We do not live in an ideal world it seems, so it is natural that not all things come in perfect format. We often find ourselves with a piece a material that needs translation in a different media format. Not all of the materials are in .pdf, .rtf, .txt or .doc format. It is entirely possible to have the source material in audio or video format. This is where transcription services come into the picture.
It is common in the legal industry where witness statements are recorded using tape recorder and need transcription into text format before it can be submitted to the court as evidence. In addition, media campaigns such as advertisements in foreign markets will most definitely need transcription services to ensure consistency in their promotional messages.
Transcription and Translation Differences The key difference between transcription services to conventional translation is that translation is a shorter process where a source document is translated into another document written in the target language. Transcription however takes place when the source material is not already in a text format document but in various multimedia formats. So in this case, the source material has to be listened to or watched by the translator who then converts the speech into written format.
Transcription Process Once the client has agreed on the fee and sends the video or audio source file to the translation company, this is where the transcription services begin. The translation project manager will first look at the material to determine what category the translation falls in. For example, this could be a financial presentation, medical explanation, or even engineering conference speech. This preliminary process allows the manager to select the translator who is most familiar with the relevant area to do the translation work. Then, the translator will sit in with a headphone to listen or watch the source material and transform it into a written script. After that, the translator will use the written text to carry out the translation into the target language which the client needs.
Multiple Transcriptions This process also varies depending on how many target languages the customer wants. For example, if the customer wants the transcription into 10 different target languages, the translator will create a Standard English script of the source. Now, the English text can be allocated to 10 different translators for transcription. Once all the transcription services are done, the project manager will then call in other translators to proof read all the completed translations. The client will normally receive the transcription end product in a written format. If it is needed, translation companies are always able to provide the end product in an audio or video format, but usually at an extra cost.