Transcription in the linguistic sense is the systematic representation of spoken language in written form. The source can either be utterances (speech or sign language) or preexisting text in another writing system.
Transcription should not be confused with translation, which means representing the meaning of text from a source-language in a target language, (e.g. Los Angeles (from source-language Spanish) means The Angels in the target language English); or with transliteration, which means representing the spelling of a text from one script to another.
In the academic discipline of linguistics, transcription is an essential part of the methodologies of (among others) phonetics, conversation analysis, dialectology, and sociolinguistics.