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timeline for transcription : HELP for the future
Thread poster: Hepburn

Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:02
English to French
+ ...
Feb 7, 2012

I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me how to translate smoothly a voice recording - conversation - sent on a Windows Media file from French into English, as it happened -

OK, I painfully proceeded to jump from the WMedia screen to my Word file and started translating a very noisy conversation, with traffic noises, making it very difficult to understand without going back, and back to it. Well, that that was not the problem.
It was a 7 minutes recording.
... See more
I would be very grateful if anyone could tell me how to translate smoothly a voice recording - conversation - sent on a Windows Media file from French into English, as it happened -

OK, I painfully proceeded to jump from the WMedia screen to my Word file and started translating a very noisy conversation, with traffic noises, making it very difficult to understand without going back, and back to it. Well, that that was not the problem.
It was a 7 minutes recording.

BUT, I was then asked to provide a timeline for the conversation.

As I had no idea how to do it, I was sent this form to fill in.

Timecode Person Transcript Remarks
00:00:12 Woman 1 xx
00:00:16 Woman 2 xxx
00:00:17 xx
00:00:18
00:00:19
00:00:56
00:00:57
00:00:58
00:00:59

I had no idea what to do with it.
I felt really useless and humiliated.
In the end, the agency dealt with it and I still do not know what I should have done. A few enquiries online did not help me at all.

Is there some software I should get?

Very humbled Claudette Hepburn























































[Edited at 2012-02-07 18:00 GMT]
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Sprachfuchs  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:02
English to German
+ ...
Maybe this helps... Feb 7, 2012

Hi Claudette,

maybe this helps. I once received a file that I had to translate and it looked like this:


0001 00:00:00:00 00:00:00:08
TEXT

0002 00:00:06:20 00:00:08:15
TEXT

0003 00:00:18:03 00:00:19:23
TEXT

0004 00:00:20:11 00:00:24:09
TEXT

0005 00:00:24:11 00:00:25:15
TEXT


etc.


 

Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:02
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes, but... Feb 7, 2012

Katina Bergmann wrote:

Hi Claudette,

maybe this helps. I once received a file that I had to translate and it looked like this:


0001 00:00:00:00 00:00:00:08
TEXT

0002 00:00:06:20 00:00:08:15
TEXT

0003 00:00:18:03 00:00:19:23
TEXT

0004 00:00:20:11 00:00:24:09
TEXT

0005 00:00:24:11 00:00:25:15
TEXT


etc.


...I got the same one, but how do you match the times? do you have to go back to the media (in my case) playing, all along, or do you just accept those times as they are given?

Thanks,

Claudette


 

Nicole Schnell  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 20:02
English to German
+ ...
In memoriam
Hi Claudette Feb 7, 2012

There is absolutely no reason to feel in any way inferior if the agency didn't give you precise instructions and there is no particular software required. Usually translation for voice over is done side-by-side, e.g.,

Timecode Person Transcript Remarks
00:00:12 Woman 1: You are an idiot! ---- Vous êtes un idiot !
00:00:14 Man 1: What?? ------ Quoi ??
etc.

This simply means that the man answered two seconds later.

This time code is ne
... See more
There is absolutely no reason to feel in any way inferior if the agency didn't give you precise instructions and there is no particular software required. Usually translation for voice over is done side-by-side, e.g.,

Timecode Person Transcript Remarks
00:00:12 Woman 1: You are an idiot! ---- Vous êtes un idiot !
00:00:14 Man 1: What?? ------ Quoi ??
etc.

This simply means that the man answered two seconds later.

This time code is necessary for the speaker / voice-over person in the recording studio to synchronize their text with what they see on the screen. Usually I read my translation out loud before delivery and I clock the time plus I read my translation out loud to the original video to make sure that the timing is right. This is to avoid any speech while the actor etc. doesn't move the lips and vice versa.
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Hepburn  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 05:02
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Are we talking about audio files or video? Feb 8, 2012

Hi Nicole, thank you for your encouraging reply.
It all sounds so easy on reading, but when you are facing your computer screen, with an audio file to translate as the dialogue is very fast, what do you do, concretly? Do you take your hands off the computer to stop the WindowsMedia file (that is how I got it) in order to finish your sentence, or paragraph?
I feel I would like something like a foot pedal to stop the player and allow me to write on, instead of having to stop writing.... See more
Hi Nicole, thank you for your encouraging reply.
It all sounds so easy on reading, but when you are facing your computer screen, with an audio file to translate as the dialogue is very fast, what do you do, concretly? Do you take your hands off the computer to stop the WindowsMedia file (that is how I got it) in order to finish your sentence, or paragraph?
I feel I would like something like a foot pedal to stop the player and allow me to write on, instead of having to stop writing.
Is that possible? Or is there another method?

