Audiovisual transcription or how to transcribe a video

Audiovisual transcription is one of the few services a translation service provider could partially automate. In linguistic matters, it’s hard to imagine that machines could ever replace humans. But hold on a minute! Here’s an issue in which it seems that artificial intelligence can help us… In addition, transcribing audio and video is very useful in many cases.


Audio transcription software helps us, but doesn’t replace us

Let’s be clear about this. Although we have a never-ending list of programs that generate a fairly accurate transcription, none (yes, you heard right, none of them) will give you a professional transcription.


We’ve all tried talking to our phone’s speech to text software, right?

Whilst it may give you a decent audio-to-text transcript, it will most likely get lost as soon as you use some slang. Likewise, if there’s something that can be interpreted in two different ways or that sounds almost the same. When we speak for the transcription software, we often speak in a certain way don’t we?

When it comes to video or audio, we will most certainly find some background noise and overlaps between conversations… And this is where the transcription software (which is no better than your mobile phone’s software) doesn’t work. We’ll have to recruit professionals who can do it for you with ease.


Trust professional translators to transcribe your videos

For audiovisual transcription, it’s better to rely on professional audiovisual translators. Of course, we all know how to write. But not all of us are trained in the analytical and context-sensitive skills of the experts who work with language on a daily basis.

If you combine software and human supervision to carry out your transcription, you’d be better off getting a linguist to carry out the supervision.

Automatic transcription programs can misinterpret things and transcribe spelling mistakes (for example, their for there,) and someone without linguistic training or experience may not spot the errors.

It’s also necessary when transcribing, to adapt the problems, repetitions, etc. typical of oral speech to a consistent written language. If in the video or audio, several people speak and overlap, usually it’s necessary to choose which comments are more relevant or in what way to express that two people are speaking at the same time.


When to subtitle a video?

The combination of audiovisual transcription and translation services is extremely useful for companies with smaller pockets and shoe-string budgets. It’s not just useful, but also effective.

Thanks to the Internet, we are more exposed than ever to other languages. Especially those of us who aren’t native English speakers (which is most humans!). Who hasn’t seen a video in another language with subtitles into your mother tongue? Maybe we can even ask who hasn’t done so at least once in the last month?

Indeed, every day we get more and more used to reading subtitles. There are many people that even question the dubbing of films (although as with everything), there are pros and cons of watching a dubbed or subtitled film.


Audio transcription, human review and subtitling software: make your video trend

Remember: always address your audience in their language. Therefore, the most effective option is most likely a voice-over service. However, because of the media deployment they require, voice-overs are often more expensive than a subtitling services.

If your budget isn’t that of a big company, you’d better recourse to the best transcription services plus a professional audiovisual translation and quality embedded subtitles in your video will make the result professional and allow you to reach many more people.

Whether the final product is good enough will depend on the professionalism of the transcriber. But don’t panic, you can always count on us. We’re experienced in audiovisual transcription.

About the author

Oscar Nogueras

Es el CEO de Ontranslation y dedica algunos ratos libres a escribir en este blog para compartir sus conocimientos sobre internacionalización, cross-border ecommerce y Traducción SEO. No es para menos, ya que entre su formación cuenta con una licenciatura en filología inglesa, un máster en tradumática, un posgrado en elearning y un MBA. En definitiva, una declaración de intenciones donde la cultura y los idiomas se sirven mezclados, no agitados.

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