Yabla – Foreign Language Videos With Subtitles and Translations

I recently learned about a website called Yabla, which offers Spanish and French videos complete with transcripts and translations:

Only Yabla language immersion sites give you authentic television, music videos, drama, interviews, travel, and Yabla exclusive shoots from throughout the world. Our unique player technology is designed with language learners in mind: Slow Play, Integrated Dictionaries, Listening Game, Dual Language Subtitles, and more.

I took their player for a spin, and quite liked it. The transcript isn’t just a big block of text, but instead, is integrated into the player. Each sentence or phrase appears as it’s spoken, and pressing back takes you to the beginning of the sentence. The Slow Play feature is also nice, slowing the video and audio down to perhaps 1/2 to 3/4 regular speed. The audio sounds slightly robotic after being treated this way, but it’s still quite usable. I’m usually wary of language “games”, finding most of them useless, but the Listening Game at Yabla actually seems useful. What it does is removes a random word from the transcript; you listen and watch, and try to fill in the missing word. I can certainly see where playing this occasionally could help one’s listening comprehension.

Hopefully, the amount of French videos catches up with the Spanish; as of right now, there’s around 5 hours of video at Yabla French, and nearly 20 hours at LoMasTv. Still, though, 5 hours of French video with transcripts and translations is a treasure trove for the French learner, so I won’t complain. 🙂 Do check it out, just bear in mind that their is a subscription fee of $9.95 a month. If you sign up for longer periods of time (6 months, a year), you get a discount.

9 thoughts on “Yabla – Foreign Language Videos With Subtitles and Translations”

  1. Awesome, thanks for sharing! It’s too bad they’re charging money for this… All we need to do is get a ton of people to start translating foreign language videos already on YouTube and stuff. It’ll be great! 😛

  2. I was able to talk to one of the developers via email, and after doing so, I can understand why they’re charging; not only do they produce all of the transcripts and translations in house, but they also have to license the videos from television stations and other sources. Not to mention, I’m sure the bandwidth for so many videos is considerable. If they didn’t charge, the service would probably quickly go under.

  3. I think the it should be able to do it for free for English. Since most of the TV shows already have captions, all they have to do just extract the captions and convert them into subtitles. I believe the TV stations will be happy to let Yabla play their videos as long as their commercials are included.
    Many immigrants, including myself would love to use Yabla to improve their English if it is free. If Yabla could do it now, it would be hotter that Youtube. Otherwise, sooner or later, Google will do it.

    I just looked at the English.yabla.com. It has much less videos than other languages. I don’t think anyone would like to pay for it.

    Nicolas, thanks a lot for the information.

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