Shared in Translation


Jack Long ’20 may seem like an ordinary high school senior, carrying a rigorous schedule with AP and honors classes and pursuing special projects like creating a robotic arm with his classmates. But in 2016, he also began volunteering to translate and subtitle popular American television shows for viewers in his home country of China. “Our video selection ranges from ‘Carpool Karaoke’ from The Late Late Show with James Corden to ‘Mean Tweets’ from Jimmy Kimmel Live,” he said.

The nonprofit Youzimu Subtitle Group aims to bring high quality video content to people in mainland China who have trouble accessing YouTube. Jack and his colleagues translate the content of the video, then overlay subtitles into the video before posting them on Chinese video and social media platforms. Youzimu Subtitle Group has more than 5 million followers on social media and more than 5 billion video views.

Jack works as the team leader for the Fashion and Entertainment group. “I help to oversee 270 members and, as the name suggests, we translate videos from the fashion and entertainment channels,” he said. Youzimu is one of many operations where Chinese students studying abroad volunteer to translate and subtitle TV content.

Earlier this year, to celebrate the fifth anniversary of Youzimu Subtitle Group, Jack was featured in and created a series of vlogs that describe a day in life of a high school student studying in America, including this one, which includes an outing to nearby Northampton and a friendly debate on the merits of bubble in bubble tea.