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.

By |2009-02-10T17:32:30+00:00February 10th, 2009|All Entries, French, Resources, Spanish, Tools, Videos|9 Comments


  1. LearningNerd February 10, 2009 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    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! 😛

    • Gino November 28, 2011 at 4:17 pm - Reply

      Its only $9.95 per month. That is super cheap. Not everything can be free.

  2. Josh February 11, 2009 at 10:37 am - Reply

    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. nicolas February 12, 2009 at 1:50 pm - Reply

    Well, you could have something almost similar (native speaker voices/ transcripts ) for free if you were learning english (happy me !)…

    But as you are learning spanish, check out this site (also free):

  4. Josh February 14, 2009 at 3:53 pm - Reply

    SSL4You looks wonderful, Nicolas. Thanks for the link!

  5. Sholto July 21, 2009 at 3:37 am - Reply

    Nicolas. Merci pour le site ssl4you, c’est top ! “Thank for the ssl4you site 🙂

  6. Godwin February 26, 2010 at 2:40 am - Reply

    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.

  7. dean May 12, 2011 at 6:41 am - Reply

    There is now also yabla German and more recently Italian.

  8. mark August 12, 2011 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Chinese has been added but the company says no other languages to be introduced for a while.

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