Difference Between Translation And Transcription


Translations And Transcriptions – Definition

We often confuse Translation and Transcription for each other even though they are different. After reading this article you’ll be able to tell the difference between translation and transcription in language. Therefore, in order to differentiate between two, one need to know what both the terms mean.

Difference Between Translation And Transcription
  • TRANSLATION- Translation is a process of re-creating on converting a document from one language to another. For example, Malay to English translation or translating a Chinese document into Spanish etc.
  • TRANSCRIPTION- Transcription is converting an audio or video file, into a document written in the same language as that of the audio or in some other language. For example, listening to a Spanish audio and converting it into English for subtitles.

To clarify, these are the definitions by which one can distinguish between translation and transcription. One may need transcriptions and translations for business expansion as language is the only barrier that stands between globalization.


The following are some of the major points of difference between transcription and translation:

  1. Through translation, one converts a written document into another language maintaining the accuracy and integrity of the content. However, transcription is putting speech or audio/ video data into a written form in the same language or another language.
  2. Translation is so much more than word to word conversion. It needs proper understanding of the field or document, to get an accurate translation. However, transcription is a script in which we write the exact content word by word; this is verbatim.
  3. A translation is the process of taking that written text and translating it into another language. Transcription is the process of listening to the audio file and then writing it down verbatim in the same language or a different language.
  4. One may need translation for converting their legal, business or academic documents into another language. Transcription is helpful in case you need subtitles, or have an audio file which contains legal information, so you may need to transcribe it into a writing.
  5. Translation is conversion of a document from one language to another. Transcription on the other hand is the conversion of an audio/video file into a script in the same of different language.
  6. A translator is required to speak, read and write both the source and the target language. Whereas the transcriber may just need to understand the source language and write the target language.

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In order to increase interaction with the outside world, one has to overcome the language barrier by learning the foreign. But, there are a number of difficult languages to learn thus one may fail to globalize. That is where offline or online transcription and translation services come in. However, both translation and transcription are different from each other, they do have a few similarities.

  • The major similarity between the two is that both thorough proficiency in understanding the source and target languages in addition to writing proficiency in the target language.
  • There are many online agencies that offer both translation and transcription services in addition to interpretation services as well.
  • They both are a replica of text or a speech. That is to say, a translator and transcribe both have to decode the content in the document or file.
  • Transcriptions and translations improve the way of communication with the outside world. These services provide opportunities for the world to come together because they allow us to accurately understand information in one’s native language.

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