Let’s take a moment to compare and contrast transcription and translation – terms that are similar, but different. The two are connected to language, but they are different in numerous aspects.
In simple words, transcription is copying or summarizing something (such as an audio recording) into written form, word for word. In transcription, only a single language is involved. Translation is, of course, as we have discussed on this blog several times, translating a written document from one language to another.
Transcription has two approaches to get the job done: It includes either using written, summarized material to be transcribed or listening to a recording of the material and transcribing the recording. Transcription is used on various occasions. For example, if a document produced by someone is not crystal clear and cannot be understood, then it is transcribed by another party for clarity. The ultimate goal of transcription is creating a written piece that can be clearly understood by its target audience. A transcriptionist is someone who creates transcriptions. It is important for the transcriptionist to have good language knowledge and good grammar.
Translators are expert linguists who are trained to translate each phrase of a document, taking into account many things relating to the specific context of the document such as the subject matter, industry specific vocabulary, and the intended use of the text. Expert translators like those at Executive Linguist Agency recognize when a phrase can have various meanings, even within a specific context and consult with the client to ensure the correct meaning is translated.
Our translators also strive to create translations that read like they were written originally in the target language. Accuracy and readability are two important factors that can make all the difference in an important translation. To achieve this professional level quality, we always use human translation – never machine translation.