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What is the recommended format for transcription/translation of evidentiary recordings?
Regarding the transcript format, many jurisdictions have adopted a three column style, with the first column being the speaker identification column, the second or middle column being the source language transcription column, and the third column being the target language translation column. This is the style utilized by Master Translating. This side by side transcription/translation style facilitates comparison of the transcription to the translation. Additionally, all transcriptions have a cover page which includes, inter alia, the case number, exhibit number, date of the original recording and lists the participants or provides voice identifications and a voice identification disclaimer, if required. Furthermore, a certification page is attached as the last page of every court-ready transcript.
Some clients prefer the middle column to contain the English language translation and the last column to contain the original transcription. Master Translating has received requests for the second format from some of its clients in the New York United States Attorney’s office.
DEA has adopted a four column format in which the first column and the third column serve as speaker identification columns. The second column is used for the source language transcription and the fourth column for the English translation. In our opinion, this is the least desirable format from a readability point of view.