How to Make Subtitles for iNaturalist Videos

Hey folks, if you have translation skills and some extra time, we’d love it if you could help out with subtitling iNat’s videos!

  1. Go to and create a free account.

  2. Once you’ve verified your account, you should see a page like this. Click on “Get Started”

  1. Click on “Begin” in Subtitle in a Public Space

  1. Paste in the URL of the video you’d like to subtitle, eg All of our videos can be found here:

  2. Choose “Add a new language!” or edit an existing one.

  3. Amara has on-screen instructions showing you how to add subtitles with their website.

  4. Once you have finished the subtitles, email and tell us the URL of the video and let us know which language you added. iNaturalist staff are the only ones who can actually make the subtitles viewable on the video at Vimeo.

  5. Do whatever you need to do in order to recover from listening to my voice.

  6. When the subtitles are added, you’ll be able to select them if you tap on “CC” on the video, eg for this video:



I think you should add the word “translate” to the title of your post somehow. I came here thinking it was something different.


Thanks, I’ll change it.

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I’m affraid that there are some issues relating to your request, Tony. I’ve created an amara account and watched some of iNat’s videos on Vimeo. I haven’t tried to translate any of them yet because I can’t imagine if it will become really useful. The main question is: images shown are all in english (apps and site’s pages) while the subtitles would be in any other language for a “how-to” script model presentation. In other words, any “one-language-only-speaking” user would see images of something he will not trully see on the app or the site while reading the captions. Isn’t it a problem? Is there any ongoing translation work anywhere to be used as a sample? Has any one of those, if any, been already deployed? Is there any easy way to (re)create the imagery (pictures and footages) for the new language? A user-friendly tool to do it? If so, how to keep iNat’s visual identity? Sorry for so many questions. Maybe I’m missing something or my English knowledge have to be improved fast (well, I’m sure it does need so, anyway). Thanks!


I agree it’s not perfect, but there isn’t a scalable way to display the visuals in multiple languages. We would have to record a new video for each language, and that’s not feasible. But subtitles will allow someone who doesn’t speak English to at least understand the audio track or, for videos like this, the titles like “Next, tap on the + button” can be subtitled.

The basic layout of what’s shown on the app and website shouldn’t be different in each language (eg the Captive/Cultivated section when making a new observation is going to be in the same place, it will just have a different title) so I think people will be able to understand what’s happening.

This video has a few subtitles, you can choose them by clicking on “CC”. This will give you an idea of what the experience is like. I’ll edit my original post to cover this.



I wonder also if it is sensible. It seems the SEEK-video has the most views, is this one the best to start with?

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