Youtube Subtitles Suck But There Is A Solution

If you make any videos for online please consider people who are deaf or hearing impaired and put subtitles in your video.  If you’re uploading your video to Youtube please don’t rely on the youtube subtitles.  They really, really suck.

Here are some examples;


Bad subtitles on youtube video

Bad subtitling


Bad youtube subtitles

Bad Subtitling


Bad youtube subtitles
Bad Subtitling

If you have a youtube channel you can create an account and link your channel to it.  Amara volunteers will subtitle your videos for you or you can do them yourself using their easy subtitling interface, Universal Subtitles, for free.

Connect your Youtube channel with your Amara account

My Youtube channel connected to my Amara account


It took me about 15 minutes to subtitle one of my videos.  Here it is

There are also share buttons for Facebook and Twitter and an email button so that you can quickly and easily share your videos with your social networks.  You can also get an embed code to embed your videos in your blog or web page.

Even if you don’t make videos or have a Youtube account you can still make subtitles for other people’s videos by joining a team at

Please consider subtitling your videos so that myself and others can utilise them to the full.  Thanks 🙂

6 thoughts on “Youtube Subtitles Suck But There Is A Solution

  • March 14, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Hello! I found you after googling some things about Amara and subtitling.

    I have a question about what it means to link my Amara account to my YouTube channel. I started to go through with the process but before I completed it, I read the popup box from Amara – if I remember correctly, it said that all of my videos had to be connected with Amara for purposes of subtitling. That made me a little uncomfortable for I don’t wnat all my videos to be subtitled – just some of them.

    So was your experience like when you connected Amara with YouTube?

    The other question I had was how do you know foreign subtitler volunteers are not incorrectly interpreting the English words being spoken in your videos?

    And finally, were you able to have access to a bank of Amara volunteers or did you have to pay Enterprise for that? I’m not in a position to pay Enterprise to organize volunteers – I have to do this on my own.

    Did these volunteers have to open an Amara account? If so, how do they notify the original owner (me and you for example) that their work is done and the subtitle file can be uploaded to YouTube?

    When a foreigner does subtitling in his/her language, do they have to start from scratch (without time slots) or can they open an English file, flll in the time slots and then save as a new language track? This would save them time – all they would have to do is replace English with appropriate Spanish, for example, in a particular time slot that was already created by the English subtitler. Does that make sense?

    Sorry for bombarding you with so many questions but I’m hoping you can help clarify this for me – Amara’s FAQ page isn’t very extensive and it’s hard to reach someone there unless you want their paid service. They also don’t seem to allow free members to participate in the forums.

    Any help you can offer would be GREAT! I notice that you don’t have a box that allows me to be alerted to your reply to this so if you could email me with your reply (copy and paste all my questions in the body of the email please), that would be great!

    • March 14, 2013 at 8:20 am

      Hi Stephen
      First of all thanks for letting me know about my blog not having a tick box to alert commenters to my replies. I’ll be fixing that asap.

      I’ve only just started using Amara so I may not be able to answer all of your questions but I’ll do the best I can.

      Instead of linking your account you may want to just submit the videos you want subtitled or title them yourself using the Amara software. I’ve titled one of my videos using the software and it was very easy to use.

      Have a look at my Youtube Channel you’ll see a link to Amara underneath each video inviting people to subtitle it. (I’m not fussed about the link being there on videos which don’t need subtitles).

      If you’re unhappy with how one of your videos is subtitled in German for example there would be an editing process you could go through to fix it. My feeling is that any subtitle written by a person and not a computer is better than nothing. As this is an open source project open source by definition means things need to be editable.

      None of my videos have been subtitled by a volunteer yet however I think there are higher priority videos to subtitle. If I get them done before a volunteer gets to them I’m happy with that.

      In your Amara account there is a private messaging function and I would assume that once your videos were subtitled you would be notified there. You would need to contact Amara for a better answer to this one 🙂

      I’m sorry I can’t answer your last question I’m not sure what you mean and don’t know about time slots. You may be able to get answers to your questions on any of the Amara social media sites.

      I just joined one of the volunteer teams and I see that there are admins in the team, I wonder if their job is to check the subtitles before the video is made public again?

      I hope my answers are helpful to you.
      Kind regards, Kylie

  • September 4, 2014 at 7:55 am

    .do your best..
    God will bless you always.:).
    Dont waste your time in having fun with your friends who doesnt love you at all.

    good job.:D.

  • November 1, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    I’d like It can translate/convert a video/audio file into subtitle in less than a minute for any language.


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