Frequently Asked Questions

Q: A one-hour tape recording is equal to approximately how many Japanese characters?

A: The actual number of characters varies depending on type of content, but one hour equals approximately 16,000 Japanese characters for a presentation or approximately 20,000 characters for a roundtable discussion.
30 minutes is equivalent to roughly 8,000-10,000 characters. For reference, Word files usually average about 1,000 characters per page.

Q: How will you render my audio into text?

For a request to transcribe an audiotape of a conference, for example, what option course is best?
A:The answer depends on the purpose.
For transcriptions of conference recordings, the clean verbatim option course is usually appropriate. Unnecessary words, stammering, and stuttering are omitted.
The fee is 18,900 yen (tax inclusive) for 60 minutes (an estimate will be provided, taking into consideration the audio quality and content).

Q: What is clean verbatim transcription?

A: This refers to transcriptions in which non-verbal utterances such as gumh and guhh and doubled words are omitted.

Q: What is alignment?

A: After rendering a clean verbatim transcription, the speech is converted from spoken to written language. Alignment is done into the level of formality specified by the customer.
Ungrammatical usage is also corrected. Mistakes in the usage of polite or honorific speech are also corrected.

For example, an expression like gDo you wanna get something to eat?h would be transcribed as gDo you want to get something to eat?h

Q: What is summarization?

A: After alignment, the transcription may be further aligned according to your preferences to summarize within a specified number of characters or adding sub-headers, blocking or arranging into paragraphs or bullet points. This is appropriate for such usages as corporate press releases, symposium reports, or magazine articles.

Q: Who performs the audio transcription?

A: One of our highly experienced tapewriters will perform the transcription work.

Q: Is it possible to submit source audio as a data file instead of an audio tape?

A: As a general rule, we request that audio files are copied to CD-R or other removable media and sent to our offices by mail or courier. However, files less than 5MB in size may be sent to us as email attachments.

Q: Do you require any other information before accepting the work?

A: To enable us to identify multiple speakers, please indicate to us (a brief memo is fine) the number of speakers, and the names of the first person speaking, second person speaking, etc. Also, please note any speaking mannerisms or voice characteristics (accents, fast/slow speaking, high pitched voice, etc.) of the speakers.

Q: Your website states that you are able to provide onsite personnel - are you able to provide personnel anywhere?

A: As a general rule, we are able to send personnel anywhere within Japan. The following travel expenses will be added to the audio transcription fee.

Actual Travel/Lodging Expenses + 25,000 yen daily fee
(Travel fee is waived for one way trips costing less than 1,000yen)

* We do not currently offer travel for offsite recording. We appreciate your understanding.

Q: How much would it cost to make an audio transcript from Japanese and then translate into English?

A: The cost depends on the transcription option and number of characters. The cost to transcribe a one-hour presentation of approximately 16,000 Japanese characters would be 20,160 yen (tax inclusive).

A Japanese to English translation with a delivery time of 14-20 days would cost 336,000 yen (tax inclusive) at 20 yen per character, for a total of 356,160 yen.

A 30-minute tape would cost half of this, or approximately 120,600-136,500 yen (tax inclusive).

Q: What is the cost for a 45-minute clean verbatim transcription?

A: Billing is based on 10-minute increments, so a 45-minute recording would be calculated as 50 minutes. Therefore, the price would be 15,750 yen (tax inclusive).

Q: If I sent a 60-minute tape from Fukuoka on Wednesday, when would the transcription be complete?

A: Because it normally takes 2 days to arrive, your tape would arrive at our office on Friday morning.
5 business days are required to complete a 60-minute tape, so the transcription would be ready by Friday the week after you sent your tape. (If transcription is delivered to you via email as a Word attachment)

Q: For the case of a 30-minute tape in French being translated into Japanese, what is the delivery time? How much will it cost?

A: The following two patterns are basically followed for audio transcriptions from languages other than Japanese.
(1) Transcription of foreign language tape. In this method, the content is transcribed in the same language as the audio. For an audio tape in French, a French text would be created.
(2) Transcription and translation of foreign language tape. In this option, the tape is transcribed into foreign language text, which is then translated into Japanese. Both non-Japanese (transcribed) and Japanese (translated) texts are created.

For (1)
Price: 15,750 yen (tax inclusive) Delivery: 5 business days

For (2) For a 30-minute French recording with 9,000 words
Price:(audio transcription) 27,000 yen + (translation @ 26 yen per word) 234,000 yen = 274,050 yen (tax inclusive) Delivery: 10 business days

Q: Is there any discount if I only want the Japanese text from a foreign language tape (foreign language text is not needed)?

A: Sorry, there is no discount. In foreign language audio transcriptions, the foreign language text is a necessary step to translate into Japanese, and cannot be skipped. We thank you for your understanding.

Q: I would like to request a transcription of a medical presentation given by 3 people. How should I go about doing this?

A: First allow us to provide you with an estimate.
Please provide us the following information necessary to prepare the estimate.

  • Audio recording length
  • Desired transcription type (true verbatim, clean verbatim, etc.)
  • Media format (cassette tape, videotape, CD, minidisc, etc.)
  • Desired delivery date

When placing your order, please mail to us or inform us of the URLs of any available presentation materials, information about the speakers, or research references related to the audio content.

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ACN Translation Services by Info Seas Japan, Inc.
ACN Translation Services: Akasaka 1-11-36-#210 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0052
TEL 03-5573-8971 FAX 03-5573-8973

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