The need for transcript translation services today transcends industries. In the past, transcriptions were for legal records, medical files, and other complex industries. However, many companies today put out video and audio files, so they choose to offer subtitles as well. And with companies like Google and Microsoft offering automated transcription tools available for free or cheap, accessing these services is easier than ever. But the quality of these tools can vary widely, leading to content that can be riddled with errors.
Partnering with the right company ensures a higher quality transcript translation that can work for everything from subtitles to complex medical records and court documents.
Common Challenges in Transcript Translation
Typically, transcription translation is far more challenging than the original transcription itself. This is obvious in automated production but can be just as prevalent with human transcribed content for the following reasons:
#1: Poor quality breeds poor content
Human transcription is the best choice, but often, it’s challenging to find a good transcriptionist that understands all the nuances of the English language.
The “mondegreen” is the enemy of a transcriptionist. This phrase typically refers to song lyrics, where the mishearing of a word can completely change a sentence’s context. A good example is “lose” and “loose.” Someone saying “loose change” is referring to having money, but someone saying “lose change” is reporting the exact opposite. There are hundreds of these types of words in the English language. Some other common examples include hear/here, accept/except, cash/cache, and dessert/desert.
#2: Timecoding creates formatting issues
Timecoded transcription is widespread when it comes to more formal content. Medical, legal, and corporate transcriptions will typically include timestamps at various points for easy reference later. After uploading, the content is searchable down to a specific second.
As convenient as this is for transcription, it creates significant translation problems. Translating strings with awkward cutoffs wreaks havoc on formatting and challenges linguists. They may not be aware that these are location markers and choose to translate the specific time stamps. Preserving time coding is necessary but not easy.
#3: Translation of transcription becomes the single source of truth
Automated or even human transcription can result in some pretty blatant mistakes. However, viewers will be far more forgiving if their native language is English. In many instances, they have the source material available to them and only use transcription for reference. If they’re unsure about something, they can refer to the original content.
That’s not the case for someone who speaks English as a second language. Those subtitles will be the only information they have to discern the video or audio file’s content. If the translated content is poor, it will result in a bad user experience that relays incorrect or misleading information.
To get the best possible result from transcript translation services, you need to take a few additional measures to resolve the common pain points.
Essential Needs in Transcript Translation Services
If you work with the right translation agency, they will offer these essential features as part of their services:
- Content review: A small error in English becomes magnified in other languages. A content review that ensures the original text is as accurate as humanly possible resolves these issues. The translators can then convert their text from these files to create a precise truth source for all users.
- Pre-editing: Timecoding should be removed or separated from the file before sending strings to translators. An agency should have a translation editor program that allows them to remove unnecessary data and limit translators’ confusion. They should also be able to reassemble these formatting markers when done.
- Context features: Context is a crucial component in any translation. Understanding it ensures the right results for the matter at hand. A good translation program will provide context cues like preview panels, comments, and the ability to connect directly with the translator.
- Collaborative platform: Many translation projects occur via email, but this is a problem when dealing with transcription. The person may not be able to connect with their translators directly, and they certainly won’t see their results in real-time. A fully collaborative localization management platform ensures that direct connection.
The best transcript translation services provide a range of features to ensure accuracy, regardless of the type of content under review. Medical professionals, lawyers, and government officials get precise, concise, certified translations from industry experts, and individuals looking to update video and audio files can make their content far more accessible. The right platform supports all these transcript translation tasks and more.