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 E-Learning Series – Your Guide on Translating Podcast Transcripts in Chinese

Maria Krisette Capati, Author

01 January 2020

Are you in the e-learning sector? Are you a publisher of online courses?

You may want to consider podcast translation in Chinese and how it will help you grow your audience for 2020.

Whether you have a vlog or running a show, one of the best ways to serve your audience – your listeners – is to make sure you provide content, which is available in their native language.

Did you know that the Chinese netizens are one of the most avid learners and advocates of e-learning?

READ MORE >> How to Get Cheaper Cost on Device Testing For Chinese Video Translation of E-Learning Courses

translating podcast transcripts in Chinese

Chinese audience as avid learners

According to this research paper by Chinese students, China is capable of providing better infrastructure and tools for schools and universities.

E-learning is deemed as a promising approach to help students interact with skilled teachers and professors.

The Chinese government is upgrading its educational system to ensure that students will get the most of the learning in schools.

Other online schools and colleges have various e-learning programs to meet the demands of students.

On the other hand, e-learning isn’t limited to the realms of schools and colleges. Chinese parents are willing to invest in after-school education where they pay for their children’s tutoring to learn English from US online tutors.

Chinese e-learning via podcasts and opportunities to publishers

But the opportunities don’t stop in the realms of learning English for Chinese students.

Netizens of all ages in different life stages are also looking for content that teaches them life hacks, new skills, and even just for entertainment.

If you’re running a podcast show and you have been publishing to channels such as SoundCloud, Apple Podcast, Spotify, YouTube, self-hosted website, and among others, then you may want to consider translating podcast transcriptions to different languages.

If you have plans to grow your audience and tap Chinese netizens, get started with translating podcast transcripts in Chinese services as one of the best practices to stay relevant.

Why invest in translating podcast transcripts in Chinese?

How important are podcast transcripts anyway?

Podcasts consist of open discussions and relevant topics that your followers find interesting. While these are in audio format, transcribing them and then apply Chinese translation will help your listeners understand what you’re talking about.

Transcripts also provide a guide for the listener to browse the topic being discussed if you include timestamps in the texts so they can listen thoroughly in those specific discussions.

So, why do you need podcast transcription services in Chinese? The document includes a word-for-word transcription of what you’re discussing in that episode. One of the benefits you get if you put more effort into this process is it helps you generate more website traffic.

How? The podcast transcript, especially if they are in multiple languages, including Chinese, tells the search engines to index your site so other non-English listeners and readers will find it quickly.

While most Chinese netizens use Baidu as the primary search engine, those who live overseas can enjoy the perks of Google, Yahoo, and Bing as they browse online. Most search engines can’t read or index your content in digital audio files.

In a nutshell, investing in podcast transcripts in Chinese will make your podcasts searchable.

The podcast market in China vs. the United States – 23x times more valuable

The podcast industry in China was valued at $7.3 billion in 2018. One of the contributing factors for growth is the popularity of educational podcasts. Compared to the US podcast industry, it’s worth $314 million annually.

The podcast business in China is 23x more valuable than the US for one primary reason: most of the podcasts are predominantly paid subscriptions.

And just in case you want to know how much individual podcasters earn in China annually (with 250,000 listeners), they can make $8 million. Yes. Annually.

So, what’s in it for you? These are the times where you can think of paid subscription models and content strategies to tap this huge market.

Below are insightful tips on how to get started and the importance of transcription services in Chinese.

The importance of translating podcast transcripts in Chinese

Regardless of how good and helpful your podcasts are, if you’re not investing in transcribing them and translating into Chinese, you’re missing the opportunities for exposure.

Podcast transcriptions should be part of your publishing workflow because:

  • #1 It helps your content to be searchable – while people do have short attention span these days, they still use keywords and search terms to find interesting topics online. If you have podcast transcriptions in Chinese, they’ll likely hang around your site and consume your content.
  • #2 It helps listeners add backlinks – When you have a transcription of your podcasts, it’s easier for your followers or listeners to add backlinks as references.
  • #3 It helps listeners cite certain sections of your discussion – Not everyone might be able to listen to the episode, especially if it’s more than an hour or so. But when you have a transcription in Chinese together with timestamps, they can cite a particular line or paragraph and share it with their peers.
  • #4 You can build authority and credibility in your field – this allows you to showcase content via written texts and allow your listeners to access content better, whether in audio or text format. The more they see you putting efforts into your episodes, the more likely you build trust and credibility.

How to get started with translating podcast transcripts in Chinese?

If you haven’t transcribed your episodes yet, it’s best to do it before you dive into the translation process.

Transcribe in English

(**applicable if you want to do this process yourself or hire a team)

Transcribing them in English first will be a lot easier for the professional translators to work on your files. We know that transcribing podcast episodes can be time-consuming if you do it by yourself. The best way is to outsource this task so you can focus on what’s more relevant to you.

One of the mistakes that podcasters often make is that they rely on automated transcription service. The turnaround time is fast, and the cost is low. But the quality is usually the primary concern. Some companies that offer this service rely on computers instead of human transcribers.

It’s best to work with human transcriptionists who can also proofread and edit manually. Plus, they can convert your audio files into texts with accuracy.

Send files for analysis and quotation

Some transcription service providers offer both transcribing and translation, and proofreading. AZ-Loc can also do these, too, and you can ask for a quotation.

Meanwhile, if you already have the English texts, then you can send over the files to the project manager for analysis of word count and translation. You’d have an estimate of how much it’ll cost.

You may also send information about the podcast episodes to provide the professional Chinese translators an overview of the context of the topics being discussed. Glossary and style guide can be shared as well at your discretion.

Podcast translation process

In connection with the previous point, you can be specific as to which type of written Chinese texts should be used for your translated transcripts.

There are two types of written Chinese, the Traditional and the Simplified versions. The Simplified version is commonly used in the Mainland.

The turnaround time can be discussed with your project manager. If you’re regularly publishing podcasts, you can send the English transcriptions in advance to give more time for the translators to work on your files.

What are the hot topics in China’s podcast market?

There are podcasts in China that are also free and feature advertisements like how it works in the United States. However, the quality of free podcasts is more in the entertainment spectrum, rather than educational.

Most listeners would opt for paid subscriptions because these types of podcasts are education and useful for self-development and learning skills.

The categories that listeners find interesting are about Chinese history, economy, health, finance, kids and family, self-growth, culture, and more.

Your turn to take the next step

While it can be overwhelming to start a venture in multilingual languages, you can always start in baby steps and consider the top three languages and markets where you want to grow your audience.

There’s no doubt that the Chinese market offer opportunities for you as a podcaster, whether as an individual or an e-learning company.

Why not start with a few episodes and see how it goes with your listeners?

You may send over English transcription of your first episode to us, and we can help you create a strategy or workflow to sustain your multilingual efforts for the long-term.

Fill in the form below and we will get back to you with a quote on your project.

As we are constrained by resources, we will only serve those deserve our attention and time. We will only focus on clients who are already decided which projects to prioritize and understand the importance of translation and localization efforts.

china market writer

Maria Krisette Capati

Krisette or "Sette" for short is a professional writer and copywriter who loves to cover disruptive technologies, digital trends in China, and a myriad of geeky and innovative topics. She's the Content Strategist at AZ-Loc and currently manages the English website and in-charge of the social media channels. She has been writing about China markets, business, and startups since 2012. She has gained her expertise as a China internet specialist and is fascinated by its business ethics, language, and culture. She's a major of Business Management and Entrepreneurship and an advocate of faith-based non-profit organizations. When she's not writing or dabbling with Sophie and the team, she satiates her wanderlust as a digital nomad. 

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