Perhaps we should start by making sure we all understand the same terminology:

Transcription – this is a verbatim representation of what is being said in the source language of either an audio file or video.  This can be time coded or not depending on requirement and will also breakdown the different people speaking.  A transcription, by definition, will always be in the same language as the source language.

Adapted translation – this is a translation of the transcription for use as voice over.  When translating from English into foreign languages there is often a word count swell that can be as much as 25% so this has to be considered when translating and the translated script must be adapted to consider this and the video timeline.

Document translation – the translation of a document for use as a document, to be read only (printed or online material etc) where there is no concern about length and word count swell between source and target language.

Subtitling – this is a translation of the video but specifically adapted and timed to adhere to regulation on screen read times and character restrictions.  A transcription is not needed for this process although if it exists it is very helpful.  Please see our subtitle page for more information.

Video editing – localising onscreen graphics and animations into the target language. Allows for a fully localised video (particularly helpful when revoicing videos).  Please see our video editing page for more information.

Voice over – a piece of narration in a film or broadcast, not accompanied by an image of the speaker.  To hear samples of our foreign voiceover artists, take a look at our voices page.

Dubbing – provide a voice soundtrack in a different language from the original.  To hear samples of our foreign voiceover artists, take a look at our voices page.



The process of transcription involves listening to a recording or watching a video and typing the contents up into a document, which is then returned to the client, giving them a written record of what’s on the recording.  It is the process of converting the spoken word into a written format.

With technology as it is, there are many voice recognition products in the market place however if you have ever used the dictate function on your smart phone, you will know the drawbacks of this and for accuracy it is still advisable to use a human transcriptionist.

The language in the original material is the source language and a native speaker of the source language should always used to ensure accuracy as a transcription is always source language to source language.

We are currently transcribing many hours of material into many world languages so for any advice or a no obligation quote, please contact us.