Capturing YouTube Transcripts

This is a very handy skill to have, if you are a self-taught language learner, because it allows you to create your own study material from the dozens to thousands of videos available on YouTube, in your target language.

How to Get Dialogues from YouTube Videos:

  1. Look for language videos that have their own Italian transcript (not automatically generated by Google Translate). Under the video are three areas, “Add to”, “Share” and “More”.  Choosing “More” will reveal three more choices (normally), and they are “Report”, “Transcript” and “Statistics”. You want to choose “Transcript”. Not every video has the “Transcript” option, but a quality language video normally does.
  2. The “Transcript” window will appear, showing time and translation. Simply reading along with it during the video being played will reveal its accuracy and value to you.
  3. If the translation is accurate and not auto-generated, you can copy the lines and paste them into Excel. I like to keep destination formatting when I paste, so I paste as text only.
  4. The result is a line with a time and then some text, then time, text, alternating to the end. Highlight the column and choose “Find” / “Replace”. In the Find box, insert *:** and leave the Replace box empty. Replace all. All of the numbers should have disappeared. Close the Find/Replace program.
  5. Highlight the column again, and press F5. Choose “Special…” and then choose “Blanks”, and then OK. This will highlight only the blank rows. On the top of the program, choose Delete Rows.
  6. Copy the lines of text in the column, and paste into Translate Google. Convert to your target language. Copy that and paste into the column next to your original language text, in Excel.
  7. Manipulate further as you wish, ex. Copy into Notepad and remove the line breaks.

Alternate, non-numbered instructions:

Since I have six language blogs, and hate spending time typing, when I wish to spend that time listening, I learned how to capture YouTube video transcripts for my blogs. This is how you do it:

How to Get Dialogues from YouTube Videos:

Look for language videos that have their own transcript (not automatically generated by Google Translate). Under the video, there are three choices, “Add to”, “Share” and “More”.

Choosing “More” will reveal three more choices (normally), and those choices are “Report”, “Transcript” and “Statistics”.

You want to choose “Transcript”. Not every video has the “Transcript” option, but a quality language video normally does. Click it.

The “Transcript” window will appear, showing time and translation. Simply reading along with it during the video being played will reveal its accuracy and value to you.

If the translation is accurate and not auto-generated, you can copy the lines and paste them into Excel. I like to keep destination formatting when I paste, so I paste as text only. You want to have one line of text, and the next line have the time stamp, alternating to the end.

Highlight the Excel column and choose “Find” / “Replace”.

In the Find box, insert *:** and leave the Replace box empty. Then click “Replace all”.

All of the numbers should have disappeared. Unfortunately, if the line has a “:” in it, that line also disappears, so check for empty lines and then copy and replace them individually.

Close the Find/Replace program.

Highlight the column again, and press F5. A dialogue box will appear.

Choose “Special…” and then choose “Blanks”, and then OK. This will highlight only the blank rows.

On the top of the Excel program, choose “Delete Rows”. All the blank lines will disappear, and now you only have text lines.

If you wish, copy the lines of text in the column, and paste them into Translate Google. Convert to your target language.

You can also Copy and paste into the column next to your original language text, in Excel.

If you wish, you can copy the texts into other programs, like Notepad and remove the line breaks.