By the way, it was the recording of a conversation in a car, with trafic noises , and my translation was for court purposes, hence my worry. As it was a first experience, it took me hours for which I will be paid no more than my usual word translations.

So, all information and advice for "props" (how to stop the sound without leaving the keyboard) and also about the going rate for such risky work, would be welcome.

With renewed thanks,

Claudette
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opolt  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:02
English to German
+ ...
You need two runs ... Feb 8, 2012

... which IMHO is just the bare minimum. Do your translation/transcription first, and adjust/insert the time codes later, upon the second run. Check your media player for the corresponding keyboard controls (Stop/Play) to make things easier for you.

I did this two years ago for the "raw material" from which a documentary was to be made, and I had to go through the DVDs many, many times ... first because you could barely understand what people were saying, and then again several time
... See more
... which IMHO is just the bare minimum. Do your translation/transcription first, and adjust/insert the time codes later, upon the second run. Check your media player for the corresponding keyboard controls (Stop/Play) to make things easier for you.

I did this two years ago for the "raw material" from which a documentary was to be made, and I had to go through the DVDs many, many times ... first because you could barely understand what people were saying, and then again several times to get the timing right. If the time codes are very tight, you may want to install some kind of special media player which allows you to slow down the playback speed, so that you can get to the exact point each time. There should be some transcription software out there for that (but personally I don't use Windows). I used a special DVD player back then which allowed me to slow the speed, and it was very helpful. Maybe there's even some free subtitling software which will do this for you and help you to get the timing right.

[Edited at 2012-02-08 15:44 GMT]

PS Audacity is a free audio program which allows you to slow down playback speed and to display fine-grained time codes:
http://audacity.sourceforge.net/
Should be available for Windows, too.

[Edited at 2012-02-08 15:54 GMT]
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Frank van Thienen (X)  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:02
Dutch to English
adapt Feb 8, 2012

Claudette Hepburn wrote:
So, all information and advice for "props" (how to stop the sound without leaving the keyboard) and also about the going rate for such risky work, would be welcome.


Hi Claudette,

There are various software packages out there that can help you, I'm sure. The first one that comes to mind is Express Scribe. This is transcription software that allows you to change the speed (with a simpler system than Audacity). Footpedal control is also possible, but if you don't have one of those, F9=play, F4=stop, F7=Rew and F8=FF. There is a free version, which may suit you just fine:
http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html

Another package I'd highly recommend is Dragon Naturally Speaking. While you're listening to the audio, you speak the transcription into your microphone and Dragon will type it out for you. I use Dragon on a daily basis for normal translation work as well. It really speeds up your productivity. A small investment for a huge return.

As for the time signatures, I believe they can be managed by subtitling software, but I haven't got into that racket as it seems that most jobs are grossly underpaid.

Speaking of pay - you'll have to add a surcharge to your standard per word rate, to compensate for the extra time and effort. An additional 60-100% might be in order. Your standard rate should only apply to typed out digital documents that can be imported into your favourite CAT tool. Any additional effort requires a surcharge.

I've done a bit of transcription work and what I do is charge for each minute of audio, rather than per word. If the transcription also needs to be translated, then I add my regular translation rate.

By the way, there's absolutely no need to feel humiliated when a client asks you something you've not done before. If something like this happens to me, I'll use it as an opportunity: explore the options and keep track of time and effort spent to complete the job. Determine your rate from that and see if you can market that newfound skill. If not, hey, you've learned something.

