Why you Need Multilingual Transcription Services for Video Conferences and Webinars

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Virtual conferences. E-conferences. Webinars. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, adoption of distance-based events, video conferencing, and e-learning was on the rise.

During and post-pandemic, they are the staple of many of our daily lives. More cost-effective than traditional conferences and classroom learning environments, they also require no travel or face-to-face meetings.

Plus, the audience for your latest virtual event could hail from a dozen different countries. That’s far more reach than any physical event. While video conferencing lets businesses meet with partners and suppliers around the world at the touch of a button.

But even in day-to-day video conferencing, businesses in every industry need good record keeping to know what was said, by whom, and when. And what happens when the people accessing your webinar content prefer to speak a different language?

Step forward multilingual transcription services. They are the way businesses around the world maintain clarity in their global communications – as well as maximise their Return On Investment from virtual content of all kinds.

What are multilingual transcription services?

Multilingual video transcription is the process of transcribing the audio content of a video file into a written document. That document is then translated into different languages for different audiences.

Professionally transcribed documents are easy to read, search, share, and can be indexed by search engines. Crucially, they can also be easily translated for multilingual audiences.

Multilingual transcription is used by the producers of all kinds of video content – e-learning courses, virtual conferences, webinars, Zoom business meetings, professional training sessions and workplace inductions – as well as in every industry in countries worldwide.

What does video transcription give you?

Having a textual version of the words spoken during your virtual business meeting, webinar or virtual conference opens up a whole world of additional purposes and value you get from your content.

The main reasons why commercial enterprises, promoters, and educators alike transcribe their webinar, meeting, and conference content include:

1) Improves clarity and engagement

You will no doubt have put effort into making sure that the audio quality of your webinar is clear as a bell.

But that’s no guarantee that your speaker might not mumble in places or have a strong accent. Or that unavoidable noises in the background or technical issues outside of your control might raise their heads.

For these and many other reasons, including a transcript wherever you later publish your conference material is a smart lesson which businesses around the world have already learned.

Textual content is incredibly useful even for people who did attend the conference “in-person”. Knowing that they can reference the material easily later means attendees do not need to spend the entire webinar scrambling to make notes while not paying proper attention to the speaker.

2) Makes your content more accessible

There are many reasons why straight video content might not be as accessible to your audience as you might like.

Of course, there are problems such as unavoidable technical issues or speaker-related difficulties listed above which might make your video content hard to understand. But there are others too. For instance, some of your audience members might be listening to content that is in their second or third language. Others may be deaf or hard of hearing.

Many people simply find visual learning easier or more effective for them personally than audio learning. By giving your audience the option to see as well as hear, you make your content far more accessible to all kinds of people.

3) Allows people to watch in noisy or public situations

There are many situations where a person may wish to watch your video content and would – only they wouldn’t be able to hear it, or watching might disturb others around them.

Picture someone trying to learn the lessons of your e-learning course on their morning commute. Or someone watching your new webinar in-between sets of reps in the gym.

Adding a written transcript again increases accessibility, giving your audience more flexibility in the where and how they get to consume your content, increasing its reach.

4) Makes your content searchable and navigable

Have you ever gotten halfway through a video, closed the window, and then later needed to find your place again?

How about remembering exactly when the keynote speaker in a webinar you were watching made an important point you now want to reference? Was that about a quarter of the way through? Before or after when they were talking on another subject?

With a video conference transcript attached, your audience can search for key terms and have the video instantly jump to the point they are looking for. This easy navigation makes it much more likely that your audience will be keen to reference your content elsewhere.

5) Gives your video content real SEO power

Search engines cannot crawl video content. But with a transcript attached, you suddenly add a whole SEO-friendly block of relevant, keyword-rich text to your content.

That is why you will often see subtitles, captions, and transcripts attached to even relatively mundane video content. This all boosts search engine visibility and the overall SEO power of your website.

Of course, multilingual video transcription gives you the opportunity to create SEO content and web pages targeted at different audiences around the world.

6) Boosts your ROI on speakers

Even your standard educator’s time is a valuable commodity. But keynote speakers can be very expensive indeed.

If you want to maximise your Return On Investment on speakers at your webinar or video conference, multilingual transcription services give you maximum utility when it comes to what you can do with your content.

Getting some value from attendance fees and sign-ups is one thing. But having content which you can then use to attract new leads and promote your courses or business elsewhere is incredibly valuable.

7) Expand your reach globally

After a video transcription has been produced, you can have it quickly and easily localised into any language or dialect for any global region you are targeting.

Even if you are going down the simple numbers route rather than carefully targeting your content to receptive audiences, you might consider translating your content into languages such as Mandarin, Spanish, Portuguese, Hindi, French and Standard Arabic.

Each of these has hundreds or even thousands of millions of speakers. Those are gigantic potential audiences who will then be able to access your content.

Which industries use multilingual transcription services?

Video conferencing is used by businesses in all industries to stay connected no matter where they happen to be based. The percentage of people using video conferencing was already climbing rapidly a few years ago. But during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, numbers have skyrocketed.

Because video conferencing, virtual conferences, and webinars are relatively simple to set up and offer such great accessibility, they are used by individuals as well as businesses of all sizes.

Simple attendance isn’t always enough though, even for many everyday video conferences. Today, mission-critical information is often discussed and important agreements negotiated during these online conversations. Be it a business meeting with your suppliers, legal matters, or your Annual General Meeting.

