Language transcription services help many businesses. It’s helpful to know the different types of methods used when choosing what is best for you.

Learning another language can be quite beneficial in international business. Being able to speak and write to colleagues as well as international clients and customers can really go a long way. But, learning a language takes time, especially if you need to be completely fluent in all aspects. Each language is unique and has various dialects and specific cultural understandings that need to be learned, on top of learning how to write, read and speak the language professionally.

So, instead of having you or your whole staff learn various languages, why not invest in language services that can help your business? You can find all that you need, such as transcription, interpretation and translation services, and all from a trusted source. There are many options for language services, and transcription options are no different. It is important to understand the differences within transcription. Before we get into the different language transcription services available, it is important to fully understand what transcription is and how it can help a business.

Understanding transcription

You likely already understand one of the main foreign language services: interpretation. It is easy to understand where interpretation can be most helpful within a business, such as when someone needs an interpreter to help with a verbal discussion so two parties can understand each other in real time. Similarly, translation services are most commonly used when a document needs to be changed from one language into another. But, what about transcription? Where is this language service mostly used and what does it entail?

A transcriber is someone who listens to an audio recording and writes down what is said, usually word for word. The transcriber will likely transcribe in the language in which the recording is spoken. This written down information can then be translated into another language as needed. Using a transcriber who understands the initial language inside and out is imperative. There may be specific idioms or slang terms used that would need to be understood and quickly transcribed by the professional. These transcribers usually have personal experience living in a place where the language is spoken and will definitely be fluent in the language.

Understanding the differences

The absolute most important aspect of any language service is accuracy. With transcription, accuracy is a loaded request. You see, it fully depends on the business and industry in which the transcription is taking place as to what type of transcription needs to be done. To better explain, imagine a transcriber is asked to work on an audio file of a suspected criminal. This transcriber will need to ensure they have not missed a single word, so that anything the potential criminal has said can be assessed by the proper authorities. This is not a time for a professional transcriber to attempt to correct any grammar or other spoken imperfections.

This is when verbatim transcription comes into play. Even if the person on the audio file pauses or says “um,” this will be transcribed. These little nuances are incredibly important in some industries. When working with a language service provider, it’s important to differentiate whether you need this type of verbatim transcription or if a more intelligent transcription approach would be more beneficial. This is when the transcriber can attempt to transcribe what is being said without the additional grammar differences and such.

Valuable insight can be gained through verbatim transcription. Being able to pick out information through broken sentences or verbal utterances can really help police, lawyers and even medical professionals. There are still some industries where this type of transcription is not needed, and in fact, they would prefer the under-the-breath utterances to be kept out of the transcription. This is why it is important to be very clear when having that conversation with a transcription service provider.

Understanding transcription in general–as well as the various ways in which it can be done–will help you understand how this language service can benefit your business and help take things to the next level internationally speaking.


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