translation of transcription

One of the steps when translating an audio/video file involves adapting the transcription into a foreign language. This step is necessary for the subsequent subtitling phase, or for setting up a voice-over in a different language, or simply to understand the audio/video content, or to improve its visibility on the web.

But how to translate the transcription properly? The difficulty in translating lies in the ability to transcribe the meaning of the sentences into the target language, with the constraint of time annotations since this is necessary in some cases, such as subtitling or voice-over.

While the automation of these stages (transcription and then translation) enables the meaning of an audio/video file in a foreign language to be understood, other approaches, with the intervention of native translators, are to be considered for transcribing and then translating your files.

Approaches for audio/video transcription into text

To make an audio/video transcription, here are some of the techniques that we recommend and that could be useful to you.

  1. By hand

The main technique that you will have to go through anyway: listen to and write down everything you can capture from your audio or video file.

Among the other techniques we will present below, all of them will need to rely on your listening and writing skills: there is no miracle way!

  1. With Google Docs voice input

Did you know that there is voice input on Google Docs?

Hidden within the menu bar in “Tools”, this feature will allow you to dictate to Google what you want it to write. This also works for a video or audio file that you would like to transcribe.

The major problem with this solution is the quality of the transcription. Indeed, it remains quite unstable today and many errors can be found. What’s more, on an audio/video file, the sound quality is not always perfect and makes it even more difficult for the tool to understand. Most often for the most spoken languages in the world, voice input works rather well but for some languages it can be more difficult…

  1. With automatic YouTube subtitling

You can also upload your file to YouTube and get the transcription: an automatic retranscription is proposed within a few minutes.

It’s a great way to get a transcript, and the solution may seem even simpler than Google Docs voice input.

On the other hand, as before, the quality is not necessarily up to your expectations,  and will only serve as a basis for the next steps. There is no secret, the majority of the work will have to be done by humans. .

What is interesting with this approach is that time annotations are available.

  1. With a specific automatic transcription software

The last solution is to use a transcription aid software. This type of software can save you a lot of time. By uploading the file to be transcribed, you can take advantage of an audio player adapted to this work, and making it easier to listen to and write.

However, once again, the quality of the automatic transcription is not always optimal: it depends on the language, the recording, the type of vocabulary, and very often a check will be necessary. Here too, time annotations are also available, with the possibility of synchronising this transcription with the audio / video file at a later stage.

How to translate a transcription?

Now that you have finished your transcription in your own language, you need to translate it for a different language from your native language. Here again, tehre are different ways to do it:

Automatic translation

You can use some online translation software, which can be very useful for small translations (words, sentences, paragraphs).

Limits of this approach

On a complete transcript document, it is very complicated to use this type of software. Indeed, their translation logic remains very “word for word” and the overall understanding of the meaning and what the author wants to express remains limited.

The longer the text is, the more visible it is that this translation has been done with the help of a robot, and by a person who is not a native of the country in question. These programs give good results with a written text, but with a conversation many errors appear! And the time annotations are lost with the impossibility of synchronising the translated transcription.

So how do you achieve a perfect translation of your transcription?

The solution is to use professional solutions. Beyond the translator’s professional expertise, it is important to use translation management systems such as Wordbee or MemoQ, which will allow you to optimise the files to be translated, while respecting the time annotations.

Professional translation ensures the expected quality and efficient completion of your project within the deadlines set by your project. It will serve as the basis for the subsequent stage, which consists of producing multilingual subtitles or voice-overs.

Order your transcript and translations now on and get ready to reach your international audience