Youtube has chosen Gengo and Translated.net for professional/human translation of video captions. Users can access the services from their Youtube accounts, and then work directly with the services from there.
As Frederic Lardinois of Techcrunch points out, the aim is to provide an option for video creators to easily address the quality gap created by machine translation services,
“Google, of course, also automatically captions Youtube videos for a number of languages and will happily use its machine translation algorithms to translate them into other languages, too. The company clearly feels that there is a need for professionally created translations of these captions, however, given that even the best translation tools on the market today are still far from perfect.”
Pricing ranges from 6 cents to 17 cents a word depending on quality required (standard, business, ultra) and is a little cheaper if you use the API rather than submitting manually. Crucially, content owners will retain the ability to upload their own translations. Videos must have a caption track in order to use the services. And, you have to provide a transcription of the material that needs translating.
Gengo isn’t just about translating captions. The Gengo API also provides a method of streamlining translation for blogs, e-commerce sites, customer support systems and intranets. Comparing its API to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, Gengo points out that you have to wait for translators (a pool of over 5,000 people around the globe) to do their work.
The Youtube deal is potentially important for those posting videos. As Gengo points out, of 800 million viewers, 70% of them are outside of the United States.
Programmableweb has profiles of 76 translation APIs in its directory.