Difference Between Transcription and Translation in Language

Main Difference – Transcription vs Translation in Language

Although the two words, transcription and translation, appear similar, they are not the same. Both these are related to language but are different in many aspects. In simple words, Transcription is converting something into a written form while translation is converting something to another language. This is the main difference between transcription and translation. To add more, transcription involves only one language while translation deals with two or more languages. In this article, we’ll be looking at the difference between transcription and translation in the context of language.

What is Transcription

Transcription is the act of converting something to a written or printed form. There are two approaches to transcription. It involves either writing material to be transcribed or listening to a recording of the material, to speed up the process. Transcription is used on many occasions. For example, if a document provided by someone is not clear and cannot be comprehended, then it is transcribed by another party. Thus, we can say that the aim of transcribing is making the information clear. A transcriptionist is a person who is engaged in transcriptions. It is important for the transcriptionist to have good language knowledge.

transcription vs translation

What is Translation

Translation is the act of changing something that is written or spoken into another language. It could be simply explained as the act of taking one language and repeating the same meaning and context into another language. Translation always involves two or more languages.

Translation can be mainly divided into the two categories of literary and non-literary translations. Literary translation is the translation of literary works (novels, poems, short stories, etc.) Non-literary translation is the translation of technical, scientific, legal documents. A translator has to have a good knowledge of both languages in order to produce high-quality translation. In addition, the translator should also have some knowledge about the culture of the other language as he may have to deal with colloquial expressions and other cultural references.difference between transcription and translation

Difference Between Transcription and Translation 


Transcription: Transcription is the act of converting something to a written or printed form.

Translation: Translation is the act of changing something that is written or spoken into another language.


Transcription: Transcription involves only one language.

Translation: Translation involves two or more languages.


Transcription: Transcription usually takes a written form.

Translation: Translation is done both in written and spoken form.


Transcription: A transcriptionist should be competent in the native language.

Translation: A translator has to be fluent in his native language as well as another language.


Transcription: A transcriptionist mainly deals with information and, therefore, does not have to be knowledgeable about colloquial expressions.

Translation: In a literary translation, a translator has to be knowledgeable about colloquial expressions, idioms, etc.

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