foreign language video transcription & translation

iProbe has been providing quality TV/Film production transcripts in countless languages for over fifteen years.

your production crew is going overseas and shoots footage in the language of the foreign country. You'll need this raw footage transcribed and translated, often with a quick turnaround. Our team can be stand-by to start work as soon as you upload it to our FTP.


get the transcript you need - in any language!

our formula for transcription success

our proven transcription and translation process for foreign language raw footage starts with you letting us know the purpose of the transcript, meaning how it will be used. We then evaluate the spoken language and country of origin of the video subject and assign a native speaker to transcribe, translate or both. If a subject speaks with a heavy regional accent, in dialect or uses local idioms, our language specialists will usually originate from the same region and are bilingual or near-native in English to make sure nothing gets lost in translation.

if you wish to have both the transcript of the foreign language plus the English translation we can create a two column format with the foreign language on the right and English on the left or place the translation underneath the original transcript. If you do not need the foreign language transcripts, our workflow is typically to listen to the foreign language and type directly in English what is being said with timecodes.

we help you select the best transcript format. For example in one-on-one video interviews, 60%-70% of the footage may be the interview subject speaking, so you'll tell us if we're to transcribe only what the interviewee says (= Answers only) or if you also need the questions of the interviewer (= Questions + Answers). If an on the ground translator was present during the shoot, you'll instruct us whether to skip or include anything the interpreter says in the transcript.

unless agreed otherwise, the transcripts are verbatim, i.e. word for word including ah's, hmms, false starts and stutters, repetitions, distracting speech patterns and other fillers.

prior to the start of the project, you'll receive an example transcript for review and approval of the format/lay-out. We proceed upon your approval of the format and layout.

timecoded transcripts

for one-on-one interviews, typically, a timecode is inserted at the beginning of every answer sentence and every 30 to 40 seconds within the answer at the beginning of a new sentence. Alternatively, we can insert a timecode at intervals of about 60 seconds or at the beginning of every sentence. We can of course customize to your needs.

how long does it take to transcribe and translate video footage ?

our standard turn-around time is 4-5 business days. Additional time may apply for volume work.

in a hurry ? Rush service is available including same day and next day turnaround. We will discuss with you an agreeable delivery schedule based on your needs, quantity of footage and budget. We can deliver on a rolling basis.

how to budget for the transcription/translation of raw footage

we charge an hourly rate per hour of labor. Assuming one-on-one interviews with questions and answers properly mic’d and each speaker articulating clearly, we typically estimate 20 to 24 hours of labor per hour of footage to transcribe the answers verbatim with timecodes from a foreign language into English. This assumes you only need the English transcript. Budget about 30% more, about 28-35 hrs of labor if you also need the foreign language transcript.

Some languages may take more time ; for example, we've seen some Asian languages take about 20% more time.

if terminology research is required or if speakers have a strong accent or interviewees have a challenging speech pattern or multiple speakers go back and forth and you need the transcript to be verbatim including all the interjections, such as uhms and ahs, or you need timecodes at the beginning of every sentence, the number of hours may be higher than average. On volume jobs, we expect the average number of hours to complete an hour of footage to decrease as translators become more familiar with the materials.

expect to budget more for interview subjects with the following speech patterns:

  • stammering and stuttering causing the interviewee to use interjections in excess.
  • very long, never-ending combinations of sentences using conjunctions (and, but, so...).
  • incorrect and unfinished grammatical structures in the foreign language, which we have to reflect in the target language (English).

For a cost estimate, please provide us the details of your project. You can call us at 212-489-6035 or email

preferred receivables work file format:

  • codec: H264/MP4
  • size: 320x180 (16:9) or 320x240 (4:3)
  • video bitrate: approx 250 kpbs
  • audio format: 48 kbps 44 KHz stereo CBR
  • TC: Window Burn (upper) - please advise frame rate. Most of our projects are 23.98 fps.
  • filenaming Convention: “yourcompanyname_projectname_language_TRT” (example: Corp_ProjectA_German_15min(.mov).
  • files may be uploaded to our FTP. We will supply you with a custom ftp account.
  • TRT: To enable faster processing of foreign language footage, please break up files into approx. 30 min each.
  • timecode jumps: 3 seconds of black between jumps is helpful to our translators.

Have a project you’d like to talk to us about? Give us a call any time at 212-489-6035.