[Obsoleted] YouTube removed community translations, but there is a workaround!

Community Translations After September 28

Edit: On October 28 around 8 PM (GMT) the old caption editor was shut down for good, blocking off further contributions for good. For external alternatives to community captioning, check out our Captioner’s Toolkit page:

For the past few years YouTube had been supporting community captions, a feature which allowed users to submit captions or translations for videos of other channels. On September 28 the feature was removed and the menu to access it was hidden.

However, you might still spot new videos with community contributions published after September 28. Take a look at this video uploaded on October 9. Notice that the Caption author is Dark_Kuroh, different from the video uploader.

But how, time travel? As it so happens, even with all the menus hidden, it is still possible to access the old captions editor. This method requires the uploader to know where to check, so it’s best that if you are submitting captions or translations using this method, you let the uploader know the language and the video.

How to submit community captions

So you want to caption or translate someone else’s video… Assuming that the channel still has community captions enabled, go to the following URL:

youtube.com/timedtext_editor?action_mde_edit_form=1&v={video code}&lang={language code}

Example: http://youtube.com/timedtext_editor?action_mde_edit_form=1&v=vCxz2lSeer4&lang=en

where {video code} is the end of the video’s id and {language code} the abbreviation for the language you want to translate into. Fortunately, you can also later switch between languages, so if you don’t know the abbreviation you can use en to start open the editor for English and then switch to your actual language through the Switch Language button.

When you’re done, don’t forget to submit by clicking on the Submit Contributions button in the upper right corner.

How to accept community captions

Previously, you were able to view community submissions from the Community Tab on YouTube Studio. Unfortunately, these are now hidden. So you will need to have an idea of which videos and languages to check.

If you hadn’t enabled community contributions before it’s not too late! Just simply go into YouTube Studio > Videos and choose the videos you would like to enable contributions on. Go into Edit > Community Contributions and switch it on. Lastly, don’t forget to click on “Update Videos”.

You, as an uploader, can also theyoutube.com/timedtext_editor?action_mde_edit_form=1&v={video code}&lang={language code}to access the caption/translation submissions you have received. A good place to start from could be some of your most viewed videos, and you should definitely pay attention to your subscribers to see if they are trying to tell you to accept any of their submissions.

All you have to do when you do find a community submission is to click on the Publish or Publish edits button on the upper right corner,

While YouTube is still working on their permissions system and the community is banding together to find alternatives of their own, it’s important to endure through this transition period. So here’s hoping this tutorial helps you continue to add/receive translations on your videos for a little longer…


  1. Joe Ami-Ga

    The thing is, my channel has subscribers from around the globe and when they make comments in my community posts (not videos) there is no way to know what they are saying or to respond and there is no way to cut and paste the comments into a translation program. It’s a pain and leaves many of my loyal views without the proper responses they deserve.

    • themadprogramer

      Check out https://nekocap.com/. It’s a project for subtitling YouTube but also Twitter video and TikTok. The developers might be interested in helping you with the YouTube Community section also.

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