On YouTube you sometimes come across videos which have subtitles for a bunch of languages. Take for instance this Japanese music video with translations in 20 languages! Have you asked yourself where these come from, is the uploader a polyglot or something?
These translations were contributed by fans of the channel, and if you were to go into the video description a few days ago you would have seen authors listed for some –but not all– of the languages. However, if you check the description now, you will notice that YouTube is now hiding all of these caption authors.
And to make matters worse, there is a good reason why the original list did not have all translators listed. To be able to show up on the list, contributors would have to check a box titled
Credit my contribution which was turned off by default. So that means that anyone who was showing up on the list had explicitly volunteered to appear non-anonymously.
This comes following YouTube’s depreciation of the community contributions feature. While YouTube has assured users that they will keep published translations online, it would seem that they do not wish translators to receive any credit for these captions beyond this date.
If you as a captioner or content creator have been adversely affected by the removal of community contributions, check out our YouTube Captioner’s Toolkit for alternatives and useful resources.