Transcription services transform recorded audio into text. Professional transcribers convert recordings into a wide range of written formats and create high-quality documents from varying quality audio. Our expert transcription services in Cape Town work in the dialects and languages you need, with fast turnaround times.

What is transcription?

Transcription can be defined as writing something down in a “different form from the one in which it exists.” Usually, this means converting speech into text, in any language. Transcription services cover the transcribing, editing, proofreading, and even translating of speech.

This speech can be made up of conversations between two or more participants or individual speeches. Skilled transcribers can work with difficult audio, unusual vocabulary, and sensitive or confidential information.

Why are transcription services essential?

Working with complex recordings

Although transcription is a straightforward concept, its execution can be complicated. The way we speak differs significantly from how we write. We tend to use repetitions and filler words (such as ‘um’ and ‘ah’) when giving speeches and lectures, while people regularly talk over each other in conversations.

Several styles of transcriptions are available for this reason. Most commonly, transcribers emit repeated and filler words (such as ‘um’ and ‘ah’) and choose logical points to switch between speakers, ensuring no information is missed. However, businesses can opt for verbatim transcriptions, which include these words, depending on their needs.

It is important to choose professional transcription services in Cape Town, where experts can guide you through the entire process and create high-quality documents. If you are looking to become a transcription specialist, please see our careers page.

Understanding the speakers

Transcribers need to be familiar with specific accents and dialects that appear in the audio, as well as code-switching (where one speaker changes between languages). It is also essential to differentiate between homophones, which sound the same but are spelled differently and have different meanings.

Professional transcription services hire linguists and transcribers who are adept at working with specific languages, dialects, and accents.

When are transcription services required?

Businesses in any industry may require transcription services. Transcriptions can serve as a way of documenting important information or gaining more in-depth insight into audio content. Transcribed content can include:

  • Interviews
  • Speeches
  • Phone calls
  • Medical reports
  • Webinars
  • Podcasts
  • Meetings
  • Documentaries
  • Court proceedings
  • …and more

Transcriptions of the above audio sources are useful in many ways, depending on the industry. For instance, a written account of official meetings can provide a vital record of events in legal proceedings. In the education sector, presentation transcriptions can act as extra resources for students and professionals. In medical settings, notes dictated in consultations may provide the basis for medical records.

It may be that your audio or video recording is not in a highly accessible format or particularly long. As a top transcription service in Cape Town, AfroLingo can work with audio-only files, video files, or any other recording format. We also offer professional translation of transcribed audio, depending on the needs of each project. Please see our translation pages for details of this service.

Types of transcription services in Cape Town

Below, we’ve summarized the key types of transcription services in South Africa:

Medical Transcription

Medical transcriptions require an understanding of the terminology used in medical settings. There are also specific requirements concerning private information and confidentiality. Medical transcriptions are used throughout the healthcare industry. Transcriptions can assist those working directly with patients and those involved in research and manufacture.

Whether you need written versions of surgery notes, reports, hospital records, research findings, or any other medical document, AfroLingo can offer accurate transcriptions services from expert native speakers.

Legal Transcriptions

Listening to hours of recordings for analysis can be time-consuming and lead to errors. Instead, legal transcriptions allow caseworkers and lawyers to absorb large amounts of information with high speed and accuracy. Legal proceedings’ sensitive nature means that many legal entities opt for verbatim transcriptions, which can then be analyzed word for word.

Legal standards vary between countries and regions, so it is advisable to contact a transcription service based in your local area. At AfroLingo, we offer transcription services across South Africa, with transcribers familiar in local languages and dialects, and many from West Africa, East Africa, and further afield. We treat your recordings with confidentiality and endeavor to work with you to achieve top quality results.

Business Transcriptions

Reliable business documents are vital to success. In a world of tight deadlines and specific budgets, the best transcription companies can work with businesses to optimize their budgets and provide fast turnarounds for accurate transcriptions.

Business transcriptions come in many forms, including advertising content, meetings, conferences, training materials, market research, and more. At AfroLingo, we select our linguists based on their skills and experience, meaning you can be confident that your transcriptions are in good hands. We also pride ourselves on maintaining communication with our clients throughout the transcription process.

Media Transcriptions

Media transcriptions encompass documentary films, podcasts, games, radio programs, and more. This can help with better accessibility in subtitling and captioning, translation, student learning, and analysis.

Media transcriptions available online by the organization can also help with search engine optimization (SEO). This is where sections of text are found and indexed by Google, making the content more readily available to searchers worldwide.

Vast amounts of time and dedication make media projects successful, which is why we adhere to the highest quality standards of professionalism, commitment, and integrity in each project.

General Transcriptions

Almost any business or individual can benefit from expert transcription services. Small errors in transcriptions can completely change the meaning of a text, which is why non-professionals and automatic speech recognition software often pose problems.

