Overcoming the 4 challenges of video transcription
November 3, 2023

Overcoming the 4 challenges of video transcription

Online video platforms are rising in number, with many content creators, activists, filmmakers, etc., opting to provide entertainment and information globally. With social media being easily accessible, these videos reach a wide range of audiences in mere minutes. In addition, video translation acts as a helping aid and makes content accessible and legible for a global audience.

What is video transcription?

Transcription of a video is significant and involves converting the audio files of the video, available in formats like MP3 or WAV, into a text format. The transcribed text is used for subtitling the video, generating quality reports, research purposes, etc. In movies, the original transcript of the video can be translated into the target language, allowing for easy dubbing or voice-over.

Though transcription sounds simple, the process requires skill and attention; challenges are aplenty, as well. Manual transcriptions used to be the norm for quite a few years until Machine Learning and Artificial intelligence were introduced to the world. These technologies are helpful but need extra verification with quality checks.

For an ideal transcription, audio quality needs to be perfect, and the dialogues need to be in the same language. Furthermore, the accents must be easily understandable. When this is not the case, the challenges begin to set in.

Challenges faced in transcription

Let’s now look at some of the common challenges faced in transcription:

Challenge 1: Selecting the right resources


The first challenge is recruitment. Depending on the language required for the transcription, the companies strategically employ local resources or workforce. The individuals usually involved are transcribers and quality assurance, project, and resource managers.

There is a need for human involvement,  despite having digital transcribing applications. Apart from reproducing the content in the video or audio file, the transcriber also works on the text formatting. Adding punctuations, brackets that denote the speaker, or some sort of description about background noise, including date and time stamps, interpretations for a better description of the context, etc., are just some of the many duties of the transcriber.

However, an issue arises when the transcription is done without any background knowledge about the contents of the video. The most common problem in this context is the terms used, as some topics necessitate jargon use, which the transcriber may not be aware of. Therefore, clients should brief the transcriber regarding the context of the audio or video, as this aids in deciphering the recordings and affects the transcribed output. Above all, the recruited employees should be patient enough to sit through long hours of content, repeating steps multiple times to get the info just right.

Challenge 2: Testing audio quality


Audio quality falls second in the hurdle list. Factors like the number of people speaking in an audio and the quality of the recorded conversations affect the transcription output. When the audio quality is poor, the words used can be mispronounced or misheard.

Background noise can be too high to extract the conversation, as well. Also, the dialects and accents add to the difficulty in deciphering the actual conversation, especially with poor audio quality.

Language solution companies usually have high-profile clients with specific demands. However, if the audio files given by these clients are of poor quality, a transcriber may find it difficult to transcribe. In such situations, language solution companies have Quality Assurance and Evaluation teams that document and report the issue to the client. Then, they further request an improved or new audio file.

However, if the transcribers can salvage some information despite the poor audio quality, the Evaluation team steps in to re-evaluate and verify the accuracy of the generated output. Today, these evaluations can also be conducted by special software available in the market to eliminate any errors.

Challenge 3: Training the transcribers


Transcribers may be skilled at typing and note-taking, but niche techniques are learned only with job-oriented training. In addition, different content works at different contextual levels, which means that the transcriber needs to be aware of possible client demands to meet them. Just an online tutorial on how to subtitle videos does not provide all the skills that a transcriber needs.

Companies usually have initial training programs specifically designed to provide an overview of transcribing. The contents of such training programs generally include:

  • Where to apply breaks and pauses in a conversation (sometimes this is specified by the client),
  • Identifying different voices within the audio recording and marking them,
  • Identifying techniques to juggle with different accents and dialects, grammar rules and formatting etiquettes,
  • Increasing the typing ease with keyboard shortcuts,
  • Using the specified software for the verification of audio output,
  • Identifying and tagging the unintelligible words or jargon.

Challenge 4: Ensuring security and confidentiality


Another struggle that determines the reliability of a company is the confidentiality and security of the content transcribed.

Video content is being produced in large numbers every day. However, with an increasing number of content creators having a wide range of platforms to upload to, people find it hard to develop creative, unique content that attracts a large audience. So, when clients trust language solution companies to handle their videos or audios, security and quality are highly expected.

The audio/video files need to be maintained within a secured firewall with proper legal documentation to avoid any problems in the future. No backup of the client files is retained by the company after the work is submitted and approved. Therefore, reliability is assured with established and certified companies.

Overcoming the challenges

Transcription is a long process with many challenging hurdles, but working past these challenges is easy with small steps. Establishing a friendly client relationship and encouraging teamwork can ease the stress load. Transcribers should be involved in the discussion and informed of the specific contexts of the audio content and their special needs.

Proper communication will ensure a better transcription output than running into it head-on. Acquiring high-quality security systems to ensure the confidentiality of the client’s files during each verification and storage is also important.

Finally, relying on a trustworthy language solution company like Braahmam can certainly help overcome the uniqueness of transcription.

Braahmam – A one-stop solution for content translation


Being a long-player in the translation domain, Braahmam provides a range of translation services for mobile apps, e-learning platforms, websites, audios, and videos with software localization. We have partnered with France-based Mediawen International, incorporating AI for machine translations of the audio or video content which we then edit.

Braahmam supports clients from Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, in collaboration with Mediawen International, helping video creators from these regions make their content multilingual and global.

Good transcription can boost the visibility of your content and help in attaining a larger, more multi-national audience for your creations. Therefore, choosing a language solution company can help reduce your workload. In addition, a good firm offers skilled transcribers who are well trained to tackle different niches of content and reliability through their years of expertise in the field, assuring you the best in transcription quality.

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