It's been three years since YouTube started providing captions for its video content, starting with English and eventually including Japanese and Korean. Today, the web's top video site announced that it's adding the first romance language to its collection of captioned languages: Spanish.
Whenever you come across a video that is clearly in Spanish - and the software is smart enough to pick up on many different dialects - you can click on the red button labeled "CC" in the toolbar and select "Transcribe Audio" in order to see the transcribed Spanish text.
Once you've enabled the captions for the audio, you'll then have the option select "Translate Captions" into one of more than 50 available languages.
The caption feature actually uses the same voice recognition algorithms as Google Voice, so if the sometimes strange transcriptions I used to receive when I was using that service is any indication, the captions may not be perfect.
YouTube says that it currently offers captions for over 157 million videos and with more added each day. As you may imagine, there are relatively few videos in Spanish that have the caption feature but here's one of the few that has gotten the update.
While I appreciate YouTube for finally offering this service for speakers de español, I'm a little puzzled that it took the website this long to finally offer captions for the second most widely spoken first language in the world (Chinese is #1). But whatever, better late than never.