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YouTube gives Welsh language book very unfortunate auto-generated subtitles

19 Oct 2021 1 minute read
Some of the unfortunate subtitles

A Welsh language book for children read out in a YouTube video has been found to have very unfortunate auto-generated subtitles.

The reading of the book Heddwch o’r Diwedd (Peace at Last) was uploaded a year ago but has recently been doing the rounds on Whatsapp as parents drew attention to YouTube’s accidental English captions.

Unable to transcribe the original Welsh, YouTube has done its best but come to some very odd conclusions.

The repeated ‘Chwyrnu, chwyrnu, chwyrnu, chwyrnu’ (snoring) has been rendered as ‘Horny, horny, horny, horny’, and ‘aeth i lawr i’r stafell fyw’ (he went down to the living room) as ‘our establish babe’.

YouTube uses speech recognition technology to automatically create captions for videos. However, it doesn’t recognise Welsh.

“Automatic captions might misrepresent the spoken content due to mispronunciations, accents, dialects or background noise,” YouTube’s guidance notes.

“You should always review automatic captions and edit any parts that haven’t been transcribed properly.”

Heddwch o’r Diwedd is itself a translation of Peace at Last by Jill Murphy, originally published in 1980. It was updated by the YouTube channel Sesiwn Stori Pwll Coch which has 139 subscribers.

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2 years ago

It sounds like an opportunity to improve it for some idle soul.

arthur owen
2 years ago

The joys of partial multilingualism.

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