YouTube for Android and iOS is now testing instant comment translations for comments provided you have a Premium subscription plan.
The option is part of the regular YouTube Experiments, which offers Premium subscribers the opportunity to try out features likely ahead of a wider rollout on the platform. You do need to opt-in to actually access YouTube comment translation or the “Translate” toggle within the video comment section and restarting the app should be enough to get the feature to start working correctly (h/t Android Police).
When translation is live on your iOS or Android device, so long as YouTube detects that a comment is in a different language to your preset device/app settings, then a “Translate” toggle with the Google Translate icon will appear underneath the foreign text. Tapping converts it to your local language and switching back is as easy as tapping “See original”:
Available until 9 Sept iOS and Android only, on the latest YouTube app
How to use:
Tap the ‘Translate’ button on comments written in languages that you don’t understand. You can always switch back to the original language by tapping ‘See original’.
Now, I can’t honestly say with any great certainty just how good these YouTube comment translations are but they seem a little off the mark at times — especially given video context. That said, we all know just how much of a minefield YouTube comment sections can be without a translate feature so maybe we’ve been spared some typically terrible responses for years. You can give feedback using the dedicated questionnaire if you think the feature isn’t as good as it should be.
If you want to try YouTube comment translations for yourself and you’re already a Premium subscriber, then you can sign up here. It’s also worth noting that it is only available until September 9. After this date, it’s not clear if we’ll see it come to roll out more widely but it’s probably about time the option came to YouTube.
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