Wednesday, March 25, 2009

How to provide a quality transcription

Hi everybody and welcome to the new blog for Typewrite Transcription and Typing Services CC! Here I hope to bring you news about the company, interesting articles and general things of interest to the transcription industry in South Africa. Since one of my main aims is to attempt to increase standards in the industry in South Africa, both from the client and transcriptionist point of view, I thought I'd kick it off by giving you the general procedure I try to follow to attempt to ensure I give a quality product to my clients.

1. Ensure that you have a quiet place to work and a quality set of equipment (headphones, speakers, dictation software)

2. Ask your client if they have any documentation you can refer to - speaker names, a programme if it is a conference, or a website you can refer to.

3. Ask your client if they have any specific grammatical preferences.

4. In all instances where your client does not have grammatical preferences, ensure that you adhere to general grammatical rules.

5. Establish from your client whether he or she would like you to timestamp unclear sections.

6. Pay attention to the context of the work and ensure what you transcribe makes sense. This is the advantage transcriptionists hold above voice recognition software, and nothing is more frustrating for a proofreader than nonsensical work. I once had a 3 hour transcript returned by one of my transcriptionists, and none of it made any sense. For example, the people were talking about constitutional issues, and one person said "They were discussing the issues". The transcript came to me as "they were discussing his shoes". This can be funny in one instance, or two. But by the time there has been 3 hours of it, I can tell you it wears thin.

7. Do a spell check, and ensure you have got the words placed correctly. For example, nothing drives me crazier than seeing for example "the men played there guitars." It's "the men played their guitars" ...

8. Proofread your own work. If this means going back and going through it again for the whole length of the audio then so be it. Some audio is clear and can be proofread at 1.5 times the speed. Either way, your work needs to be checked before you send it back to your client. Of importance is that you ensure that you have googled or double checked difficult terms.

Hope this has been beneficial to you,

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