Why are Transcription Services Important for Many Businesses?

What is business transcription?

Business transcription is a simple way of describing the variety of ways that transcription can and does help businesses function. Transcription is the conversion of speech into text. It may be direct, i.e. the conversion takes place just as someone speaks, or can be done later after a recording of the speech has been made. Until recently, transcription was the exclusive domain of human transcribers, who have developed expertise in listening to speech and converting it into text. More recently, a number of computer programs have been developed that attempt to replicate the task of transcription automatically. 

Transcription may involve the conversion of speech in one language into text in the same language or may involve translation from one language into another, i.e. the transcriber directly translates what he or she has heard into text in another language. Transcription and translation together are less common than transcription alone.

Large corporations and organizations are more likely to use their own team of transcribers, while smaller businesses may hire transcribers for the less frequent number of times they need transcription services.

Which businesses need transcription services?

Most businesses use transcription services at some time or another, even if it is when someone in an office wants their secretary to type out a letter or email. This isn’t anything new as ‘stenographers’ as they were called in the not-too-distant past, were acting as transcribers.

The range of businesses that use and probably depend on transcription services is vast. Here are just some of the sorts of companies that use transcription services on a regular basis:

  • legal firms;
  • healthcare organizations, including the public healthcare service and private health providers;
  • academic institutions;
  • media and mass communication services;
  • market research and consulting firms;
  • scientific and technological businesses and organizations.

Why are transcription services needed by businesses?

There are many reasons why businesses and other organizations, public and private use transcription services. The actual range of needs for transcription depends a lot, of course, on the type of business or institution it is. For example, a common reason for transcription is during business meetings when several key people meet to discuss aspects of the business. What is said during the meeting and who said it is normally transcribed and then the text version is sent to each participant for their records. Having the meeting recorded in text lessens the chance of misunderstanding and confusion later on. 

The demand for transcription and translation during business meetings is also high whenever there is an international conference or there are international delegates who are more comfortable expressing themselves in their own language. Usually, there are interpreters busy during the meeting so that everyone understands enough at the time so they can communicate and respond, but there is still a need for transcription and translation for reference after the meeting is over. 

What are the types of transcription services?

As has already been referred to, there are three main types of transcription services. These are as follows.

  • Direct transcription, in which the transcriber listens to the speech and transcribes it then and there. This type of transcription is used whenever the need for the text version is immediate or urgent. For example, it is common for court transcribers to transcribe the proceedings of a court case at the time the session is underway so that lawyers, judges and anyone else involved in the case have immediate access to the record.
  • Indirect transcription. This is when an audio recording is made of what is said and then this recording is later transcribed and distributed to whoever needs the text version. Indirect transcription from audio recordings tends to be more accurate than direct transcriptions as the transcriber has more opportunity to go over the audio recording several times before being sure they 
  • Transcription and translation. This is when the text version of the converted speech is in a different language after the transcription has been translated.


If your business needs transcription services for different purposes, contact a professional transcription (and translation) service.

A Simple Guide to Choosing a Subtitling and Captioning Service

Subtitling and captioning are not quite the same thing but are related when in the context of being used in videos. It is important to choose a professional subtitling service when your video is to be released in places where people do not speak the same language as those in the film script or are deaf.

What is a subtitle?

Subtitles are short summaries of what someone is saying which are displayed clearly at the bottom of a video. Ideally, they appear just when needed, i.e. not too early and not too late, and are long enough for viewers to get the message, i.e. follow the speech or utterances of the characters in the video. Subtitles may be in the same language as the language used by the characters in the video or different. Subtitles that are composed in the same language help to provide an overview or précis of each person’s speech. This is basically to cater to those people who find it hard to hear or are deaf. They may also be turned on (if available) in certain circumstances when an audio version of the video is not suitable, e.g. if used in a library or educational institution and earphones are not available.

When a video is released outside of the country where the video was made and an audience who does not speak that language is targeted, then subtitles are typically translated into the relevant language. Very popular films and documentaries, for example, may have dozens of different versions of subtitles, each available for a different audience.

What is captioning?

Captions are typically very short words or phrases used to highlight a part of a video or documentary. Like subtitles, they may be used whenever someone who is hard of hearing or deaf is watching the video or when it is not acceptable for there to be sound. Captions, like subtitles, are typically translated when the video is intended for audiences who don’t speak the language of the characters in it.

Why is there a need for professional subtitling services?

There are two major challenges faced by subtitling services. The first is making the subtitle fit the actual speech or sounds heard in the video. The second is when the subtitle is translated. The second challenge is then added to the first challenge!

