Business

What Entails Transcription Services and Who Is a Qualified Transcriber?

posted by Chris Valentine

If you ever got to interact with a transcription service and wondered why anyone needs to have audio broken down into text, then you’re not alone. Since its professionalization, transcription has suffered insignificance by being considered a simple service that anyone can do for themselves. Fortunately, the growing service of transcription has proven the world otherwise. Transcription is necessary, and it may even be here to stay before another technology can replace it.

If you’re an avid newspaper or magazine reader, you might have picked up columns or pages that have interviews. Perhaps you have never bothered to know how such content is captured. The truth is that nobody is actively typing out words on the fly as the interview is going on. Usually, an audio recording must be taken to be processed later. A transcriber will sit down with this audio recording, listen, and type out its contents.

The next issue of the paper carries with it a crisp interview that you would easily think had been recorded using pen and paper. The brilliance at which transcribers translate audio into text is what makes them worth the title. With that said, transcription is important with the level of significance varying across different industries.

Who qualifies as a reliable transcriber?

Before getting down to hiring transcription services, always take some time to ask, “what do reliable transcriptions look like?”

For a start, great transcriptionists will need to capture everything that the audio contains. While it may be irrelevant capturing the comic breaks, a good transcriber will sometimes infuse those when creating some life to the text. While this is not necessary, a reliable transcriber should capture all the relevant content from the audio and translate it into text.

Secondly, a reliable transcriber is fast in delivering. Transcription is a skill, and reliable providers of this service have taken time to perfect their listening, typing, and editing to ensure that the text reads smoothly and does not veer off from the content of the audio.

Finally, typing is never enough when it comes to transcription. With the need to produce readable text, transcribers need to be in a position to write in the language that the text is needed. This means that they should have the ability to write well.

How do transcriptions work?

After settling on using a transcription service and finding the right person for the job, the next process is to understand what the process entails. As a customer, the process is very straightforward. Transcribers may offer you a section on their website for you to upload the audio or video that requires to be transcribed. At this point, the transcriber already knows what it is they are expected to do. As a customer, you can make it even more specific, if you need to, by specifying the areas in the audio that you may want to be left out. Once you’re convinced that your instructions have been well understood, what is left is for you to let the transcriber get to work. 

At this stage, the transcriber takes the audio and listens keenly while typing to ensure that they have captured everything required of them. Seeing that this is not an easy process, they tend to rewind a lot, which is made easy by using some tools. After ensuring that the audio has been fully transcribed, the complete document is sent over to the client for review. As soon as it gets to the client, they have the right to edit the document to their liking or return it to the transcriber to make any necessary adjustments.

At this point, the customer is either satisfied or otherwise.

Generally, the time that it will take to complete a transcription will depend on the people talking. Audios that have people talking quickly will be more challenging than those that are slower. In addition, depending on the number of those talking, the more the people, the difficult it gets to transcribe. Usually, this is because, with a group of people, there’s a lot of back and forth, which can be cumbersome. Finally, the clarity of those speaking is important. This could be a function of their accents, voices, or even the background noise around them.

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