The latest project from Area 120, Google’s house incubator, is called “Aloud,” and it lets YouTube creators “quickly and easily dub their videos into multiple languages.”

Subtitles can help bridge the language gap, but they’re not always ideal on mobile devices due to the small form factor, the necessity of constant attention to the screen, and accessibility challenges for those with visual or reading impairments. Dubbing, the process of adding a translated voice track, overcomes those limitations, but is time-consuming and cost-prohibitive for most creators.

Aloud leverages Google’s audio separation, machine translation, and speech synthesis capabilities to create a dubbed voice track. All you have to do is provide the video and subtitles — either your own or one that’s automatically generated by the tool. You review the transcription before it is translated by Aloud and a dub is generated. The Area 120 team is working with YouTube to let videos have multiple audio tracks for their videos.

On the transparent front, Google requires that creators disclose the use of synthetic dubs in the video description, pinned comment, or post credits screen. 

Spanish and Portuguese are supported by Aloud today, with Hindi, Indonesian, and other languages coming soon.

With dubbing, you can now reach previously unreachable portions of the world’s population. In our experiments, we have seen double-digit growth in views just by dubbing into one additional language.

YouTube creators can request early access today. Looking forward, Aloud very much seems like a service integrated into the video site directly if it graduates from Area 120.

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Abner Li

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