Transcription vs Translation (linguistic): What's the difference?

Do you know the difference between transcription vs translation?

These terms are attractive, and if you look up their meaning, they can take you to the field of biology and DNA; here, we focus on their linguistic meaning.

Transcription and translation are services that organizations worldwide increasingly use and facilitate the information and communication of countless contents.

In this post, we tell you what they consist of, similarities, differences and why they complement each other and enhance the achievement of your goals.

Translating vs Transcribing: the differences you need to know

To understand the differences between translating and transcribing, we tell you what they are and their characteristics.

What is translation?

Translation involves converting content that is in one language into another. This content can be an audio, video or document in English, for example, and translating it means transforming it into another target language, such as Spanish.

In translation, accuracy is essential and achieving it is complex. Accuracy is not attained by literally transcribing the words but by adapting the meaning and significance of the content based on the culture and regionalisms.

difference between transcription and translation

To make a good translation, it is not necessary to be literal because not all words and phrases have the same meaning in other languages. It requires knowledge, experience and time to master at least the linguistics and context of two languages.

Do you like watching movies or series? Many are film productions from countries other than your native language; you can watch and understand them because the dialogues are translated into several languages and presented in subtitles, or the voices are dubbed.

The translation is essential for those who want to go further and inform and communicate their findings, discoveries, events and works, as is the case with scientists, artists, academics, writers, communicators and many different organizations.

It is also essential in marketing to publicize products and services and win new markets.

What is transcription?

Transcription consists of converting an audio or video into written text in the same language.

What the transcriptionist does is listen to or watch the material and copy the content word for word into a text document.

This may seem simple. However, transcription also includes referencing non-verbal content, such as laughter, crying, silences and other expressions, to provide context and facilitate understanding of the information.

transcription versus translation

Transcription accuracy is very important, and nowadays, an infinite amount of content is transcribed: speeches, interviews, conferences, statements, meetings and other multimedia materials, to edit and archive them.

Practically transcription is a service that is required in all fields. Records are precious to many sectors, especially legal, health, media, research, academic, marketing and other organizations.

Are there similarities between transcribing and translating?

Yes, despite having different objectives, both focus on achieving the highest level of accuracy possible when it comes to transcribing and translating.

This requires mastery and command of the language. In the case of transcribing in a single language; for translating, at least in two languages, the original in which the material is in and the target language.

In addition, they are transcribing and translating end with the creation of a document that is readable and accessible. Although there is a difference between transcription and translation, they are services that bring many advantages to organizations and are increasingly in demand.

Should I transcribe first and then translate, or should I do it the other way around?

It depends on what you want to do. If you have an audio or video and you want to convert it to text to send it over the networks in your own language, you will only have to transcribe it.

However, if you want to translate audio or video and you don't have it in text, it involves transcribing the content in the source language and then translating it into the language you want.

Do you need to transcribe and translate anything?

If you have an audio or video and you want a written copy in the same language, you need a transcription.

In ScriptMe, you can automatically transcribe your recordings; upload the original material, and in minutes, you can download the transcription file.

You have the option to make transcriptions in more than 30 languages and with a high level of accuracy. If you want to change something when reading the transcript, you can do it easily with the editor because it is intuitive.

On the other hand, if you have an audio or video in one language and want to convert it to another, then you need a translation. We can provide high-quality translations in over 100 languages and immediate delivery thanks to our IA.

If you think we are what you are looking for, contact us and let's talk about your needs, contact us and let's discuss your requirements.

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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