A CONSCIENTIOUS GUIDE FOR TRANSCRIPTION
Transcription services are, in fact, nothing new. People have been doing it since the 17th century. But today’s professional transcription services are essential in both accessibility terms and as part of a marketing strategy. Especially if the majority of your content is audio and visual content.
What is transcription?
Transcription is the process of converting audio (recorded or live) to text form in the same language that the speaker used. It also deals with non-verbal language such as sign language.
Transcription and translation often go hand in hand, transcription is the first step, translation comes second. Most translators are able to do both transcription and translation. But professional transcribers can produce much more accurate transcription. Native language speakers are capable of doing well as a transcriber since they can catch accents. It will be easier if a transcriber understands different accents, ways of pronunciation, slang, and phrases.
Why is transcription important?
There are various scenarios that involve the need of transcription:
- Hearing Issues: Transcription is used to help those who are deaf or have hearing issues.
- Medicine – e.g., some diagnostic doctors might present their findings, solutions, and prescriptions in voice notes.
- Market research – e.g., transcribing conversations with focus group participants or customer survey respondents
- Interviews – e.g., creating a written record of a podcast, radio, or television interview
- Group discussions – e.g., during an important board meeting, a transcriptionist may be called in to take notes and keep a written record of what was said and by whom
- Court cases – e.g., a transcriptionist specially trained in legal transcription keeps a record of court proceedings
- Legal transcription – e.g., during a legal mediation process, a transcriptionist helps to ensure that both parties have a written record of any agreements or conclusions reached for their reference
4 tips for good transcription
Project management is one of the most problematic challenges when it comes to a transcription project. This includes internal/external communication, workload adjustments, feedback management, rework, and revision.
It is crucial for a project manager to grasp the concept, process, guidelines, and timeline of a certain project. More importantly, he or she must know the competencies of each member to adjust the workload and scope of work effectively.
Background knowledge is important when it comes to language services in general, transcribing included. It will help a transcriptionist understand the context better. Especially in some specific industries such as medicine, legal or science which have a lot of specialized words.
Luckily, background knowledge is not hard to get when you have access to the Internet. One way to handle the problem is to research the topic first hand. Next step is to listen to the file at least once before transcribing it. These steps will probably give the transcriptionist a rough sketch on what the file is about.
This problem relates to the files and devices/equipment, such as poor device quality is controllable but others, such as inaudible files, which happen very frequently, are usually uncontrollable.
Your business can avoid controllable problems by many ways, for instance, preparing quality devices such as highly sensitive headphones or using specialized software to enhance voice and reduce noise.
If we have to pick one, this problem will be the most crucial to tackle, because when your business can handle it well, three former problems can be overcomed at ease. Other than that, there are a few more reasons as below.
Firstly, accuracy is the main reason why you should pick professional transcription services. Automated transcription or voice-to-text should not be relied on entirely, it can’t decipher accents, slang like a person.
Second is the security. When you partner with an agency, their transcriptionists always sign non-disclosure agreements, along with a system that completely protects your private business information.