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YouTube foreign language subtitles

How to add foreign language subtitles to YouTube

Revised: November 2021

To add foreign language subtitles to YouTube, start by:

  1. Click your channel logo and go to creator studio
  2. Click edit on your chosen video
  3. Click Subtitles/CC

Already done these steps?

Foreign language subtitles allow a non native audience to understand what is being said in a video by reading text in their own language when they have difficulties understanding the original audio within the video.

By limiting your language options you are limiting your audience. Many successful YouTube channels now provide a variety of foreign language subtitles options for their viewers to choose from.

Not only does including foreign language subtitles help widen your audience reach, it also allows viewers to improve their language skills and watch your content in sound-sensitive environments. 

Ted, a channel that share inspirational talks from their Ted conferences around the world, are particularly renowned for catering to their international audience and usually include subtitle options in a number of languages.

Adding foreign subtitles to your YouTube videos is easier than you might initially think – check out our step by step tutorial below.

Steps to adding foreign language subtitles to your YouTube video:

  1. Click your channel logo and go to creator studio
  2. Click edit on your chosen video
  3. Click Subtitles/CC
  4. Click on English (or original language) closed caption file
  5. Click actions, download as .srt
  6. Open in Notepad
  7. Edit the text with your new translations keeping the timings in place. Note: if you aren’t comfortable translating the subtitles yourself, we can help.
  8. File, Save as, then add .srt after the file name
  9. Go back to the subtitles/closed caption menu
  10. Click add new subtitles or CC, select your language
  11. Choose upload a file and select your .srt subtitle document

If you want to satisfy a global audience or would like to test how a new target market in a new location reacts to your content then adding foreign language subtitles could be the best place to start.

For more information about subtitling your videos into foreign languages, contact us at

Looking to add closed captions in English to your videos? Check out this handy tutorial.