When people ask me what I’m most excited and optimistic about when it comes to online education and science communication, I usually say some version this:
"We have eliminated the gatekeepers that long limited access to knowledge. People all over the world can now access information with a single click, yadda yadda yadda, YouTube, Tumblr, yadda yadda, the world is a better place."
Of course that fails to address the huge linguistic elephant in the room: A vast majority of the world’s good science communication is in English, and not everyone on Earth speaks English.
Not anymore (for video at least)! A recent upgrade by YouTube may help solve that problem.
Now, videos with English captions can be automatically translated into any of 81 languages, unlocking the power of Google’s translation magic for the purposes of science and education. Simply follow the directions above.
If you’re a creator, make sure you have uploaded an accurate English transcript for your videos so the translations are as high-quality as possible. I think this is universally available across YouTube, and the translations look pretty good (at least for the languages I can semi-recognize). I’d love to hear feedback from my multi-lingual followers on how this works for you.
Science and education on YouTube was already awesome before. Now that it’s in 81 languages? As they say in Deutsch: Über-awesome.