Staying True to Your Words

Translation does not always start with paper. Often the spoken word, whether captured live, from audio or video, must first be converted to text via transcription before the work of translation can begin. In fact, the tricky part is not always the documentation of the words. It is the additional notation of tone, volume, emphasis and even body language that allows the translator to convey the original intent.

When You Need Transcription to Capture the Moment

Transcription is the process of documentation “for the record,” review, analysis, and often for eventual translation. There are many instances in which words are spoken before they are written, for example, customer feedback coming in to call centers, business meetings and negotiations, court proceedings, consultations, training sessions, conferences and more. Reasons to capture spoken word are just as plentiful. It can add efficiency by allowing for remote learning, allow for deeper review and sharing, increase transparency, support security, and facilitate alignment. Transcription allows us to hear stories as if first-hand, even if we were not in the room. Importantly, transcription is also used to allow people with a hearing disability to engage and interact, particularly when video is involved. When the video file has no written dialogue accompanying it, then a transcriber writes down the content of the video as subtitles or captions.

Getting Transcription Down to a Science

Documenting the words and meaning requires a careful blending of technology and human involvement. It requires the forethought to capture the session or event in the first place, and the ability to pull the meaning all the way through the transcribed record. Transcription is often integrated with translation, so the process can start with words spoken in one language (or more than one) and end seamlessly with written documentation in one or more other languages. We can also provide captioning-ready file formats that can integrate into different streaming technologies. It can extend through multiple channels and documents, and turn conversations into meaningful, relevant, timely content.

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