If recordings of focus groups and in-depth interviews are in the language of the person who is to handle the content analysis and reporting, transcripts may not even be necessary, because the researcher knows what to look for in the recordings. However, it is a different matter when the discussions are in a foreign language. Then to do justice to your qualitative research, the translated transcripts of the discussions should be complete both in terms of quantity and quality of content.
One option is to transcribe the discussions into the language in which the groups or in-depth interviews were held and then to translate thereafter. A more efficient alternative is for a translator to handle the transcripts directly from the spoken foreign language into the written target language of the transcript. The choice depends on the client’s preference, budget and timelines with the latter option being more cost-effective and faster.