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These TikTok caption features will make videos more accessible in any language

TikTok app logo on Android
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • TikTok has announced new captioning and translation tools for users.
  • The app will allow users to turn on captions even if the creator did not.
  • Captions, video descriptions, and text stickers can also be translated to your preferred language.

TikTok has introduced new features that aim to break down language barriers for users through translation and closed caption options that can be enabled by the users themselves.

The video music platform has announced that you'll soon be able to switch on closed captions on a foreign-language video. These auto-generated captions are available in nine languages, including English, Portuguese, German, Indonesian, Italian, Korean, Mandarin, Spanish, and Turkish. The service plans to support additional languages in the future.

TikTok's latest update fixes a major shortcoming that existed when it introduced closed captions to the platform last year. Previously, closed caption was not available on any video unless the creator enabled it before publishing the clip.

With the new capability, videos in any language will be made accessible to anyone whether or not the creator has switched on closed captions. This is similar to how Twitter handles automatic captions on Android phones and iPhones.

"Every day, audiences from around the world learn, entertain and express themselves on TikTok without limitations," TikTok said in a blog post (opens in new tab). "We continue to invest in creating an inclusive and accessible environment so that our growing global community can feel free and comfortable expressing themselves and finding connection with others."

TikTok captions for a Chinese video

(Image credit: TikTok)

In addition, you can translate these captions to any of the supported languages. This is true for video descriptions and text stickers as well.

"Through these efforts, global content will become more accessible regardless of the language(s) you speak and where you are in the world," the company added.

TikTok is currently rolling out these new caption and translation features. However, it won't show up on every video you come across on the app. The service says these options will only be available on select videos for the time being.

Jay Bonggolto
Jay Bonggolto

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.