How to Add and Translate Subtitles for Your YouTube Video in 10 Minutes

· June 15, 2015

Currently working with the Salvation Army in Indonesia, I oversee operations across six hospitals in this vast country. Given our limited travel budget, I’ve endeavored to leave behind valuable teachings. To achieve this, I’ve developed a series of presentations on critical topics. The first three cover mission, vision, and strategic plans, each lasting 10-15 minutes.

As I don’t speak Bahasa Indonesia fluently, the primary language here, I initially present in English. However, to make the content accessible, I utilize YouTube’s excellent subtitle tool to translate the presentations into Indonesian. This process has proven effective and surprisingly straightforward.

In this post, I’ll walk you through the steps I took so you can expand the reach of your presentations/videos too.

The Creation

The initial section outlines how I created the video for uploading to YouTube. If you’re solely interested in subtitles, feel free to skip ahead.

Creating the Presentation

Referencing my previous post on presentation preparation, I follow a structured approach that aids in preparing, recording, and translating the content.

Recording the Presentation

When recording, I adhere closely to the presenter notes. While I may digress during live presentations, I maintain a more structured approach for recordings. Rehearsing before recording helps ensure the content aligns with the notes.

Producing the Presentation

I utilize Camtasia for recording and editing the video. The slide presentation is recorded separately and later combined using Camtasia’s editing features.


While the subtitle instructions may seem detailed, the process becomes remarkably swift with practice. For my second video onward, it typically took around 10 minutes, including a 5-minute wait time on YouTube.

Add Subtitles

Upon uploading your video to YouTube, access the Creator Studio by clicking your avatar logo. Navigate to the CC and Subtitles option.


There are two important considerations regarding automatic subtitles and publication.

Automatic Subtitles

YouTube automatically generates subtitles based on voice recognition. Unless your English is perfect, it’s advisable to unpublish this version.

Publish the Subtitles

Ensure the subtitles you created are published to make them accessible to viewers.

Translate the Subtitles

You have two options for translating subtitles: the user way and the publisher way.

User Way

Users can utilize YouTube’s built-in translation feature to translate subtitles into their preferred language.

Publisher Way

Publishers can manually translate subtitles by uploading a translated subtitle file.


Despite the detailed explanation, the entire process typically takes around 10 minutes per video. I trust you’ll find this guide useful, as I anticipate referring back to it myself.

Twitter, Facebook