YouTube lets you upload subtitles for your video. On YouTube, subtitles are referred to as closed captioning. Every video you visit has a little ‘cc’ button next to the quality selection gear button. It’s there regardless if the uploader has added subtitles. It’s because YouTube tries to provide subtitles. It’s an understatement to say that YouTube’s subtitles aren’t accurate. The good thing is, YouTube lets you know if a video has subtitles provided by the uploader or not, right from the thumbnail. You just have to know what to look for.
A video that has closed captioning has a little ‘CC’ badge just under the thumbnail. You can check out any CGP Grey video and you will see the little badge under each one.
Videos that do not have closed captioning don’t show the badge. It’s worth mentioning that some channels, such as CGP Grey always add subtitles. Others, like SNL will sometimes add subtitles and others times, forgo adding them.
If you’re searching for a particular video and want one that has proper subtitles instead of the ones YouTube generates, use the filters. The YouTube search filters allow you to see only those videos in the search results that have closed captioning.
There’s no telling if a video has subtitles in a language other than the one it’s originally made it. There are no filters for it. The only way to tell if subtitles are available in a different language is to click and hold the CC button on the YouTube player. If subtitles are available in other languages, they will be listed in a little menu.
We should mention that the ‘CC’ badge doesn’t work for subtitles that are hard-codded into the video. There’s also no way to tell if the subtitles are accurate but to be fair, no one is really going to go to the trouble of uploading fake subtitles to a YouTube video.