I am looking for a word that describes both of these activities, however the word coding does not seem to be suitable.

Likewise with encryption and decryption, cryption does not work well.

  • It's worth noting that, for practical purposes, a person who encodes/decodes digital information is often professionally called an archivist and refers to his work as archival. – HaL Jul 31 '12 at 16:09
  • Related: Word for encoder-decoder – RegDwigнt Jul 31 '12 at 16:34
  • Where would we be without you, @Reg? (knee-deep in unclosed duplicates, I suspect! :) – FumbleFingers Jul 31 '12 at 22:58
  • I agree this duplicates the related question (which asks for one "word [for] encoder and decoder functionality"). Note, the answer there correctly identifies a device that does both but doesn't answer the question asked. Should merge questions? – James Waldby - jwpat7 Aug 1 '12 at 16:55
  • This question is looking for a verb, the other for a noun. So they are different. There is not really a verb for "codec" or "endec", or none has been proposed so far. And no, the verb "to code" has its own meaning and is not the verb form of "codec". – donquixote Jun 7 '16 at 5:40


is the study of encryption and decryption.


is software/hardware that does both encoding and decoding.

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    Cryptography is the study of passing information without a third party being able to receive it. It wouldn't apply to encoding/decoding mp3s, for example. – z7sg Ѫ Jul 31 '12 at 18:21
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    Codec is defined as the library describing the way to encode and decode a format. This answer is wrong. Cryptography doesn't relate to the ACTION of encrypting or decrypting, so the extra info you added is also wrong. – Nathan C. Tresch Jul 31 '12 at 20:27
  • @NathanC.Tresch This answer accepted as codec is the word i was looking for. Debate about crypography TBC. – NWS Aug 1 '12 at 6:41
Encode means : "To translate information into code"
Decode means : "To translate code into information"

Therefore translate would be used to describe them both.

Since translate may seem vague I would suggest some synonyms: transcribe, transpose, or convert.

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Would transcoding be suitable in your context ?

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  • Unfortunately the parallel construction of "transcryption" just looks like a misspelling of "transcription", which means something quite different. :/ – Marthaª Jul 31 '12 at 16:00
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    Ooh. I like transcryption. I shall find somewhere to use that and then shower disdain on those who attempt to correct it. – Andrew Leach Jul 31 '12 at 16:09
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    "encode" and "decode" mean to translate between a logical form and a storable / serialized / encrypted form of information. "transcode" means to translate between two different encoded forms of information. A transcoder usually decodes and then encodes again, in a different format. A "codec", on the other hand, translates between a decoded and an encoded format, in both directions. So it is not quite the same. – donquixote Jun 7 '16 at 5:54

How about pure and simple “processing”?

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Why does everyone and OP have a problem with "coding". This is the correct term for encoding and decoding. For example, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coding_theory

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    Possibly because in a programming context it can cover almost everything we do. It becomes generic to the point of uselessness. – NWS Aug 1 '12 at 6:38
  • @NWS: The coding of a channel vs. the process of coding a program is not likely to be confused from context. The subjects aren't even of the same type (abstract idea vs. person) – ThePopMachine Aug 1 '12 at 15:54
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    In software development, it is desirable for a name to convey most of its meaning without much context, since we often work with portions of source code without examining the full context. – jpmc26 Sep 24 '16 at 1:32

Not sure about this, but would "convert" work?

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    We're looking for words with a history of use, not suggestions for new words or definitions. – Davo Jun 16 '19 at 21:03
  • Hi Lukas, welcome to EL&U. NB: the system has flagged your post as "low-quality because of its length and content." An answer on EL&U is expected to be authoritative, detailed, and explain why it is correct. Please edit your answer to provide more information - e.g., add a published definition of convert (linked to the source) to demonstrate that it has this meaning. For further guidance, see How to Answer and take the EL&U Tour. :-) – Chappo Hasn't Forgotten Monica Jun 17 '19 at 3:05

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