Recorded video can be useful with many of these platforms, and since I've grown tired of doing the same demonstrations of software functions time and again, I've decided to record some of these for easy sharing and re-use. When I noticed recently that my Open Source screen recording software, CamStudio had been released in a new version, I decided quite spontaneously to make a quick video of pseudotranslation in memoQ to test whether a bug in the cursor display for the previous version of CamStudio had been fixed.
After I uploaded the pseudotranslation demo to YouTube, I noticed that rather appalling captions (subtitles) had been created by automatic voice recognition. Although voice recognition software such as Dragon Naturally Speaking is usually very kind to me, Google's voice recognition on YouTube gave miserable results.
I soon discovered, however, that the captions were easy to edit and could also be exported as text files with time cues. These text files can be edited very easily to correct recognition errors or combine segments to improve the timing and subtitle display.
Once the captions for the original language are cleaned up and the timing is improved, the text files can be translated and uploaded to the video in YouTube to create caption tracks in other languages. As a test, I did this (with a little help from my friends), adding tracks for German and European Portuguese to the pseudotranslation demo. And if anyone else cares to create another track for their native language from this file, I'll add it with credits at the start of the track.
It's easy enough to understand why I might want to add captions in other languages to a video I record in English or German. But why would I want to do so in the original language? My thick American accent is one reason. I like to imagine that my English is clear enough for everyone to understand, but that is a foolish conceit. Of course I speak clearly - I couldn't use Dragon successfully if that were not true. But someone with a knowledge of English mostly based on reading or interacting with people who have very different accents might have trouble. It happens.
Although most of the demonstration videos SDL has online for SDL Trados Studio are easy to follow, some of the thick UK accents are really frightening and difficult for some people in places like Flyover America to follow. Some Kilgray videos of excellent content are challenging for those unaccustomed to the accents, and the many wonderful demos of memoQ, WordFast, OmegaT and other tools by CAT Guru on YouTube would have been difficult for me before I was exposed to the linguistic challenges of the wide world that can English. All of these excellent resources in English would benefit from clear English subtitles.
How difficult is it to create captions? The three-minute pseudotranslation demo cost me about ten minutes of work to clean up the subtitles. The English captions for another slightly shorter video explaining the use of the FeeWizard Online to estimate equivalent rates for charging by source or target words, lines, pages, etc. also took me about 10 or 15 minutes with all the text and timing corrections. And I've spent a good bit of time in the past week transcribing a difficult spoken English lecture by a German professor: it took me about 7 hours of transcription work to cope with a spoken hour. I don't know if this is typical, because I almost never do this sort of thing, and there were a lot of WTF moments. But I suppose three to seven times the recording length might be a reasonable range for estimating the effort of a draft edit and some timing changes. Not bad, really.
So if you are involved in creating instructional videos to put on YouTube or use elsewhere, please consider this easy way of making good work even better by investing a little time in caption creation and editing. Once you have done this for the original language, it will also be a simple matter to translate those captions to make your content even more accessible.