Transcription, Translation, and Subtitling

By: Speechpad Team

Transcribing is generally known as converting data from an audio or video format into a written document format. The two most common formats involved in transcription are audio and video.

Translation is the process of creating a written document from one language to another. The most important aspect of translation is maintaining the integrity (meaning and significance) of the audio, video, or document being translated. This requires an experienced translator who has a complete understanding of both the original language source and the target language source. Otherwise, the translation will not be accurate or precise. Therefore, not a mirror image of the original language source format.

Translation of the transcription may be required when dealing with either audio or video. That is if there is a language barrier or if there is foreign dialogue that is not understandable to the target audience. An example of this would be a movie in English which contains some foreign dialogue. Translation may also be necessary when the dialogue content in the audio or video is garbled or mumbled and prevents the audience from understanding what is being said.

Subtitling is a valuable tool for video formats. Depending on the nature, type, and length of the video, different subtitling rules are applied. For example, commercials, movies, and television programs all have different subtitling requirements. Generally, the client will provide the instructions on how they want the subtitles to appear in their video format.


It is important to understand that subtitling is not related to closed captioning, which is the text of a video aimed toward the audience of the deaf and hard of hearing. Closed Captioning is more specific in nature than subtitling because it includes references as to who is speaking and relevant sounds such as a doorbell, dog barking, or music being played. These are generally displayed in a black box near the bottom of the screen.

In contrast, subtitles are targeted toward individuals who can hear but may not be able to understand what is being said, either because the dialogue is garbled and unable to be understood, contains dialogue in a foreign language, or is being targeted toward a foreign audience. For all of these reasons, it is of vital importance that the transcription and/or the translation be precise and accurate. Otherwise, the subtitles will not properly reflect the dialogue of the video, and the message that the video is trying to convey will not be understood by the target audience.

Whether you need a transcription, translation and/or the subtitling of a video, it is of the utmost importance to obtain these services from a professional company to ensure the accurate conveyance of your message to your target audience. Speechpad provides a one-stop shop for all of your transcribing, translating, and subtitling needs. Our transcription and translation professionals provide the highest quality product on the market today.

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