The need for written copies of our conversations occurs from time to time, and lots of people have seen this as a business opportunity, and they are offering their transcription services. The process of transcription is performed with the intention of creating a written copy out of a pre-recorded audio, and the source of that audio file can be highly different. Many areas of human interaction require transcription, but the biggest “users” of these services are legal, business or medical entities. They use transcripts for different purposes, and everything depends on the characteristics of a particular case.
Even though writing down a few sentences may look like a piece of cake, in reality – transcription is far from being simple.
Not everyone can perform this job successfully, and a lot of elements are in play when the transcription activity is taking place. Dedication and patience can improve the results, and these two factors are crucial in being a good transcriber, but some other attributes can also be very helpful and useful in this business.
Interviews, seminars, webinars, podcasts, and all sorts of conversations are often coming with poor audio quality or other kinds of problems, which makes the work even more challenging for the transcriber.
Luckily, accumulated knowledge and experience have resulted in series of useful tips and instructions that can help make the process faster and more efficient, and these tips&tricks can save you time and money, and they will also spare you from a headache or two. Transcription is usually divided into two categories: verbatim transcription, which is a literal writing down of everything that is heard or said during a conversation, and edited transcription, which is designed for easier reading and where the flow of the conversation is the primary requirement. No matter the type, transcribers must be very capable and professional if they are to handle the most challenging tasks, and the rewards that come for successfully completing a “mission” are always a strong motivation.
First of all, transcribers should ensure that the audio quality is as good as possible. Investing few dollars more in a powerful dictaphone, high-quality headphones or speakers, or some other piece of equipment is always a good idea, and the benefits of this investment will certainly show in the long run. Also, transcribers should invest in themselves, which means that they need take some time to know the topic and the terminology that is used in a particular audio file. By performing a basic research of the field, transcribers can become familiar with the subject and all of those technical words that are often thrown around in conferences and seminars.
Additionally, transcribers should aim for accuracy, and they must be sure that they heard something correctly. Background noise, multiple speakers, different accents, and so on, can all act as obstacles in this process, but an honest approach and strong dedication can help you overcome those problems.
However, if something is impossible to hear or solve, transcribers should always be honest with their clients and inform them about the issue, but also skip the problematic part and complete the rest of the audio file.