The first challenge involves knowing how to simplify what is being said without leaving out the main message. By simplification, it is common for a subtitle not to occupy more than a single sentence; otherwise, by the time someone has read the subtitle, the video has already progressed further, leaving the person watching well behind. Also, the subtitle has to appear on the screen in a suitable place and be of the font, color, and size that is required by the video maker. The subtitle also has to appear on the screen just at the right time and be replaced by another subtitle or disappear just at the right time. 

The fact that subtitles are frequently translated means that all of the challenges listed above also have to be taken into consideration when the translated version is devised. Text used in some languages, for example, may be of different lengths when translated, so the translator has to work with the subtitler so that the length of the subtitle, its appearance, and timing still fit in with the video.

How to choose the right subtitling and captioning services for your objectives

When you choose a professional subtitling and captioning service, you will want to know which languages they are familiar with and how much experience they have with the genre of video you need subtitled or captioned. Most videos, for example, use a lot of colloquial terms and slang, so the subtitler must be able to understand all of the nuances of these words and phrases and be able to convert them into equivalent subtitles in the target language without creating confusion or offense.

10 Important Facts About the Chinese Language

China has become one of the most important nations in the world, economically and politically. Its manufactured goods provide a large percentage of the world’s consumer needs and much of the developed world’s economy is reliant on a buoyant Chinese economy. For this reason, the Chinese language, called Mandarin, has become one of the most sought-after languages to learn outside of China.

Is Chinese the most difficult language to learn?

Whether you would find Chinese easy or difficult depends on a number of factors. Which language is your native language? If you already understand a tonal language, e.g. Thai or Vietnamese, then this would make learning Chinese easier. If you are used to interpreting characters, like Japanese, then you might also find learning the Chinese writing system easier than other people. If you are young and already understand more than your native language and are motivated to learn, then these factors all count in your favor. 

If none of these factors apply to you, then yes, you might very well find learning Chinese challenging!

10 facts about the Chinese language

#1. Chinese is one of the oldest languages still in use

The origin of the Chinese language, and the language family that it belongs to, is thought to be very old. Like other languages, its antiquity can only be confirmed whenever written records show up. As far as Chinese is concerned, the oldest record of writing that has been discovered that is recognizably Chinese is on bone inscriptions dated to 1230 B.C., which makes them about 3,450 years old. 

#2. Mandarin is the official language of China

Mandarin, more specifically the Beijing dialect of Mandarin, became the official language of what is now the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1930. It is also the official language of the Republic of China (Taiwan). It is also one of the official languages (Malay, English, and Tamil) of Singapore and one of 6 official languages used by the United Nations.

#3. Chinese is a major language in numerous Southeast Asian countries.

Chinese people have migrated to many other countries, not least to the nearby countries of South East Asia. This means that there are substantial minority populations of Chinese in just about every South East Asian country.

#4. What is special about Chinese characters and language?

There are a large number of Chinese dialects used in China despite the fact that everyone is nominally a Mandarin speaker. There is some disagreement about whether some of the major dialects are really all the same language as some of them are mutually unintelligible, despite their similarity in that they are tonal and analytic. 

The same Chinese characters are used across China, a system called simplified Chinese. However, the older characters are used elsewhere like in Taiwan, Singapore, Macao, and Malaysia. 

#5. Chinese writing systems

The main writing system used in China is very different from that of most other languages. It uses an enormous number of possible characters that are arranged vertically from top to bottom and from right to left. The most used writing system is called Standard Mandarin Chinese.

#6. The word “Mandarin” comes from Sanskrit.

The word ‘mandarin’ has an interesting history. In English, it is a word that is normally used for a type of tangerine. This comes from the Portuguese language. However, the word used to denote the official and most widely spoken in the Chinese language comes from the Malay ‘menteri’ meaning official or minister. This word itself was originally derived from Sanskrit.

#7. Family is valued greatly in China

Like most cultures, family ties are very strong in China. This has become even more so as the one-child policy that has been in force for a couple of decades in the PRC has meant that parents dote on their only son or daughter. The importance of family also means that wherever Chinese migrate to other parts of the world, they keep their ties with their family and that also means using the Chinese language.


Chinese is not just the most spoken language in the world but has become highly sought after as learning opens the gate towards understanding Chinese society and culture and facilitates communication with Chinese scientists, officials, and businesspeople.

What You Need to Know About Diplomatic Passports in Australia

What is a diplomatic passport?

Most of us ordinary mortals will never hold or even see a diplomatic passport unless employed as an immigration official at a border. There is no choice you can make about having an ordinary or a diplomatic passport. All passports are issued by individual national governments, including diplomatic passports. However, unless you are a representative of your government in its diplomatic service, you will just get an ordinary passport. To be honest, most of the time you ever need a passport, it doesn’t really give you a huge advantage having a diplomatic passport. You are still expected to observe the rules of the country you visit or work in, even if you work in a diplomatic capacity on behalf of your own government.

