Discover more from Words, By Mat Sherman
EzDubs: Breaking Language Barriers with Real-Time Dubbing
A brief on YC W23 company EzDubs
Today, billions of people get exposed to more languages than ever before. In fact, in the U.S. over three hundred languages are spoken, it’s obvious why there isn’t an official language here! Social media and media in general has accelerated the amount of content we see. You scroll through TikTok and you can find a Spanish tutorial for dancing cumbia, or on YouTube you can come across a Mendes Bros Jiu Jitsu seminar in Portuguese, and unless you know the language or the video is subtitled, you’ll struggle to understand what is being said. A new YC company is creating a solution for that exact problem, and that startup is EzDubs.
What is EzDubs?
EzDubs is a real-time dubbing platform for livestreams and publishing platforms. It’s also helpful to know what dubbing is. Dubbing, in Google’s words, is to “provide (a film) with a soundtrack in a different language from the original.” Using AI, EzDubs has the ability to convert the audio of YouTube and Twitter videos into a different vernacular, and most impressively, it preserves the original speaker's voice. As of right now their startup offers a Twitter bot, Chrome extension, API’s and a web-page for dubbing videos, which translates 14 source languages into 7 target languages. Streamers and video publishers are able to expand their geographic reach and extend their content into a variety of tongues. Although, they can only actualize dubbing for 5 minute videos or less… The real platform enhancer is the humanization of the audio and keeping an authentic voice intact, which can be viewed in action on their website through a video of global football super-star, Kylian Mbappe. Now it may not be 100 percent accurate, but it’s a whole lot better than a voice that sounds nothing like the person and that will add to positive consumer sentiment.
In my opinion, EzDubs is capitalizing on what most language learning platforms miss, time dedicated to learning a new language. Duolingo, Pimsleur, FluentU, Rosetta Stone, and more are all competing to see who can build the best language learning product (personalized, gamified, or standardized), but a person's ambition to want to learn a language needs to match their actions, and most realize it’s tougher than imagined just days into practicing. In fact, two out of three Americans cannot speak a second language, and close to 40% won’t ever try. And in the future, why try? When a product like EzDubs can travel in your pocket. The only reasons, I could argue, if someone will still want to learn a language is if they are moving to a new country or if they REALLY love a culture. In the present, these two categories are playing two different games, but eventually I see both intersecting and one winning.