Hollywood movies and foreign films are considered to be two different artforms — one is for the masses and the other is for the preserve of aesthetes. However, the schism is still largely a result of limited language options for films. While MyLINGO has made an effort to introduce dubbed translations into the cinema through viewers’ own smartphones, a project called alugha is now hoping to bring the same capability to the web, with a plugin that provides alternative language tracks for existing YouTube videos.
Created by Germany-based developer Bernd Korz and his 18-year-old son Niklas, the project began when users started requesting that Bernd made English versions of his own YouTube uploads. Rather than create entirely new video, he decided to create an audio dub on top of his old ones. However, the problem still remained that he had to upload a separate video for his English viewers. With alugha — a browser plugin for all of the major browsers — content creators can simply attach multiple audio tracks to the same video. Those with the plugin can simply select their desired language from a drop-down menu that appears below the video on YouTube. The father and son duo also developed a HTML5 video player that can be embedded onto other pages, playing an alternative soundtrack even to those who don’t have the plugin. As well as making life easier for film fans across the globe, creators can also track social metrics and AdSense performance across a single video, rather than multiple videos for different audiences.
Watch the video below to see the plugin in action:
alugha’s basic services will be free for producers, with premium features paid for. The team also plans to bring out mobile apps for iOS, Android and Windows phones in the near future. Are there other ways to open up cinema to audiences of all tongues?