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The world of transcription can be a wonderful place if understood and respected for what it actually is. Once you get the gist of being a transcriber, transcribing and the term ‘transcription’, your respect for this industry will soar (or it should). The main thing I want to point out in this post is the fact that transcription or the talent of transcribing is an art; an acquired skill. One must like this profession. I have a passion for words so transcribing suites me. It’s advertised that anybody can do this kind of work. Yes, anyone can type! But do you know what it takes to submit a transcript to a client? There is so much more to ‘transcribing’ than just ‘typing’.
“The main thing I want to point out in this post is the fact that transcription or the talent of transcribing is an art; an acquired skill.”
Last week, I read a blog, “General Transcriptions, Is It Right For You?” This blog post clearly delivers the message I am trying to convey. It places emphasis on what it takes to work as a transcriber. My favorite part of the blog post is “Personality Traits”. I felt like the author was talking to me. She couldn’t have been more correct. I love words. I’m well read and I don’t mind typing.
I had a huge project transcribing 39 videos (interviews). Every person being interviewed including the interviewer had a British accent. Immediately, I thought, “Okay, this is going to be a challenge.” Anyway, I pressed on because as a service provider, my main goal is to do more than my best at all times. Anyway, after listening to a few videos, I noticed some words most of us probably don’t use in our everyday American English language. I also noticed people and places not located here in the US. Now, how did I know this? If all I’m doing is typing, how was I able to pick out this information?
Here are my 4 skills you should embrace:
- Be inquisitive – AKA ‘be nosey’. When I work, I look at everything involving my project especially if it’s a video file. Videos make it very easy to be nosey. If you’re having a hard time making out what is being said, ‘look’ at the person’s mouth thats being interviewed to see the words they are forming with their lips. I discovered so many words this way.
- Become a researcher – ‘Yep!’ This era in technology, we are so lucky to have access to information transcribers were not privy to years ago. Like I said, the project I am working on is UK-based. The persons being interviewed was calling out names of people and places (I’ve never heard of before). So I looked up every name to verify what was being said. You must do this too.
- Turn into a private detective – Alongside being a researcher, utilize the internet for what it is. The world-wide web is a cloud library! I research blog posts, websites and articles having to do with the information I am transcribing.
- Become a sound hound – Listening is the most important skill/talent you must possess in this industry. How can you be a ‘researcher’ or a ‘private detective’ if you can’t hear what you’re researching? Make sense, huh? I was asked to look over a script after it had been typed. While I was ‘fact-checking’, I found so many obvious words that were written down as something else. Become a sound hound.
Let me add a couple of ‘sub-skills’ you need not forget:
- Proof reading – Words that sound the same (their, they’re & there) should be checked before submitting your work. Check, check and check for spelling errors.
- Editing – Specifically if your client wants a clean version of their project, editing is a service you must afford your clients. This is why it is so important to be ‘well read’.
I heard some phrases in my interviews that I personally feel could have easily been missed. But because I’m well read and know a little bit about everything, I easily picked up on it.
- Transcription or becoming a transcriber is more than ‘typing’
- It takes skills and talents to become a professional and successful transcriber
- Accuracy is far better than speed. Who cares if you only type fast?
- Get training or take classes if you want to be serious in this industry
What other attributes are required to becoming the best of the best of the best transcriber I may have missed? Leave your comments below. I love feedback.