To clarify what a diplomatic passport is in Australia, note that Australian citizens who are employed in the diplomatic service overseas will be issued diplomatic passports. They will present these when asked to do so or when filling in forms when on active service overseas. If an Australian citizen who is employed as a diplomat in Malaysia decides to have a holiday in Bali or Fiji, it will not be the diplomatic passport used, but an ordinary Australian passport.

On the other hand, those who work in embassies and high commissions in Australia on behalf of their own country’s government will have diplomatic passports issued by their own country. They will be expected to show these when asked to do so in Australia. Unless they are on official government business, holders of diplomatic passports would not normally use their diplomatic passports if visiting another country on unofficial business, e.g. having a holiday.

Who is eligible for a diplomatic passport?

Although issuing diplomatic passports is an affair governed by individual countries, typically only government representatives serving in their country’s diplomatic service will be issued them. In Australia, it is the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) issues passports of all types, including ordinary passports, emergency passports, and diplomatic or official passports. Typically, in Australia, an application for a diplomatic or official passport would be accepted by the nominating government agency and assessed for eligibility by DFAT before such a passport is issued. DFAT can cancel a diplomatic or official passport if it is detected that the official has used it improperly.

What are the advantages of having a diplomatic passport?

The advantages of using a diplomatic passport are basically to streamline immigration requirements and make travel to and from the countries where diplomatic service is being carried out. The rules about holders of diplomatic passports are made by the individual countries’ governments, not the issuing countries. In Australia, diplomats who hold diplomatic passports must still apply for a diplomatic visa (subclass 955) before arrival in Australia and observe Australian rules and laws.

Many countries provide a level of diplomatic immunity to holders of diplomatic passports. This again depends on the individual countries’ rules but may mean immunity from arrest, prosecution, and searching of home or property. In Australia, as one example, there are three levels of diplomatic immunity. The highest level, the Red card level, provides the greatest immunity, while green card holders, mainly consular staff, have reduced immunity. There may be exceptions to even the highest levels of immunity if the individual’s government agrees that prosecution, e.g. for a grave criminal offense, can proceed.


Diplomatic passports are a category of passports issued by individual countries for their diplomatic staff employed overseas. Most countries accept that these passport holders have slightly different treatment than holders of ordinary passports, although all diplomatic passport holders are expected to apply for the correct visas and observe the rules and laws in the country they have been sent to on behalf of their government. Diplomatic passports may need to be translated to support a visa application. These translations should always be performed by authorized, professional translators.

The Benefits of Multilingual Customer Support

What is meant by customer support?

Most manufacturers around the world these days have learned that their products can’t just be distributed and sold without any backup customer support. In fact, products are often judged on just how good a company’s customer support is. Until relatively recently, most customer support involved taking a product back to the place where it was bought and getting it repaired or replaced, or at least checked.

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What Are Medical Reports and Why Do They Need to be Translated?

What are medical reports?

Medical reports are hugely important, so if there is a need to provide them in a country other than the one where they were issued and where the official language is different, then medical report translation will be needed.

Medical reports are made up of individual medical records as well as more general data and statistics that could be anything from an analysis of regional and national health outcomes to research and development of new treatment options, vaccines, and drugs.

Why you might need individual medical record translation

When it comes to individuals, medical reports tend to be called medical records. Ideally, they should be continuous, and therefore give a history of the health of the individual. If there have been any illnesses that had to be treated or injuries that had to be dealt with, these should be included in the individual’s medical records. These may include assessments by doctors, records of hospital admissions, the results of any tests and scans, diagnoses of any serious illnesses, medication prescribed, ongoing prognosis, and potential long-term medical needs.

Generally, these medical records are compiled in the language of the country where the individual has lived for most of the time, but people do move around from one country to another, for education, permanent migration, employment, and as refugees. When the individual does move to another country, medical records can be very useful in the event that treatment is required. In many cases, visas for lengthier periods of stay or permanent migration may depend on submitting medical records. Typically, this is a medical examination that may need specific tests such as for T.B., syphilis, etc.

In more recent times, vaccination records against Covid-19 have been of importance for individuals when visiting another country. Again, medical document translation in the form of vaccination data may be necessary. Covid-19 vaccination status is currently going through a dynamic situation, but there are other vaccinations that may be mandatory such as Yellow Fever vaccinations if visiting Africa or South America.

