What is Transcription – The Idiot’s Definition
According to Wikipedia: Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken-language source, as in the proceedings of a court hearing. A transcriptionist is a person who performs transcription.
Simply put, transcription is the process of converting audio/video recordings (dictations) into written text. A transcriptionist is also known as transcriber.
As you can see, this process involves listening to a recorded audio and typing out the text on to a word processor like MS Word (paid software) or OpenOffice (free).
To transcribe a piece of dictation you need both hearing and typing skills. We also need a computer with internet connection to receive the audio/video files, play the audio file, type out the dictation using a word processor, and finally send back the text file.
To transcribe a piece of dictation, one must be able to hear what is being said and, comprehend and understand the subject and context. It’s one to thing to hear every word and be able to type it out and its altogether a different skill to comprehend the context. A transcriptionist must be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. That is to say that, some dictations may include instructions and other details which may or may not be required to be typed up. And, some details may have to be placed in their designated areas of the document. A transcriber should be able to differentiate between instructions and text, and, decide on which is which. It requires a great deal of common sense and practice.
A transcriptionist is not a typist. Trancription is much more than typing. It involves listening to and understanding recorded dictations, it requires an excellent grasp of the English language, grammar and the ability to decipher different accents. A good transcriptionist must have an eye for detail and a huge reserve of patience. He or she must also be very conversant with Microsoft Office or any other alternative. To a transcriptionist Internet is his/her best friend. Researches are done primarily on Internet – addresses , names of companies, schools, names of streets, spellings, etc are confirmed using the Internet.
Transcribing also requires a decent typing speed say, 60 – 100 words per minute. You should be able to use the foot pedal (that plays, rewinds or pauses the audio player) and type at the same time.
Transcriptionist usually work for transcription companies while many chose to work from home as freelance transcriptionist. It’s a very rewarding career. With the ever competitive business environment and cost-cutting being the only business strategy for most law firms, real estate firms, and business houses to stay competitive in their respective markets, transcriptionist will find themselves in huge demand in the coming years.
And if the current trend of blogging for business is to flourish and thrive, or those creative types simply wanting to dedicate more time to creation, there will be millions of individuals (usually those comfortably living in the cloud, as Glen of ViperChill.com would say) who will want to outsource their mundane chores to virtual assistants like transcriptionists!
Hope this is useful to you. If you have any questions or suggestions, please leave them in the comment below. I am always open to your suggestions. Believe me, your comment can improve my work and my life! BTW, if you require a transcriptionist you know where to find me, right? Please share this article if you like it.