HTH
Frank


 

José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 00:02
English to Portuguese
+ ...
In memoriam
First step on the right way. Here is the second... Feb 8, 2012

Frank van Thienen wrote:
There are various software packages out there that can help you, I'm sure. The first one that comes to mind is Express Scribe. This is transcription software that allows you to change the speed (with a simpler system than Audacity). Footpedal control is also possible, but if you don't have one of those, F9=play, F4=stop, F7=Rew and F8=FF. There is a free version, which may suit you just fine:
http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html


That's right! However if the recording is noisy, you might try removing permanent noises (e.g. hum, tape hiss, etc.) as well as normalize the volume with Audacity (also free).

Here - http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/audio---en.html - you'll find an article about the entire process, which I wrote a long time ago, published on Proz, however the version on my web site has been updated, and expanded to a video course on Proz.

Frank van Thienen wrote:
As for the time signatures, I believe they can be managed by subtitling software, but I haven't got into that racket as it seems that most jobs are grossly underpaid.


Right again! The standard freeware to do it is Subtitle Workshop. It saves to some 50 different file types. Try the TXT ones. For your intent, the format for Captions 32 should result in something like this:
00:14:03:95 , 00:14:07:36 , Uma situação embaraçosa. Ninguém gosta de lidar com isso.
00:14:07:39 , 00:14:09:27 , Nós precisamos, mas é desagradável.
00:14:09:31 , 00:14:14:62 , Se não, recebemos queixas dos passageiros que ficaram próximos.
00:14:14:66 , 00:14:17:45 , E se eles reclamam, já viu.
00:14:20:34 , 00:14:29:37 , Até agora, hoje roubaram o carro de John, ele perdeu um voo, teve problemas no check-in, e teve de comprar dois bilhetes. Mas o pior ainda está por vir.
00:14:31:29 , 00:14:35:63 , Vejo uma tempestade, chuva, mais um pesadelo se aproxima.

(I used a snippet from a subtitles file I had here, removed a few line breaks.)

Just FYI, you may take a peek at http://www.lamensdorf.com.br/subtitling.html , about two-thirds of the way down the page, to see what SSA and SRT subtitle files look like, and why they are definitely not suitable for your purposes, though I use them quite often for subtitling.

Frank van Thienen wrote:
I've done a bit of transcription work and what I do is charge for each minute of audio, rather than per word. If the transcription also needs to be translated, then I add my regular translation rate.


Partially correct. Charge per minute of playing time. However transcription is not required to translate a video - nor an audio, by extension - unless the client wants both: the transcript and the translation. In this case, unless it's not for dubbing nor subtitling (in which case direct translation from audio would be a must), you'll have the option to translate from the transcript, and charge the translation per word.

Regarding cost, the Brazilian Translators' Syndicate suggests charging 30% extra on top of the cost of the translation from the video (not from text) for timespotting. IMO it's a sensible guideline.

You'll need some time to get used to Subtitle Workshop, however it's not that difficult.

Good luck!


 

lisa kramer taruschio  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:02
Italian to English
Can't load clip to Express Scribe Jan 4, 2013

Frank van Thienen wrote:

Claudette Hepburn wrote:
So, all information and advice for "props" (how to stop the sound without leaving the keyboard) and also about the going rate for such risky work, would be welcome.


Hi Claudette,

There are various software packages out there that can help you, I'm sure. The first one that comes to mind is Express Scribe. This is transcription software that allows you to change the speed (with a simpler system than Audacity). Footpedal control is also possible, but if you don't have one of those, F9=play, F4=stop, F7=Rew and F8=FF. There is a free version, which may suit you just fine:
http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html

Another package I'd highly recommend is Dragon Naturally Speaking. While you're listening to the audio, you speak the transcription into your microphone and Dragon will type it out for you. I use Dragon on a daily basis for normal translation work as well. It really speeds up your productivity. A small investment for a huge return.

As for the time signatures, I believe they can be managed by subtitling software, but I haven't got into that racket as it seems that most jobs are grossly underpaid.

Speaking of pay - you'll have to add a surcharge to your standard per word rate, to compensate for the extra time and effort. An additional 60-100% might be in order. Your standard rate should only apply to typed out digital documents that can be imported into your favourite CAT tool. Any additional effort requires a surcharge.

