Learn how audio transcription and translation work

Tradução de áudio e transcrição

Unlike what you might think, translations are not made only from written texts

Have you ever heard of audio translation? You may have never stopped to think about it, but this service does exist and is critical to enable access to a great deal of content available today.

While it may not be as common in quantity as written translations, it is a really important service in the marketplace and should remain that way for a long time to come.

Learn more about this subject and understand how fundamental it is to our society, as we could have major cultural and entertainment limitations without this service.

What are audio transcription and translation?

The first service consists of transcribing everything that has been said in an audio file, which may be a song, a lecture, a presentation or even the audio of a particular video, while the second is intended to translate everything that has been said there.

Both are language services, just like text translation, although the content is arranged verbally rather than in writing, which requires different skills on the part of translators.

The purpose of audio transcription is to keep the original content exactly as it was spoken, unless there was a mispronunciation or speech error, although the client may request it to be that way in certain cases.

It may seem that the services are similar to subtitling, but it is important to point out that these are different processes, since subtitling a movie, series episode or any other content of the kind may even require adaptations that are not literal, something less common in audio translation and transcription.

How important are audio translation and transcription?

Very important – and technology evolution and new ways to consume content will make that importance even greater.

Audio transcription is an essential procedure for those who want better results on Google and other search engines, as it results in a faithful copy of everything that has been said in a video, podcast or other content, which in turn makes it easy for users to find such content.

In addition to the above, transcription also enables that content to be arranged in a different media format. For example, a video can be turned into a company blog post, allowing more hits and also traffic coming from different audiences.

Audio translation can be applied for the same purposes, except that content can also reach people from other countries and nationalities. This is extremely useful in today’s globalized world.

Some statistics reinforce the importance of audio translation and transcription, as follows (accompanied by their respective sources):

  • 50% of all searches will be done by voice by 2020 (Comscore).
  • Approximately 30% of all searches will be conducted without a screen by 2020, such as through smart speakers and other personal assistants (Gartner).
  • Voice sales totaled USD 1.8 billion in the United States and USD 200 million in the United Kingdom in 2017, which is expected to jump to USD 40 billion and USD 5 billion, respectively, in 2022 ( OC&C Strategy Consultants).
  • 65% of the people who own an Amazon Echo or Google Home (smart speakers) say they can’t imagine going back to the days before having such devices (Geomarketing).

While statistics are not directly related to audio translation, its application is fully in line with the trend of voice search, which is likely to continue to rise, especially with speakers and other smart devices becoming so widespread.

With all the technical and information content of a video or audio in another language, it is clear that investing in transcription and translation are decisions that can deliver excellent results in the short term, as many people and businesses still have not invested their efforts in this area.

Who should transcribe and translate audios?

This service should be assigned to specialized and experienced translators and interpreters so that original quality can be maintained.

It is true that some software solutions perform audio transcription, whose resulting text content could be translated by a machine, but quality would be seriously compromised in these cases.

We have already talked about the dangers of relying on machine translation, which are real. While artificial intelligence and machine learning do exist and are successful resources, maximum efficiency is a feature that has not been simulated yet – and it will take a long time to be achieved, whether it will be achieved at all.

In addition, as there would be two different tools, one for transcription and one for translation, the chances of error double. This enhances the possibility of something going wrong, which in turn can tarnish the reputation of a business.

When audio translation is assigned to a qualified professional, none of this happens because experts are prepared to handle the situation and offer the best possible outcome according to the request they received.

When you encounter sharp accents or minor audio failures, for example, human reaction is much more effective than that of a software solution or system, which usually cannot function properly in such cases.

According to Statista portal, the global language services market is expected to turn over USD 49.6 billion by 2019 and is estimated to reach USD 56.18 billion by 2021 – and part of that is due to audio translations and transcriptions.

When you are faced with the need to have an audio file transcribed or translated, choose an experienced and appropriately qualified translation agency. You will get the best results regardless of your proposed objective.

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