If you have video or audio files that need to be translated, it can be daunting when trying to decide whether to use either direct transcription or translation services (translation straight from audio or video to text) or transcription in the source language and then translation into your target language. With this in mind, we thought we’d compare which is best.
Translation Services – Accuracy
Transcription followed by translation is highly accurate. Clients can choose an intelligent verbatim or verbatim foreign transcription followed by a translation that maintains meaning, wording and structure as closely as possible to the original foreign video/audio.
Direct translation can lose something in accuracy. It’s more difficult for translators to match sentence structure as close to original foreign speech as with the alternate option as there is no text to work with â€“ essentially memory and personal perception starts to come into play.
Foreign transcription/translation is always the most accurate method of translating audio and video.
Translation Services – Turnaround
Foreign transcription needs to be carried out by a mother tongue speaker and translations are undertaken by native speakers of the target language. For instance, a French native will need to transcribe a French video but an English native will carry out the French-English translation of the text. Two individual professionals need to work alongside each other, transferring files and information and this takes time.
Direct translation services are carried out by one single linguist, working to translate into their native mother tongue. Having one person carry out work saves time and is great for quick turnarounds.
Direct translations can be completed within far shorter timescales than the alternative option.
Translation Services – Referencing/Edits
Having a source document to work with means making changes is easy, as the translation can be quickly referenced against the original transcribed text. Even where matching up against text is awkward, online translation tools can help, even if he editor does not speak the source language.
With no source document and only video to work from, any further edits can only be made by another or the original linguist. It can also be more difficult to locate sentences against audio/video without a simple search option as is present with text.
Foreign transcription/translation is easier to work with for referencing and editing. For production purposes, we always recommend this option as once cuts have been made to video, it’s likely a further linguist will be required just to re-match up the translation.
Translation Services – Cost
Foreign transcription is charged on a per video or audio minute basis which can be quoted in advance. Does translations are per word, only an estimate can be provided beforehand as the word count is ink own without text to work from.
Direct translation is charged on a per audio/video minute basis, working usually on average words spoken per minute as an estimate. The price is worked out and established before work is carried out. It is worth noting that future edits may require an extra linguist which also may add costs.
No clear winner. Direct translation is the cheaper option generally where cites are calculated before work commences. There is however, the risk of needing to pay out more for later edits as the reference material is hardest to search. Bearing this in mind, there is on the whole very little difference in cost savings. Foreign transcription/translation can easily turn out to be cheaper also if there are large segments of music of lack of speech in your video/audio which lower the word count.
If you would like more information about any of our transcription services or translation services, feel free to contact us at any time.