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Advice on transcription/translation from tapes
Thread poster: xxxMurielP
xxxMurielP  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
French to English
+ ...
Oct 28, 2004

Hi,

I have just been give several tapes for transcription/translation and i am finding this painstakingly long! At the moment, I'm translating directly from the tape, should I first type the original version and then translate.

Has anyone any experience with this?

Thank you and sorry for what may seem a silly question.


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 10:49
English to German
+ ...
it is better to generate a softcopy first Oct 28, 2004

due to many reasons, whether you wish to use Trados or other CAT tool, but a basis of manipulable text file is always advantageous. You can infact introduce transcription costs in your invoice.
Good Luck
Brandis


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 09:49
German to English
+ ...
Transfer to CD? Oct 28, 2004

I've recently been offered something similar, and it occurred to me that having the material on CD would allow me to play (and control) it from my computer. Is that an option for you? As to whether to first transcribe and then translate, I'm probably going to do a rough translation first without transcribing, and check it through against the sound source afterwards. Obviously this will only be possible if the sound quality is good and the speed is not too fast.

Did you agree a flat rate for the job or are you charging by time? I've told my client that I will charge by time. Clearly they want some idea of how much time it will take, but I've told them it's impossible to say in advance of even hearing the material, let alone starting work.

Hope it works out for you.


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mystymy
Local time: 04:49
Spanish to English
+ ...
transcription Oct 28, 2004

I always write the original then translate. It may make the process longer, but I feel I produce a better product that way.

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xxxIanW
Local time: 10:49
German to English
+ ...
My experience Oct 28, 2004

Hi Muriel,

What I always do in this case is tell the customer that I will need to translate the text from a soft copy, since this is the most economical method. (Perhaps interpreters could translate, proof-read and edit more quickly from a tape, but I can't - and anyway there is a world of difference between translation and interpreting).

I then quote a price for typing out the text into a Word file (generally getting a native speaker student to do it) and charge the customer my normal hourly rate or a slightly reduced one. I also point out that their best option is probably to get a professional typing agency to do the typing work, since it will probably work out cheaper in the long run. Then it's up to the customer to decide which option he/she wants to take as regards the typing work, and you change the translation based on the line/word count as usual.

Hope this helps


Ian


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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 02:49
English to Spanish
+ ...
Good Advice Oct 28, 2004

Having had experience with audio tapes, I can tell you that Ian's advice is very good; get someone else to do the transcription. Your rates should be much higher than a transcriber's rates, so it is also more economical for the client and better use of your more expensive time.

In my own case I also have somewhat poor hearing, plus I lack the equipment that transcribers have to make the task easier, and it does take good equipment in addition to a good ear. Transcription time can also be extremely variable according to the quality of the recording, so you can largely eliminate that factor of uncertainty by putting it on someone else.

Of course, you still need to review the recording and make any corrections that may be necessary in the transcription, so at least a fraction of the above factor will still be present. Charge time for that and then the actual translation can be done on a word volume basis.

I would think that most clients would want a hard copy with the original language and translated versions side by side.


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Heike Behl, Ph.D.  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:49
Member (2003)
English to German
+ ...
slowing down software Oct 28, 2004

If you get stuck with the transcription, I think it's really good advice to get it into the computer.
You can get software (shareware) that allows you to slow down the speed of the recording to anything you want without changing the pitch, i.e. you can slow down the spoken language to a speed you can comfortably type along. This way, you don't have to stop and re-play the same passage all the time.
Transcribe is the name of one of the software, another one is something like the Amazing Slow-Downer. I use Transcribe almost constantly to slow down music and it's an excellent and userfriendly tool.


[Edited at 2004-10-28 20:01]


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Berni Armstrong  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:49
Member
English
+ ...
Slow it down... Oct 28, 2004

Hi there,

here is the URL of slow downer http://www.ronimusic.com/

you can download a trial copy there, to see if it would be useful to you. It's great for musicians wanting to explore solos, etc.

As for transcriptions, it would probably help too. But generally I agree with the above contributors who argue that the transcriptions should be done by a native typist, rather than a translator. The problem is that often, the translator is the only native speaker of that language in the area and you get landed with the job. But do make sure the client is aware of just how long this can take. Ask them to try transcribing a four minute pop song in their own language to get an idea of what is involved!

It is also essential to transfer any recording to CD (lots of recording software around that will allow you to do this - I use Audio Cleaning Lab) because you can then use your repeat function to play a piece over and over again until you finally get it, without driving yourself mad with running a tape backwards and forwards.


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xxxMurielP  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:49
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks to everyone Oct 28, 2004

Thank you,

All your advice has been very helpful, if not for this particular job at least for the next ones.
This is a good customer and I agreed a flat rate, not having done this before! I've tried transcribing the text and find it very long so I'm translating directly from the tape. I now have a blister on my finger for rewinding the tape....

I shall try and get this shareware that slows down the speed because if it was slower then I would certainly be faster. The language is not too technical so I'm not looking up the dictionary all the time.

In the meantime, many thanks to you all.

Muriel


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