How Video Transcription - of a Foreign Language Video - Can Help Improve Language Skills


You’ve read it right! You can actually learn a new foreign language by using the video transcription technique. AI technology has known a huge peak in its effectiveness in many sectors. If you are not familiar with one, you have probably already encountered it every day. 

You can now use Artificial intelligence for literally anything in life. it can be implemented in your social media strategy with the use of chatbots. You can also use it for digital assistance tasks like the infamous Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. Email filters in Gmail are powered by AI as well. 

In addition to all these practices, language-learning can also be achieved using AI technology. Video transcriptions can be hugely useful for online learning.

Oregon State University has conducted a study on this matter. It was reported that 98.6% of students found transcriptions/ captions helpful as a learning method. More stats show that the most common reason students refer to captions is to help them focus. Other students use video-to-text methods as study guides.

You may wonder why we should adopt Video transcription technology as a means to learn a foreign language? We will explain why in the following sections. However, we need to understand first the challenges people face when learning a new language. 

What Challenges do People Face When Learning a New Language?

Understandably, learning a foreign language can be hard and confusing. There will always be times when people might give up in the middle of the process. They will eventually be prone to forgetting everything. 

People are not introduced to foreign languages which is one of the main issues. Language is acquired by experience. Unless you get to interact with native speakers of the language, you will likely learn the proper structures of a language. Learning a language is easier when you’re in a context. When you come across a certain word in that language, your brain will connect to what you’ve already experienced during your trip. However, since the majority don’t have the luxury to book a flight and head to a different continent, people use few resources to help them understand the foreign language. 

Another challenge is the heavy use of slang and the complex grammatical structure of sentences. People learn a foreign language for various reasons. Some might want to learn to converse with people all over the world. Some might want to learn it for academic purposes. However, the heavy influence of slang can confuse people who would like to learn a language in a professional and formal context. 

There is also the aspect of complex grammar and vocabulary. Learning a new language is far beyond just learning for the sake of it. You need to understand and remember how and when to use every single word. It is most likely difficult without the proper rules.

So if you’re learning a new language on your own or part of your high school/university courses, you might want to try different mediums that will contribute to effective learning.

Delve Into Many Video Mediums for an Optimal Learning Experience using Transcription

Listening, reading, speaking, writing are the main four skills people need to develop in order to fully master a language. The following mediums can definitely help strengthen listening and speaking skills. Therefore, when using the video transcription technique, reading and writing skills are then reinforced. 

1- Online Textbooks/courses: Language textbooks are usually accompanied by audio or video resources. In the case of hard copy textbooks, you will always find a CD or links to check video materials of courses. If it’s an online course, then the instructors have probably attached a recording video format for specific courses for people to look back on after. 

You can transcribe video into text automatically in order to have a text material of the course. 

2- Movies: These are great to learn a language in different contexts. Instead of solely learning the grammatical aspect of a language, you will be able to understand the context of sentences. You will also understand the reason behind the use of certain words, expressions, etc. This medium is useful to break through from materials created for foreign learners to the ones created by native speakers. 

You can find movie clips from different platforms online, one of which is the infamous Youtube. A Youtube video transcript can help you follow the visual material. It can also help you understand the use of different grammar rules applied at different times, and understand the meaning of complex vocabulary.  

3-News /Podcasts: For a more academic and formal learning strategy, following news report videos can help. News videos are mostly short, concise, and to the point. They tend to have stories in many languages as well which can be practical in learning multiple foreign languages. 

Video Transcription Comes to The Rescue!

With all the mentioned materials, using the proper Video transcription software with a high-quality conversion rate and pristine results is key! 

Transcribing your video/audio files into text can develop easy active listening skills. Videos have become the standard in delivering information. Watching a simple video can help you grasp an interesting amount of knowledge. By doing so, you are actually practicing your listening skills, and checking the transcription for support.

Video Transcription for Improved Language Skills :

Besides listening skills, you will actually learn and practice all language skills simultaneously. Watching videos helps with listening skills and reading the transcription of the video is good for the reading skills. 

This technique is also relevant when you try and delve into different accents or speeds within a foreign language. Not only can you practice listening to a regular native speaker, but you can also connect different sounds to words and sentences in your transcript. This will later help you with your speaking skills.

As a result, you will be able to conduct a real-life conversation. You will be able to avoid that embarrassing moment when you understand your partner perfectly and you’re able to reformulate your sentences but fail to deliver an answer.

Video Transcription to Understand Sentence Structure:

There’s also the importance of paying attention to sentence structure. In case you’re learning a foreign language that doesn’t use spacing a lot in between words such as Chinese or Arabic, video transcription is capable of doing so. 

Having a transcript of these kinds of languages shows you exactly how to break up your sentences. You will be able to differentiate between different grammatical rules for a specific word. 

Visual and Written Material as Two Core Factors for Foreign Language Learning!

Moreover, learning the language through listening to audio/video material and referencing the transcription can help your brain to actively connect between the spoken and written material.

This statement is further backed by Wing Yee (Jenifer) Ho* from UCL Institute of Education, UK. In her research entitled “Mobility and language learning: A case study on the use of an online platform to learn Chinese as a foreign language”, she states that “there is a ‘crossover’ between the online and offline learning practices. It could then be argued that the online world and the offline world should not be seen as entirely separate spaces, but rather as interconnected environments (Warschauer, 2000)”

Therefore, it is important to use both audio and written materials to further reach a high level in foreign language learning.