Even if your transcription isn’t industry-specific, AfroLingo can help. Our trained linguists will take your audio recording and transcribe it with high accuracy. We also offer translation services, and we can convert documents to the format you require.


Why Choose AfroLingo?

When you choose transcription services in Cape Town, you want to make sure you select the best transcriber possible. That’s why our team consists of transcribers and translators who are native speakers of languages from across the African continent.

AfroLingo’s transcribers are adept at working with languages from across South Africa, Africa, and the Middle East. Our goal is to be the finest translation and interpretation firm in the world, regardless of the language or project we’re working on.

We are known throughout the region for our high-quality standards. AfroLingo transcriptions, translations, and localizations are performed with speed and skill, with confidentiality. We are based in South Africa and have an in-depth knowledge of the languages, dialects, and accents on the continent of Africa and further afield.

AfroLingo has experience working with clients from a wide range of fields, and we are happy to receive inquiries from other multi-language vendors (MLVs). We offer the following benefits to our clients:

Highly qualified specialist transcribers

Translation and transcription services in the language of your choosing

Budget optimization and tight deadlines

High-quality, accurate transcriptions which are subject to QA procedures

A strong history of working with international and local businesses

The ability to work with complex, technical or every-day audio recordings

Confidentiality for your recordings


Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we’ve compiled an FAQ list to help you make an informed choice about transcription services in South Africa.

How do transcription services work?

Recordings in the form of audio or video files are sent to professional transcribers, usually native speakers of the languages and dialects you need. When the audio subject is mainly technical, specialist transcribers are selected who have in-depth subject knowledge of the field.

Our transcription services in Cape Town focused on languages spoken throughout Africa, and we can also offer transcription in Middle Eastern Languages. Our team is adept at working with audio containing a range of dialects and accents. Please, visit our history page to find out more about what makes us such an influential language services provider.

What kind of audio can be transcribed?

You can send AfroLingo audio files or video files in the format of your choosing. You can choose whether to have your audio transcribed verbatim (word for word, including filler words and repetitions) or in a format that is easy to read. The complexity of audio recordings depends on several criteria, including:

– The topic of conversation (technical jargon or regional references)

– Number of speakers

– Quality of audio

– Accents and fluency of non-native speakers

– Rapidity of speech

– Ease of distinguishing between voices

– Presence of multilingual conversations

– Switching between languages or dialects

Regardless of your audio format, AfroLingo will work to create a seamless transcription with consistent formatting.

What is the process of transcription?

At AfroLingo, our transcription process can vary depending on the needs of the project. We work with our customers to assess their needs and deliver work that exceeds their expectations.

Our team of expert transcribers has the skills to type at very high speeds to log the information contained in your audio files with care and precision. Once your audio transcription is complete, it will be proofread, edited, and quality controlled. Transcriptions can be delivered in various  formats, and we are happy to discuss this with you at the planning stage of your transcription project.

Who needs transcription?

Transcriptions are useful for any business or individual who wants to make a written record of an audio or video file. Students, employees, and self-employed professionals might need to put a variety of recordings in writing, ranging widely from lectures and seminars to business discussions and agreements. Companies, on the other hand, may need to create a written record of meetings, proceedings, interviews, video materials, presentations, or more. This can help with storing information for legal, marketing, or training purposes.

AfroLingo is also proud to work with other multi-language vendors (MLVs). MLVs can increase their capacity by outsourcing work, work with lesser-spoken languages and dialects, and meet client expectations, all without losing out on time or cost-efficiency.

How long should transcriptions be?

There is no limit to the length of transcriptions. Some audio sections may be short, such as medical notes, while others may relate to long or in-depth conversations. It is important to remember that the length of audio does not necessarily equate to the length of transcription.

In speeches, nervous speakers often speed up their sentences, creating deceptively short recordings. Conversations with multiple speakers may seem shorter than expected because people are talking over each other. Professional transcription companies employ linguists who are adept at handling such audio to create precise transcriptions.

 If you need transcriptions in an African language or dialect, AfroLingo can source the perfect linguist for your project. You can find out the languages we regularly work with on our website; however, if the language you need isn’t listed, please contact us. We will be happy to assist with finding a transcriber where possible.

AfroLingo specializes in some language services. We provide translation, localization, and transcription services in Cape Town, South Africa, and around the world. Our linguists and project managers use the latest technologies to provide high-quality services and fast turnaround times. We also encourage education and training to stay at the forefront of the language services industry and regularly update our blog with key information.

Our international team has in-depth knowledge of a wide range of domains, meaning that we are experts in languages and your industry. Whether you need transcription, translation, or localization, we can help.

Please, send us a message to discuss your project.