Expert Transcription Services
When considering becoming a self employed transcriptionist, there are many things you need to bear in mind. The majority of work that is outsourced to transcription companies is research based and often in interview form. Dictation can be hard to come by. If you have been working as an audio typist for a legal, medical or property firm, you may feel that your typing speed is up to scratch and your grammar is tuned enough to render you a superb transcriptionist, after all, you’ve been typing from dictation for years. The reality, however, is that audio dictation and interview recordings are two
very different things. Here are some things that you’ll need to consider if looking to move from your current career in an office to the freelance world of audio transcription.
- Different Speakers. Working for a firm, you will most likely have been audio typing for a few professionals, if not one professional within your company. You will be accustomed to their voice(s) and easily be able to pick out what they are saying (even when the audio is compromised) because you know their speech patterns and the way that they talk. Interview transcription takes practice. Each time you take on a file, you will have a new speaker with a new accent and you will not be able to easily second guess what they have said or will say based on speech patterns as you have never typed for them before.
- Number of Speakers. Audio recordings of focus groups can often contain a large number of speakers, all with different dialects, tones and speeds of talking. Focus groups can be a particularly difficult prospect for an inexperienced transcriptionist with an untrained ear. It generally takes many years of experiences and practise to be able to transcribe focus groups accurately and should only be attempted by transcriptionists with exceptional skills.
- Research. Transcription companies receive a vast range of audio files on what can seem like an infinite number of topics. If you are a secretary, you may be used to knowing your industry specific jargon but when you start typing interviews for research, you will come across brands, terms, key words and names that you never have come across before, but you will have the responsibility for researching these on line so as to get the spelling correct. This can be very time consuming if you do not have the skills that render you up to the challenge.
- Grammar and punctuation decisions. When working from dictation, a speaker will be conscious that what he or she is saying is intended for the written word. A doctor or solicitor will purposefully speak in sentences so you will most likely be able to type word for word in already perfectly formed sentences. Some professionals will even dictate punctuation for the benefit of the secretary. When typing an interview, things aren’t quite that simple. In conversation, people trail off mid sentence, randomly change the subject, speak over each other and can speak in sentences that seem almost never ending. As a transcriptionist, you need to be able to make important decisions on what to type, how to type it and what to exclude when typing Intelligent Verbatim. For example, repetitions can be omitted, â€˜sort ofs, kind ofs,’ and the like. Verbatim transcription can be even more difficult as by including everything that speakers say, the question of how to keep sentences comprehensible is a really a case of impeccable decisions on grammar and sentence division.
- Sound Quality. In interview transcription, your speakers will often not have a microphone each (though they should). You may be accustomed to listening to one speaker who is fully aware of speaking straight into the Dictaphone in a quiet office but interviews can take place in noisy offices, over the telephone, or even sometimes in a bustling cafe. You will need to have a good ear to make a living from interview transcription and you will need to invest in high quality headphones and transcription equipment.
- Strict Deadlines. Deadlines are often a lot tighter when you are working as a self-employed transcriptionist. Being able to manage and organise your time is essential if you want to be able to complete transcripts on time. Quick turnaround times can also mean that you will have to work long and unsociable hours in order to meet client deadlines and expectations.
- High Standards. When you are working as a self-employed transcriptionist you will find that the competition is high. Clients no longer have to concern themselves with the difficulties that go with firing employed staff. If your work is not of an extremely high standard, you will find that your clients will quickly move on to a transcription service provider who is of a higher standard. To avoid this outcome, you must make sure that all of your work is accurate, free of grammatical error, properly researched, formatted the according to the clients’ specifications and that your transcripts are always back within the required deadlines.
Here at Transcription City, we always try to match our typist expertise as closely to our client’s industry as possible. Before we take on a transcriptionist, we look to fully assess their ability to hear, comprehend what is being said and to research and type a fully coherent and articulate transcript.
If you would like to learn more about our transcriptionists or would like more information about the transcription services that we provide, please contact us at any time.