Some YouTube users witnessing auto-translated versions of English video titles
Google has cutting-edge experimental projects operating at the same time, and cross-pollination between these isn't uncommon. That explains how some YouTube users are reportedly being served with options for automatic translation of text elements associated with videos. Android Police was tipped off by non-English speaking users who claimed to have seen video titles, descriptions, and closed captions automatically translated into their native tongues.
User screenshots reveal Google Translate being used to power feature
The publication received tip-offs from its Portuguese and Turkish readers, who shared screenshots of English YouTube videos automatically translated into Portuguese and Turkish. The screenshots show the Google Translate icon included in the video titles, signifying that the service is automatically translating video elements into their native tongues. User screengrabs also reveal the translation option in the closed captions menu within YouTube UI.
Feature seems to be implemented at the server level
The feature seems to be implemented at server level and not through an app-update, which explains how it has rolled out to some mobile as well as desktop users. That also means, you can't hope to get it by signing up for beta releases or otherwise updating the app. Meanwhile, the report doesn't mention if this feature is optional and not forced onto users.
YouTube's forced translation experiment might be putting off users
However, several commenters on the original report are unhappy about the feature's forced nature while complaining of the poor quality of the translation. They haven't been able to disable the machine translation and have been asking for a way to opt out. In addition to Portuguese and Turkish users, those from Brazil, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, and Netherlands have also claimed to encounter this feature.
Using VPN emulation doesn't help, hinting at a limited release
We tried using VPN to emulate these regions, but that didn't work as Google must definitely be using smarter ways to figure out if someone is actually from those regions and not just a tourist passing through. In all probability, the feature would be rolled out to select users as our contacts residing permanently in these countries haven't been served this feature either.