Transcription is important. How important? So important that it’s a matter of national security. True, for your particular endeavor U.S. national security may not be at stake, but the viability of your business, your organization, your academic research, and/or your publication may be at stake. So many crucial things are said verbally – and recorded electronically – […]

If you don’t already audio-record your interviews, you most definitely should. Apart from those who know shorthand, few people can write or type fast enough to get everything that’s said. That could seriously impact the completeness and the accuracy of your final product. If you do regularly record your interviews, then that’s great. But you […]

Is It “its”? No, It Is “it’s”

On November 18th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by |

Make sure your transcription service provider does the following: * Writes out contractions when the spoken speech consists of contractions. People usually speak with contractions – like saying “didn’t” instead of “did not”. But for some reason transcriptionists can be prone to writing it out as “did not” even though the contraction was used. So […]

Dealing with Inaudible Words and Non-Words

On November 16th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by |

How should a transcription company handle instances of inaudibles, background conversations, periods of silence, and audio gaps? * In the transcript, “(inaudible)” should be indicated for unintelligible words. Better yet is “(inaudible at 00:23:22)” or whatever the timestamp is, so that the reader can quickly find and listen to the spot in question. * Periods […]

When the Words Aren’t Crystal-Clear

On November 15th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by |

People, of course, don’t always speak in a crystal-clear manner. Or the quality of the audio recording could be subpar. Or there could be background noise. So sometimes it’s hard to discern certain words when listening to recordings of spoken speech. In those cases, when a transcriptionist is not 100 percent certain of what the […]

Most of the time you don’t need every little utterance included in your transcript, such as um, hm, uh-huh, OK (especially when it’s the interviewer), like, etc. unless it’s essential to the meaning of what’s being said. Those words are distracting to the reader – you want to read through the transcription smoothly. So if […]

Good Speaker Labeling is Key

On November 13th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by Tags: |

It often is not possible for the transcriptionist to know the names of each speaker unless they state their names clearly or if the client provides the names. So in lieu of names, descriptors like “interviewer”, “speaker” or “participant” are used. When there are two speakers and it’s a question and answer format, the natural […]

Run Away from Run-Ons

On November 12th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by |

There are of course higher-quality transcripts and lower-quality transcripts. Some of the characteristics of the latter include the following: * Run-on sentences. A less-skilled transcriptionist may not insert periods and commas at pauses, or at the end of a thought or statement. A speaker may sound like his or her sentences are running together, but […]

Timestamps in the Transcripts

On November 11th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by Tags: , |

When you want to cross-check a word or passage in the transcript with the audio file, how do you find the correct spot in the audio file? That’s a daunting prospect – you’d have to estimate where in the audio file to go, based on how far into the transcript you are. But you almost […]

May the File Names Be the Same

On November 11th, 2012, posted in: Transcription by |

When the transcription company you’re working with delivers a transcript to you, its file name should be the exact same file name as the audio file from which the transcript was derived (apart from the file extensions, i.e. .doc vs. .mp3.) That way, there’s no confusion as to which audio file the transcript corresponds to; […]