I've done a bit of transcription work and what I do is charge for each minute of audio, rather than per word. If the transcription also needs to be translated, then I add my regular translation rate.

By the way, there's absolutely no need to feel humiliated when a client asks you something you've not done before. If something like this happens to me, I'll use it as an opportunity: explore the options and keep track of time and effort spent to complete the job. Determine your rate from that and see if you can market that newfound skill. If not, hey, you've learned something.

HTH
Frank


[Edited at 2013-01-04 09:44 GMT]


 

LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:02
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Express Scribe pro Jan 4, 2013

If you scroll down to the product comparison, looks like only Pro takes video files. Seems there's a sale going on, $19.99 for the Pro version for the next week or so. Sounds pretty reasonable for any useful software.

 

Frank van Thienen (X)  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:02
Dutch to English
Can't load clip to Express Scribe Jan 4, 2013

ltaruschio wrote:
Can't load clip to Express Scribe


Discussed with Lisa in a separate email thread that this video is an Adobe Flashplayer video which cannot be downloaded.
Other than simply playing/pausing the video where it is, an alternative is to use freeware like Audacity ( http://audacity.sourceforge.net/download/ ) to record the audio, save as an mp3 and then import into Express Scribe.

HTH,
Frank


 

Tony M
France
Local time: 05:02
Member
French to English
+ ...
SITE LOCALIZER
Express Scribe Jan 4, 2013

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

... looks like only Pro takes video files.


I don't believe so, Rudolf.

My version of Express Scribe certainly plays (some?) video formats, but I don't think it is the 'Pro' version???

I have found it a very handy tool, and would certainly buy it if I had to.


 

James Hodges  Identity Verified
Japan
Local time: 12:02
Member (2011)
Japanese to English
Another Way to Speed Things Up Jan 5, 2013

Firstly, I would like to thank everybody for all these great links and ideas. I am also somebody who does a fair bit of transcription work and I am always looking for ways to speed up the process further.

Anyway, something that has not been mentioned is a USB foot pedal. When using software such as Express Scribe, you can sometimes attach a foot pedal to your PC as a USB device. If configured correctly, you can start/stop the playback of files with your foot without the hassle o
... See more
Firstly, I would like to thank everybody for all these great links and ideas. I am also somebody who does a fair bit of transcription work and I am always looking for ways to speed up the process further.

Anyway, something that has not been mentioned is a USB foot pedal. When using software such as Express Scribe, you can sometimes attach a foot pedal to your PC as a USB device. If configured correctly, you can start/stop the playback of files with your foot without the hassle of trying to navigate through the various windows on your desktop and clicking start/stop all the time.
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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:02
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
+ ...
Express Scribe free v pro Jan 5, 2013

Tony M wrote:

Rudolf Vedo CT wrote:

... looks like only Pro takes video files.


I don't believe so, Rudolf.

My version of Express Scribe certainly plays (some?) video formats, but I don't think it is the 'Pro' version???

I have found it a very handy tool, and would certainly buy it if I had to.


@Tony
On their website, for the category "Video Playback (AVI, MOV, WMV and many more)", Pro is checked, Free is - conspicuously - not checked, and I don't see other standard video formats listed anywhere else. Perhaps the free version was more inclusive in the past?

@Frank
Thanks for clarifying - I misunderstood the problem.


[Edited at 2013-01-05 05:06 GMT]


 

Frank van Thienen (X)  Identity Verified
Canada
Local time: 20:02
Dutch to English
video on express scribe free Jan 5, 2013

I have version 5.13 and it digests video files without hiccups. I'm fairly certain I didn't pay for mine.

If you're not sure about your version, just press Ctrl-L for load, then select a video, any video.
If it barks at you, then you know it doesn't.
if it works, then it works

But yes, the basic premise is that you have the actual video on your hard drive. In lisa's case, the video is not
... See more
I have version 5.13 and it digests video files without hiccups. I'm fairly certain I didn't pay for mine.

If you're not sure about your version, just press Ctrl-L for load, then select a video, any video.
If it barks at you, then you know it doesn't.
if it works, then it works

But yes, the basic premise is that you have the actual video on your hard drive. In lisa's case, the video is not accessible.

Frank
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