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The Difference Between Translation And Transcription

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It can be easy to confuse translation vs. transcription. Read on to find out the differences between the two and how to decide which one you need.

Translation and transcription are two language services that you can obtain for your projects. However, the two may be confusing and some may find it difficult to differentiate the two. In this article, we will cover the differences between translation and transcription to help you decide which of the two you will need.

What Is Translation?

Translation simply means converting content from one language to another. The person translating has to know both languages well to be able to understand and communicate the message as accurately as possible with no meaning lost. Translation can be done through writing, audio, as well as verbally in real time. When translation is done live and in real time, it is regarded as interpretation.

Translation can take place in virtually any setting. Settings where professional translation is needed include life sciences, medical, and pharma sector, legal sector, IT and Internet sector, as well as the marketing sector. As each sector requires different sets of specific skills and knowledge, translators have to be specially trained in order to be adept in their knowledge of the sector. Only then are they able to translate accurately and effectively.

What Is Transcription?

Transcription is converting content from audio format to written format. The audio can come from audio, video, or live speech. The words are written down verbatim in the language it is said. Hence, a person doing transcription also needs to have good knowledge of the language the audio is in to ensure the words are recorded as accurately as possible and that no meaning is lost.

Transcriptionists also have to be able to listen and type well, especially when transcribing live audios such as in court settings. They will need to be able to type at high speeds with accuracy and also need to have good punctuation, spelling, and grammar. They also have to be professional and efficient as sometimes tight deadlines have to be met.

Should I Translate or Transcribe?

If you are figuring out whether you need translation or transcription, you will need to know what you need from your source and how it can help you achieve your goals. Both translation and transcription can help to improve communication and make content more user-friendly and accessible to a wider audience.

There are times where it makes sense to use both.

You should consider transcription if the source format you are working with is in audio or video and you wish to convert it to a written or text format.

You should consider translation if your source format is audio, video, or text. However, transcribing audio and video first before translating it is best because then the translation would be much more accurate.

If you’re still not too sure, you can consider consulting professional translation agencies to help you decide and do the work for you. To sum up, transcription deals with converting audio into written format in one language, while translation deals with converting audio or text from one language to another. Both are essential in improving communication. Consult a professional translation agency to ensure the work done is of the best quality.

About Hansem Global

Hansem Global is an ISO Certified and globally recognized language service provider. Since 1990, Hansem Global has been a leading language service company in Asia and helping the world’s top companies to excel in the global marketplace. Thanks to the local production centers in Asia along with a solid global language network, Hansem Global offers a full list of major languages in the world. Contact us for your language needs!