What is Transcription?
This is a question I am well too familiar with. I get asked this question every time my acquaintances want to find out what I do for a living.
If you take a moment to check the word transcription in any search engine, the first thing you’ll notice is transcription has about three different meanings.
- In Biochemistry, transcription is the process of transcribing RNA, with existing DNA serving as a template or vice versa.
- Transcription in music is the notation of a musical piece that had been annotated.
- The third kind of transcription is my specialty – It’s the one we are going to talk about here. It is the conversion of speech to text.
Speech or spoken word can be in the form of a monologue, a conversation, a phone call or even a meeting. It is recorded and then typed or written word to word. This process of converting the recorded speech to text document is what is known as transcription.
Text documents can be in the form of software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
Transcription can be divided into two broad categories namely:
- Specialized transcription
- General transcription.
This is a type of transcription that does not have the use of technical terms. General transcription is easier to comprehend because speakers use standard day to day language.
An example of files that fall under the general transcription category include interviews and online media such as YouTube videos, Webinars, Podcasts, Facebook live sessions etcetera.
On the other hand, specialized transcription is narrowed down to specific industries. In specialized transcription you have:
- Legal Transcription- This includes court hearings and proceedings.
- Medical Transcription- This is transcribing doctors’ oral dictations as they’re examining a patient and matching the same with the patients’ records.
- Business Transcription- Includes earning calls- these are calls to company shareholders briefing them of the company’s fiscal year report. Business calls could also include business meetings.
- Qualitative analysis research- Mostly used by market researchers, Academicians who are doing their masters and Ph.D. thesis and clinical researchers.
Why is Transcription Necessary?
Transcription is necessary and important depended on the field and industry you are in.
Businesses require transcription services to keep an accurate account of all business communications. This helps in getting all the details of any meeting and using the transcripts as a reference point for follow-up.
Businesses also require transcription as a way of communicating how the company has been fairing on to their shareholders or investors.
Lawyers and paralegals require transcription of court proceedings as it helps them prepare better for their cases. The transcripts allow them to review the court hearings and better prepare for defense in court.
Medical transcription is of importance when it comes to claims and court suits. Transcripts of doctors’ dictations can be used as evidence in case a patient decided to sue the doctor. The details enable the court to make a better judgment.
Online media transcription allows information to get to everyone including the visually impaired. Although they lack the ability to see –partially or wholly – the visually impaired can be able to learn or follow through online media content only when the content has been transcribed and their devices can read to them from the transcripts.
Online media transcription helps in search engine optimization. Most of these search engines including Google are not able to crawl through video or audio files.
The only way to ensure you’re visible is to have your content transcribed and posted as it is or as show notes in the case of podcasts. Search engines are able to crawl through written content and hence give you better visibility on the web.
What is the Process of Transcription?
To fulfill the purpose of transcription, one needs to be very accurate. This means that by no means should a transcriber alter the meaning or message that was meant to be relayed when it was spoken.
If you’re transcribing in English, your grammar, spelling, and punctuations are key and you also have to have a good ear to capture what was said.
Here is the transcription process.
- Creating a digital audio file or video file by recording the speaker or speakers.
- Saving the recorded file on your computer.
- Finding an experienced transcriber to transcribe your file.
- After identifying a transcriber, sending the recorded files to the transcriber via email or via storage software such as Dropbox or Google Drive.
- Transcriber receives the files and downloads them on their computer.
- Transcriber uses non-automated transcription software such as Express Scribe or Inqscribe to transcribe the files.
- Transfers the file from the non-automated transcription software to text document software.
- Reviews the transcripts by re-listening to the audio again to check and correct errors.
- Formats the transcripts as per the transcription guidelines.
- Once the transcriber is satisfied that they have client ready work, they save the document on their computer or laptop and then transfer the completed document back to the client.
With that knowledge in mind, I’d like to warn you that transcription can be seen as a mundane task and that is why it is always advisable to outsource transcription services.
The best transcription service companies are able to offer you safe, accurate, and cost-effective services. Outsourcing transcription work to some of the best transcription companies allows you to concentrate on your core business as they take up your non-core business.
If you have transcription projects, talk to us. We will work with you on a turnaround time that suits you at very affordable rates.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]