What Are Transcription Services? Differences Between Transcription Vs Translation

What is transcription? Is it similar to translation? Are they different or the same? Today I will answer all of these questions in a very simplified manner. For example, suppose you search for what is a transcription or the difference between transcription and translation on the internet. In that case, you will find innumerable search results about DNA and RNA, which belongs to the field of biology. But here we are discussing transcription and translation concerning language.

So let us figure out what both of the terminologies mean.

Meaning And Definition Of Transcription

Transcription’s basic and similar meaning is converting audio speech into written text. So, for example, if we watch a movie, we can see written text below the video which we call subtitles. Subtitles are written versions of audio in the movie. This process is called transcription. The audio files or recordings can be podcasts, speeches, lectures, videos, webinars, movies, etc. The audio is transformed into text format using transcription software and further synchronizes text with the video.

Transcription services are in demand now, but they are not difficult to learn. On the contrary, transcription is a very easy skill to learn.

There is much software that can convert audio into written text, for example, automatic speech recognition (ASR) software; this is similar to Siri or goggles assistance. Also, individuals work as transcriptionists who can convert audio files into text.

Types of Transcription

Transcriptions Can Be Broadly Explained In Two Types, Namely, Verbatim and Non-verbatim.


  • Verbatim is also called full verbatim or strict verbatim.
  • Full verbatim means transcribing the audio file the same as spoken in the file.
  • Full or strict verbatim is used for police interrogation or other legal transcription and research purposes. For example, in the conversation between the detective and the witness, the transcriptionist needs to transcribe each word, like ‘umm-hmm’ or repetitive words.
  • Verbatim is more time-consuming and difficult.

Includes the following words

  • stutters
  • fillers
  • crutch words
  • repeated words
  • feedbacks, interjections
  • non-speech sounds
  • false starts


  • Non-verbatim is also defined as clean verbatim or intelligent verbatim.
  • Intelligent verbatim focuses more on removing unnecessary words from the audio. Most companies go for clean verbatim as it only cleans the audio and transcripts of meaningful and necessary words.
  • It varies from company to company, but the basic rules remain the same.
  • Clean verbatim is the most common form used by transcription companies.

Remove the following words:

  • Stutters such as ‘ss ss surprise’ we will not add the ‘sss ss’ sound; instead, straight away write ‘surprise’.
  • Remove filler speech, for example. Umm, uh, hmm. For example, ‘A a glass of water and a aa plate of rice’, so here we will ignore the filler and write the sentence as ‘ A glass of water and a plate of rice.
  • Repetitive words; unless necessary. For example, if a person says, ‘I want to eat pizza,’ here want is used unnecessarily. On the other hand, if a person says, ‘I really really like pizza’, we will add this in our text because “really really” emphasizes how much the person likes it.
  • Crutch words when they don’t add meaning to the text. Words such as ‘like, actually, sort of, kind of.’, so when people usually speak, they add repetitive words. For example, ‘I like to want to like go to like this store tomorrow’ so you need not add all those ‘likes’ because they don’t add any meaning.
  • Remove words used by interviewers. Such as ‘yeah’ and ‘mm-hmm’ are only used to motivate the interviewee.
  • Non-speech sounds like coughing and throat clearing

Meaning and Definition Of Translation 

The word translation is derived from the Latin word “translatio”, though it seems similar to transcription but works differently. Translation is a process of converting text, written or audio, into another language. Translation has been carried out for many years, which has helped exchange culture and knowledge worldwide. It is something we do in our day-to-day life. Let us understand it with an example; suppose a person comes across an article written in Spanish but does not know how to read it. Here translation plays its role by converting the article written in Spanish into English.

Types of Translation

Translation can be further defined into three types: literary, professional, and technical translation.

Literary Translation

Refers to translating literary works like poems, plays, and novels. The translator needs extensive knowledge of both languages to correctly translate the humor and emotions from the document and the context and sound behind each word.

Professional Translation

As the word professional indicates, medical and legal industries. Where professional documents are recorded, the translator should acquire deep knowledge regarding the field as this type of translation needs to translate information accurately. Therefore, the more complex the information, the more educated and experienced the translator.

Technical Translation

Technical Translation covers a lot of technical words, Special Texts, and documents written by technical writers.

So is transcription similar to translation? Of course, transcription is not similar to translation; many of us get confused with these terms. Let us find the difference between transcription and translation.

Difference Between Transcription and Translation

Transcription: A person indulged in transcription work is called a transcriptionist.

Translation: Individuals who transform the written text or audio into another language are called translators.

Transcription: One can do transcription even if he can understand any one language.

Translation: One should acquire proficiency in a minimum of two or more languages to become a translator ;

Transcription: Work on audio files only

Translation: Work on a written document as well as audio files.

Transcription: Transcription does not need any certificate or specialization as the transcriptionist converts the written document into an audio file. But at the same time, they should have great listening skills. In addition, there should be accuracy in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

Translation: Also, translation is a challenging task as while translating any document or speech, the translator not only changes the language but also sees that the person to whom he is translating understands it easily.


This was detailed information about transcription and translation, their types, and their differences. There are many job opportunities for people willing to work as a transcriptor as it does not require any certification. Also, there is a great scope for one who wants to work as a translator, but the job of a translator also comes with many responsibilities. Hence, keeping this in mind, one should accrue proficiency in two or more languages.

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