This is why so many different businesses create video transcripts of their video conferencing sessions:

1) Business transcription services

Accurate written records are a requirement for any business, whether they operate only domestically or internationally. But this need is particularly acute for businesses which work with multilingual clients. Because clarity may be just as important as good record-keeping moving forward.

Simple searches for things like “Zoom webinar transcription” shot through the roof in 2020. But there are some serious problems in using software like the Zoom automatic transcription feature:

  1. Your audio quality must be flawless if you want a useable transcript.
  2. Speakers with accents of any kind will be difficult for the software to parse.
  3. If you use acronyms, jargon, or technical language of any kind the software is unlikely to interpret it correctly.
  4. Names and other proper nouns often appear incorrectly or randomly in automated transcriptions.
  5. Any people speaking over the top of each other in your recording will create confusion in the final automated transcript.

In general, any software or app purporting to transcribe audio to text for free will not deliver good results. One day, the technology might be there. But currently, using a professional human transcriber is really the only way to proceed.

2) Medical transcription services

Not even governments, entertainment, or legal businesses use more transcription services than the medical industry.

Many studies have been done demonstrating how important it is for patients to receive care and instructions in their own language. The results when a doctor misunderstands what a patient is telling them about their symptoms can be equally dangerous.

Most healthcare providers these days will have remote interpreters or even onsite linguists standing by to assist with day-to-day care. But there are many other situations where a transcript is useful in a medical environment.

Records of patient interviews and doctors appointments, for example. Patient statements. Or when audio recordings have been made stating a patient’s condition and the treatment which has been applied.

3) Legal transcription services

Multilingual transcription plays a major role in any case whenever the languages of plaintiffs, defendants, and the national language of the jurisdiction do not match.

From translating witness interview transcripts to make them useable in court to depositions, audio evidence and more, legal transcriptions play a key role in delivering justice around the world.

4) Academic transcription services

Academic transcription could include any textual content created from video or audio learning materials. This might include:

  • E-learning courses
  • Workshops and webinars
  • Interviews for academic purposes
  • Focus group content
  • Fieldnotes

Kwintessential specialises in e-learning localisation and dealing with many other types of academic transcription. So we know just how much value our clients get from their freshly localised course materials.

How to get the best from your multilingual transcription services

When selecting the multilingual transcription services you will use, there are a few things to bear in mind:

1) Use professionals

Relying on a member of your team isn’t good practice if you want an accurate, high-quality transcript. Not only does this use up your team member’s valuable time on something they are not an expert in, but it also usually produces patchy final results.

Automatic transcription software is another poor choice, for all the reasons mentioned above. The technology is constantly improving. But it is still far from a reliable solution for any professional setting.

A qualified human transcriber will work to the highest quality and be used to producing results to set delivery deadlines. The same is true when translating your transcript. Calling in a bilingual member of staff is unfair on them and unlikely to produce results of good quality.

2) Check for subject matter knowledge and expertise

If your video conference, virtual event, or webinar features technical language in your specific field, you need to know that the people transcribing and translating those terms have the relevant expertise to understand what they mean.

For instance, at Kwintessential, we always select linguists for each individual project who have a minimum of Masters degree-level qualifications and/ or five years of experience in your field.

If you’ve ever seen a video transcript with obvious or even humorous mistakes made regarding names or terminology, this may well be the reason why. Don’t let the company with the “funny” video transcript or subtitles be yours.

3) Get the right kind of transcription

There are several different types of transcription. The best-known include:

  • Verbatim – a record of every audio sound on the audio or video file. This includes hesitations, false starts, coughs, sneezes, and other probably unwanted details. Often the choice for legal interviews, where indicators of the subject’s emotional state may be important.
  • Edited – essentially a more “polished” version of the verbatim record, where most of the more egregious unwanted sounds have been edited out to make the transcript easier to read.
  • Intelligent – often the choice for business records and other professional purposes. Intelligent transcription services turn most, if not all, of the natural rhythms and mistakes of speech into proper sentences.

4) Check for ISO certification and confidentiality measures

When you are choosing a Language Service Provider (LSP), there are a few things you can do to make your decision easier.

The first is ISO certification. The key standard here is ISO 9001 accreditation. Kwintessential has it and so will all other reputable translation agencies who have effective quality management systems in place.

You should also check for the kind of confidentiality your LSP will be able to provide. For example, Kwintessential uses the kind of data security measures usually used by international banks. Your data is safe while it is in transit and at rest.

Of course, you should also check that your translation company will be using a professional human transcriber for your project and not a machine.

5) Make sure they work with the file types you have

A final note to bear in mind relates to the file types your initial audio or video recordings are in. Perhaps you have an MP3, MP4 or WAV file. Will your chosen LSP be able to work with that?

Kwintessential works with all common – and some surprisingly rare – files types. But not every provider is so flexible.

Why you need multilingual transcription for video conferences and webinars

Better engagement. Expanded reach. Huge SEO benefits. More accessible content that’s searchable and easy to navigate. A boosted return on your investment in keynote speakers. That’s a lot of value to get out of simply recording your virtual conference or webinar as it happens.

Video conferencing, virtual conferences, and webinars are formats that are here to stay. Multilingual transcription services ensure that you get maximum value from hosting yours.

Hosting a webinar or virtual conference? Want to maximise the value you get from it?

Let’s talk. Kwintessential helps companies in every industry transcribe and then localise their video content for audiences around the world. Let’s see what we can do with yours.

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