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5 Apr 2020
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I'm bored of this coronavirus situation and started working on making some videos for Japanese learner.
Main idea is just to put hiragana subtitle to improve listening skill such as catch each single words correctly.

What do you think about these videos? Please give me your honest opinion.
I'll send you amazon.JP gift code 300yen for serious opinion.


27 Dec 2003
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I think it's a great idea. Just make sure that the video is posted twice, once with subtitles and once more without subtitles. Make it clear in both spots on YouTube that both versions exist.

It would also be nice to see the questions with hiragana subtitles, for those people who cannot read the kanji. (It is better to keep the instructional objective to listening only, not listening and kanji-guessing too.)
5 May 2013
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Well timed, and accurate, so it's already a useful listening exercise.

However, beginners who need this kind of practice will be pausing often. This puts up a youtube overlay that partially covers the subtitles that are more than 1 line long. (Single line titles start lower; 2+ line titles have the first line overlapping). Ensuring that 2+ line titles expand downward instead of upward would be best, I think. The mobile interface also has controls in the center of the screen, but I believe you would need 4 lines to overlap them and I can't easily find a title more than 2 lines long.

Youtube also has a built-in soft (= programatically overlayed) subtitling system; you can upload titles to replace the auto-detect titles (which are terrible). This might be good to do in addition to the hard (= video encoded) subtitles, maybe with kanji in the soft titles. Because soft titles disappear entirely on pause, they would not be suitable for replacing hard titles, but only as a supplement.

I noticed a strong sound level difference when I went to the next video. It's best for all audio on a channel to be at the same level, and for that level to be as high as possible without clipping. Same level for consistency between videos, and as high as possible so that ads can't be much louder than the main video. Also because users can always turn the volume down, but on portable devices (or bad headsets) they may reach a limit on turning the volume up.

As long as your channel is not monetized, using commercial footage for educational purposes is probably fine and probably falls under fair use, and even if someone objects, they will likely only send a take-down notice (the "damages" for non-commercial infringement are not worth filing a lawsuit in the first place.)

If you intend to profit from this, however, everything changes. You are likely to need to license the content you subtitle. At least you should incorporate to protect your personal assets from lawsuits (so if you can't afford a lawsuit, only the company goes broke, not yourself), and really it would be better to talk to a copyright lawyer. Japan has a terrible track record on fair use despite being a Berne convention signatory and so supposedly has laws modeled on the same principles. Making your videos not available in Japan but only in countries with more liberal fair use precedent may help, but even then your work is unlikely to be fair use if commercialized. I know that similar projects (as apps, not youtube channels) licensed their content.
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