You’ve recorded interviews in French for a documentary or a business video and the last thing you need is a full transcription with all the hesitations, repetitions, grammatical errors, lost threads, etc. You want all the names to be correctly spelled, you don’t want any instances of [INAUDIBLE]. You also want all the more obscure or particularly meaningful cultural references explained.
Most of all, you want the final transcript to be fit for purpose:
How does it work?
1. I listen to your recording or watch your video to identify any potential issues with regional accents or quality of recording
2. We discuss the purpose of the transcription and the best delivery format. If it’s going to be translated, translators sometimes like to work from a text that is logically segmented, laid out in two columns, with the French on the left and a space for the translation on the right. Others like to have the translation below the transcribed text. This is particularly useful with time-coded transcripts. We also discuss how far to push research into any cultural references within the material.
3. We agree on a price and time-scale for the full project.
A little case study
For BBC Radio 3’s Zola in Norwood, I transcribed all the interviews, ready for the translator. That particular project did require a good level of general knowledge of the subject and some pretty good investigation skills to get the correct spellings of foreign names pronounced with a French accent, and French names pronounced with an English accent! The final transcript was laid out in logical segments and two columns for the translator and voice-over actors.