Why you might need medical reports and documents translation

Most people are aware of just how important international cooperation between national health departments, medical researchers, individual doctors, and medical specialists is. An enormous amount of medical information is created every month by a variety of individuals, government departments, private health entities, corporations that specialize in providing drugs and pharmaceutical products, and medical instruments and appliance manufacturers. Although intellectual property rights and corporate needs to copyright and patent their products tend to minimize the sharing of ideas, in general, much of the data and information released by all those sources listed above does in fact get circulated around the world. When it comes to many new medical innovations and techniques for treatment, the best practice is to share discoveries and ensure that tests and experiments used in one country are repeated and assessed elsewhere. Medical reports tend to be predominantly scientific and technical in nature. Science proceeds cautiously, relying on testing and then more testing until hypotheses and predictions become accepted when results are consistent. International cooperation is a must in all fields of medicine and public health. This of course means that sharing of information in the form of medical reports and documents of all kinds relies on medical report translators to accurately convert information from one language to another.


Medical report translation and medical document translation is an often overlooked yet hugely important activities. This field of translation demands very accurate translations, not just in terms of language fluency but translators must have a good foundation in medical terminology if their translation work is to be of any use. It is vital that a professional medical report translation agency is used to do any medical translation tasks.

Important Documents That Need Certified Translation Through A Professional Translator

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is a confirmation that a translation which has been completed is an accurate version of the original. Each country has different rules about what qualifies as a certified translation, so if you have been asked to provide a translation by a government immigration department, an employer or educational institution, it is important to find out exactly what the local rules are about what a certified translation actually is in that country.

To give you an example of how different these definitions are, take the requirements of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the E.U.’s different jurisdictions and the Australian Dept of Home Affairs as examples.

In the U.S., professional translators do not need to be accredited or recognized in any way by a state or federal government, although many are members of the American Translators Association (ATA). All documents that are to be submitted to the USCIS must simply be ‘certified’ by the translator. This is just a statement and signature by the translator confirming that the translated copy was an accurate version of the original sighted.

In the E.U. each member country has different rules, but most require translations to be completed by a “sworn translator”. This is a translator whose credentials have been recognized by the relevant national court system. In many E.U. countries, translations may also have to be accompanied by an Apostille, which is a system recognised by the Hague Convention.

In Australia, government authorities demand that all translations are completed by an accredited translator and accompanied by a signed certificate from the translator. Professional translators in Australia are accredited with the national accreditation authority, NAATI, which ensures high standards of both translation and interpreting.

What documents may need certified translation?

  • academic documents – these are things like degrees, diplomas and certificates.
  • immigration documents – these are things that are required for visa applications or citizenship applications. They may include birth and marriage certificates, educational and professional qualifications, job summary, transcripts from former employers, financial documents, criminal record checks, etc.
  • legal documents – these are anything that have a weight in a country’s official legal system. They could include the documents already listed above as well as court documents and proceedings, divorce certificates (so that someone can legally marry in another country), credit statements which confirm that someone is not bankrupt, or facing debts and professional or trade qualifications.

Are you looking for professional, reliable translations for your documents?

If you haven’t really thought about who should translate your documents for you, you should. You may need a certified translation, or one completed by an accredited translator. You may need a translation together with a stamp by a notary or an Apostille. Whatever the rules are, these will depend on the recipient of the documents that need to be translated.

Professional translators of repute who regularly translate official documents will know what the correct procedure is. You also need to know what the procedure is before submitting your documents for translation, otherwise you may get a shock if the application you had sent is returned to you because the documents you have submitted are not recognized.

How Do Business Email Translations Improve Marketing?

There is a lot of diversity available today for advertising, but emails still stand out as one of the most successful means of spreading a marketing message about a product. To further increase the value of emails more businesses are turning to email translations to improve the success of their email campaigns. For a business, it is the most powerful tool which can be used to connect brands with potential customers. Customers far prefer to view product promotion in their native language otherwise potential sales will be lost.

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Glocalisation: Meaning, Examples and Benefits

Glocalisation history

Glocalisation took place several decades ago when businesses decided it was time to enter overseas markets to grow their business. However, at the start international businesses found it hard to follow another country’s business rules and regulations. Many English speaking businesses seriously believed that doing business in English was sufficient. They soon discovered that they weren’t going to gain much from overseas customers if English was to be the only language used. This resulted in marketing their business’s products in local languages. The foreign companies also needed to adapt localisation to boost their customer base overseas which led to the introduction of the term glocalisation.

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Careers and Jobs For Bilingual And Multilingual Translators in Australia

Australia is a multicultural society, speaking 300 separate languages. One in five Australians (21 per cent) speak a language other than English at home. In a globalised world, colleagues, clients, customers and stakeholders do not always speak one language. This is why there is such a great demand for bilingual and multilingual translators in Australia.

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