Are Automatic Captions on YouTube so accurate?

 

 

I introduced the live caption and subtitles feature for Skype in the previous article, so this time I would like to share with our readers the Auto Translate Captions on YouTube.

 

To test the auto translate captions on YouTube, I chose a video that TV Tokyo’s popular news program called “World Business Satellite” introduced our company (Japan Online School).

 

The following six people (A to F) appear in that video.

A: Japanese / narrator / male

B: Japanese / narrator / female

C: Japanese / Japanese teacher / female

D: Japanese / company manager / male

E: Foreigner / male (Japanese Level = Intermediate)

F: Foreigner / female (Japanese level = advanced)

 

Here is a compilation video of YouTube’s automatic captioning based on the original speech.

 

The accuracy rate of automatic captioning in each 6 patterns (A to F) was as follows.

 

A: Japanese / narrator / male: 81.8%

B: Japanese / narrator / female: 97.3%

C: Japanese / Japanese teacher / female: 88.6%

D: Japanese / company manager / man: 87.3%

E: Foreigner / male (Japanese level = intermediate): 56.6%

F: Foreigner / female (Japanese level = advanced): 85.7%

 

Concerning the average accuracy rate, native Japanese speakers (A to D) achieved 87.0%, while non-native Japanese speakers (E & F) of 65.2%. As expected, recognition of native speakers’ speech is more accurate than non-native speakers.

 

Also, the results varied even among foreigners; Ms. F who has almost native level proficiency in Japanese was recognized with high accuracy, while Mr. E with intermediate level was recognized only about half of his speech.

 

As in the following cases, there were some sentences that became completely wrong meanings from the original.

 

〇 <Buchoo>, chotto <yoroshii> deshooka.

(Department manager, is it okay?)

× <Moochoo>, chotto <dooji> deshooka.

(Cecum slightly at the same time)

 

○ Tokyo<Shoji> e dasu kikakusho nandesuga, <me o tooshite> itadakenaideshooka.

(This is a proposal for Tokyo Shoji. Could you please check this for me?)

× Tokyo<Soojigen> e dasu kikakusho nandesuga, <fuufu o twitter> itadakenaideshooka.

(This is a proposal for Tokyo Soojigen. Could you please tweet a couple for me?)

 

Although the automatic captioning can be affected by background noise and video’s audio quality, the accuracy rate of two foreigners (Mr. F and Ms. E) was almost equivalent to speaking fluency evaluated by a professional Japanese teacher.

 

Therefore, I can say that those whose speech is correctly recognized by YouTube’s automatic captioning have a considerably advanced level of Japanese.

 

So please give it a try (^ ^) /

 

※Accuracy level of automatic captioning on YouTube varies depending on contents of programs.

It recognizes such programs as news and dramas of which texts are mainly based on script more accurate. On the other hand, comedy shows and live interviews are less accurate.

※ This information is as of January 11, 2019.

 

Could the live caption and subtitles feature in Skype tell how accurate your Japanese is?

 

On December 3, Microsoft announced the launch of live captions & subtitles feature for Skype. The feature is already available for Japanese version. I think this new feature is useful for all Japanese learners, so I will introduce to you this time.

 

How to use the feature?

Please refer to the following SKYPE’s official sites.

Japanese version

https://support.skype.com/ja/faq/FA34542/skype-fan-yi-woshe-ding-shiteshi-yong-surufang-fa-wojiao-etekudasai 

English version

https://support.skype.com/en/faq/FA34877/how-do-i-turn-live-captions-subtitles-on-during-a-skype-call

 

What’s the level of accuracy of the feature?

Frankly speaking, the feature is not so perfect yet.

Even when two Japanese people converse in Japanese, it was inaccurate.

I think that the feature’s usefulness is limited by its accuracy, therefore, I do not recommend using the feather to make an online meeting, to transcribe its contents, and to make minutes.

 

How to use the feature effectively

In a free talk, accuracy level was not so high, however, it was much better when reading the script. So it might be a good way to use the feature for practicing reading fluency. If Skype puts captions incorrectly, it means the way of reading Japanese is not perfect, and the listener may misunderstand. The feature would also help you to analyze your weak points in reading Japanese.

 

These are the live captions I tried for the first time.

Please check them in the picture.

 

Note: This information is as of December 10, 2018. Let’s pay attention to the further improvement.

Japanese business magazine TOP 10 recommended for business Japanese learners!

 

It is recommended to read Japanese business magazines for business Japanese learning. Newspapers are also good, but since there are many new topics, the information can be sporadic, so the magazine is better to intensively read topics of interest in feature articles etc. Besides, information is useful for business, so it is two birds with one stone.

So, I tried searching for business magazines at Fujisan, a Japanese No1 online bookshop for magazine’s, but I hit 1375 cases! Too many to choose best one. Although it is recommended to go to a bookstore and actually see the contents, it is also hard to compare all magazines.

So this time, I will introduce the top 5 business magazines sold in Japan and 5 other recommended magazines, totaling I selected 10 magazines.

The sales circulation TOP 5 from January to March 2018 is as follows. (*2)

 

No1: PRESIDENT  (319,933 copies)

In 1963 it was launched as the Japanese edition of FORTUNE USA. For managers and business leaders. Publication twice a month. It deal with a wide range of subjects ranging from high quality business information, skill ups and lifestyle.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No2: Weekly DIAMOND (週刊ダイヤモンド:125,833 copies

First published in 1913. A business weekly magazine that is most popular in bookstores. In addition to economic, financial, and corporate information, it has plenty of diverse serial articles and columns.

