When YouTube launched its translation options in November 2015, it offered four choices for content creators ― do their own translations, use automatic captioning through Google Translate, tap the fan base for free multilingual translations through the Community Contributions (CC) tool, or hire the services of professional translators from its own Translation Marketplace.

Since then, YouTube said it has received over 900,000 contributions for translating video subtitles and closed captions. With free multilingual translations available, would the marketplace take off as a viable business platform for professional content creators and language service providers (LSPs) to meet and do business?

“In March, we received almost twice the average amount of requests from the previous three months. Not only do we now have recurring customers, but many creators are also becoming more familiar with the marketplace tool. So, yes, we are expecting the volume to grow even more in the next months, and we’ll be working to promote that on our end,” Latinlingua, an LSP based in Argentina, said in an e-mail interview with Slator.

“Community contributions are an amazing tool and we are not trying to compete with that. It is nice that their (content creators’) own followers can give them the possibility to spread their content worldwide,” Latinlingua added. “But we believe our customers look for professional services instead of the community contributions to guarantee the quality of the transcripts and translations.”

With more than 300,000 videos being uploaded to YouTube daily, Latinlingua sees a lot of possibilities ― and challenges as well ― for paid translation.

“On the platform, the customer has to choose among four to six vendors from a list that only has prices and a link to their website. So, pricing plays an important role in their decision. On the other hand, we know we are not the cheapest agency for some services and language pairs and yet receive requests; so prices are not the only thing they take into account,” Latinlingua said.

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