Did you ever come across the auto-captions feature on YouTube? When viewing a YouTube video people can click the CC button in the toolbar. This enables the automatic capturing of the film. Meaning the systems tries to identify the talking and automatically generates the subtitles. This works lets say – more or less good. Now this feature is available for six new languages: German, Italian, French, Portuguese, Russian, and Dutch (plus the existing English, Japanese, Korean, and Spanish).
If you are not happy with the captions you can always change them with a provided editing tool. You can also download, edit them offline and reupload your captions file. YouTube is also working on auto translated captions, so you can read/understand them independent from the original shooting language.
The far more better solution is for sure a handcrafted human captions file, with the exact timcodes and most important the exact meaning. But this can be too expensive for some independent filmmakers. So especially for deaf, hard-of-hearing, and viewers who speak other languages the auto-feature is a nice service.
Read our tips for creating closed captions here.