There are also many contents for young employees.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No3: Weekly TOYO KEIZAI (週刊東洋経済 : 90,250 copies

First published in 1895. Feature articles on seasonal themes and of various companies, there are many useful information for all generation including a student in job hunting. You can grasp the latest topic of the Japanese economy.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No4: THE21 (49,400 copies

First published in 1984. Monthly magazine. Many information is useful for self-improvement.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

No5: DIAMOND Harvard Business Review (ハーバード・ビジネス・レビュー : 20,700 copies)

The only comprehensive management magazine in Japan that fully cooperated with Harvard Business Review magazine in the United States. For managers and business leaders.

Sharp suggestions and explanations coming from opinion leaders are popular. It has plenty of information on strategy and analysis.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

 

Since all of these are dealing with a wide range of information, you can choose from your interests and positions of work.

Although it did not enter the top 5 in the number of sales, there are also many magazines that I would like to recommend. The following are some of them.

 

NIKKEI TRENDY (日経トレンディ)

Trendy information magazine introducing the latest trends and latest products. There are many easy-to-read contents.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

Monthly JIGYO KOUSOU (月刊事業構想)

Professional journal on corporate activity, regional creation, innovation. Monthly magazine. For managers / new business planning staff.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

SENDEN KAIGI (宣伝会議)

Specialized magazine of advertisement, advertisement, and marketing. Published twice a month.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

 

INTERNET SALES (ネット販売)

As its name suggests, it is a specialty magazine for online sales. Monthly magazine. Since it is not sold at a bookstore, go to the following link for purchase.

Buy this at Fujisan

 

MARR(マール)

The only M & A special monthly magazine in Japan. For people involved in M & A.

Buy this at Amazon / Buy this at Fujisan

I added links to Amazon and to Fujisan, but please note that images and links are not limited to the latest issue. At Amazon, it is easier to order one book, but at Fujisan, they offer discounts of up to 50% when subscribing. They delivers it to your home (limited to Japan only) and e-book version can also be read.

If you want to know other magazines, please consult your J-OS instructor or support team (^^)/

 

*1: As of July 9, 2018

*2: Source:Japan Magazine Publishers Association


 

Why don’t you check the top 50 songs by year before going to Karaoke with co-workers?!

 

If you are working in Japan, you will often go to karaoke in a second party etc.

If you sing at karaoke and you can enjoy it with the Japanese, you can enjoy deepening relationship with your business partners.

 

The difficult thing for foreigners will be choosing a song that will be appreciated by Japanese people.

So, I will teach you the site introducing the ranking of Japanese songs by age.

 

1950’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1950/song.html

1960’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1960/song.html

1970’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1970/song.html

1980’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song.html

1990’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1990/song.html

2000’s Ranking: http://nendai-ryuukou.com/2000/song.html

 

* You can jump to the ranking of TOP 50 for each year from the link above.

* If you click on each song title, you will be connected to YouTube so you can listen to that song.

 

The point is “Choose songs that were popular when people going along were around 18 to 22”.

Because people listen to music the most during these ages.

 

For example, in my case, I often listened music from 1996 to 2000, so I checked the yearly ranking of 1996 to 2000. As a result, I found that each TOP 50 songs by year were very familiar.

 

If a person going to karaoke with you is around 50 years old, that person may often listens to songs of 1984 to 1988, so it is better to check these pages.

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1984.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1985.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1986.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1987.html

http://nendai-ryuukou.com/1980/song/1988.html

 

If you know old Japanese songs, it will be a good conversational material. Also, learning the song lyrics is useful for Japanese study.

 

How many chat topics do you have?

 

How many chat topics do you have?

“Chat” is an easy talk without deciding the theme. As well as talking with family and friends, chatting is essential in dates and business.

When I ask the Japanese businessmen around me, they say that the chat is very important.

One of them insists that “If you do various interesting talks and impress the other person with your charm, business negotiations will proceed. If you talk about the product from the beginning, no one will succeed.”

I agree that it is more necessary to sell yourself than goods.

 

People who don’t run out of things to talk about are called “people with many drawers.”

Let’s hold a number of drawers in your head.

Here are four examples of chatting.

 

1, Weather talk

Japanese love to talk about the weather. It is likely to start from this topic in many cases. You do not have to talk from yourself. Please try to enrich the story of the weather that the other person speaks. Please keep in mind that you always return it positive way.

Example

A-san:  “It is cold today, is not it?”

B-san:  “Yes, it is said that it is the coldest winter this winter, but the cold weather makes hot sake delicious, so why do not we go drinking together next time?

 

2, News stories

From now on, let’s check the Japanese news. Besides big news, an interesting news such as “baby panda in Ueno” are also useful. If the other person likes animals or cute things, you may be able to mix those topics in the middle of the story. Also, Ueno is famous as a sightseeing spot, so you can use it when that story comes up. Television, internet and radio are useful, and referring advertisements in the train is also helpful to know outline of news. If you have news you care about, look it up on the spot with a smartphone.

 

3, Review your country

How well do you know about your country? Let’s check not only cultures and customs, but also current trends in your country. By knowing how it is different from Japan, you may be interested in the other party. You may also find the same place as Japan. A special products of your city is a good topic to talk about.

 

4, School days experiences

Have you tried hard on something? Not only your major field of study, but also part time job or your boom at that time can be a good topic for chat. It would be better to summarize some of the hardships into episodes rather than having fun. Japanese people are interested in how you have studied Japanese. Let’s recall, for example, what was difficult and what kind of words you liked.

 

Some people think that, “Even if I have stories, I cannot speak well!” However, listening to chats properly is one of the most important things. Especially for the people from Chinese background, I recommend that it is better to nod more than you normally do when listening the conversation.

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