quality depends on speech intelligibility of characters, noise and overall quality of the video. Therefore, professionally recorded videos, such as studio interviews, will have higher accuracy than clips from public transport or a concert.

However, even intelligible speech and good sound quality do not always guarantee correct subtitles. Examples of videos with bad translation can be found on youtube.

The best quality is the uploaded subtitles made by the author of the video. They do not depend on auto-generation and are added manually by the creators on timelines.

Additional services for translating subtitles

The two methods described above are likely to meet most users’ needs. Nevertheless, there are more options for translation.

We are talking about sites transcribing the audio track into a text document. They do the same thing as youtube subtitle downloading services, but can be used for other sites as well.

Unlike the previous methods, for these services the user needs to additionally configure the computer by turning on the stereo mixer. It allows you to record internal system sounds, including the sounds of playing videos. You can find installation tutorials for Mac and Windows on YouTube, but here are a few sites where you can transcribe an audio track.

Voice Notepad

Has more than 30 languages, including Korean, Japanese, and Farsi. You can also edit the text, send it, save it, and print it when you’re done.

Google Docs

Transcription is available under tools – voice input. More than 30 languages are supported. The feature is designed for text dictation, but it can also be used for audio transcription.

Automatic subtitle generators

There are many services that allow you to automatically generate subtitles. Here are some of them:


How do I automatically dub videos on YouTube?

YouTube has added a dubbing function to its videos. The service is being finalized with new features, and now the company has eliminated the language barrier.

YouTube has long been testing the ability to add dubbing to videos in multiple languages. This feature is particularly useful in countries where more than one language is spoken, and it doesn’t require separate videos to be dubbed in different languages. Dubbing in other languages for videos can be selected directly from the video settings in the lower right corner.

This dubbing feature has a high cost. Google is aware of this and has been making important plans to change the process for some time.

How do I dub translated subtitles on YouTube for free?

I’ve been searching for a long time for a solution on how to dub translated subtitles on YouTube without using any additional software. I’ve found an interesting plugin for Google Chrome called YouTube SubSound.

It’s a free YouTube subtitles service that will support English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Polish.

How to use this service?

The first thing you need to do is install the “YouTube SubSound” extension in your browser.

After that, open any video with subtitles, display them in your preferred language, and activate the dubbing by pressing the new button in the YouTube player. Everything, the voice will go along with the video.

The plugin has adjustments to the pronunciation speed and voice pitch for individual phrases to get as close to the original soundtrack as possible.


Playback settings:

  • Pronunciation speed.
  • Volume
  • Language
  • Hide Subtitles

SubSound” is designed to help people get access to content that is inaccessible or difficult to understand due to language barriers. The service allows you to watch educational, popular science or entertainment videos without reference to a particular language.

The voiceover can hardly be called professional because the voice translation is a bit robotic. But it’s a great solution if you need to translate and dub the video into another language for free.

If this solution doesn’t suit you for some reason you can use different translation services for foreign languages.

Video translation services

When translating video from one language to another, the translators make sure that the source content is accurately rendered in the same style, tone and register as before, but without any exaggerations or omissions.

This is why subtitling options are very limited. You have likely noticed that messages are not always as accurate as actual thoughts.

There are quite a few video translation services available. Here are some of them:

  • Vidby
  • GoTranscript
  • Stepes
  • BURG
  • MiniTool MovieMaker

Dubbing, transcribing, and translating video content within minutes is something that makes it easy for any student and any organization.

You can order automatic translation with possible technical errors, but the meaning of multimedia content is preserved and understood. It is suitable for coursework, scientific references, diplomas, and dissertations. In the second option, you pay for an edited transcript without lexical and spelling errors. Bloggers, broadcasts, and fans of fiction are your choice.

Types of translation

Online video translators can provide finished work in several ways:

  • Automatic translation with possible technical errors. The translator fully retains the essence of the video, all the information is easy to understand, and assimilate. Translation of this plan is used in studies, and work.
  • Translation with a finished transcript. You have to pay for this service separately. The text is fully checked, it has no errors, and the text is built logically. Most often such translations are used to fill blogs.

Quality translation of video content and simultaneous voice-over can be effective tools to promote your business. Online video translation performed by professionals is a good tool for learning and working, and developing your blog or YouTube channel.

Cost of services

The cost of quality dubbed translation in the service for example is $ 0.9 for 1 minute.

That’s all! I hope this article helped you solve the problem of automatic translation and dubbing of video from one language to another. If you found this article useful, please share it with your friends.

Paul Num is the founder and editor of, has more than 5 years of experience in social media marketing, and is an expert in finance and insurance. Paul has extensive experience working for insurance and financial companies and has done testing and written numerous articles.

Paul has been quoted and mentioned by major publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, WikiHow, and many others. In his spare time, Paul runs, hikes, and travels.

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