Whether you're planning to record a phone interview, Zoom meeting, or a public lecture, you may want a transcript of the words spoken. Why? The process of taking handwritten (or typed) notes detracts from your attention on the speaker and only captures key ideas, not every word. If you want complete documentation of an audio moment, transcription is the way to go. But, which type of translation service is best?
Turning audio into a text script can easily be achieved by a human freelance translator or an automated translation service using computer-generated intelligence, often referred to as AI, or artificial intelligence.
Going this route means sending your audio file off to a human who will listen to the conversation and type in the exact words they hear. The result is a transcript of every word that could be heard on the audio recording. This option creates the most accurate translation of interviews, speeches, and conversations.
If you choose to work with an automated translation app, or AI service, a computer with an extensive vocabulary and audio recognition skills will listen to the recording and identify the words spoken. This is then converted into a text document. This option yields the most accurate results when the speaker(s) clearly articulate their words, speak at a slow pace, and use everyday language.
Thinking about your needs for the transcript before ordering it will help you decide which route to go. Here are some key differences between ordering transcripts generated by a freelance translator and an automated service.
If you're looking for the best quality possible—accuracy, legibility, completeness—working with a human to translate your audio file is the top option. Here's why.
If you're in a hurry, using a translation app downloaded on your smartphone or bookmarked on your PC makes sense. Here's what you can expect if you choose an AI transcription.
If you have both options available to you, choosing a professional human translator to review the audio file and create a direct text translation will yield the most accurate, detailed, and organized representation of the conversation. This is preferred for anyone pulling data or comments from the audio. This might include reporters writing articles with direct quotes from the speakers, students crafting research reports, or professionals gleaning information to include in a white paper.