Transcription is a service where quality cannot be sacrificed for price. A quality transcript is worth every cent because it preserves the integrity of the spoken recorded word. A professional transcription service makes sense only if it ensures quality transcription.

Essentially, What Is A Transcript?

A transcript is a hard copy of an audio recording, the purpose of which is to safeguard and share the contents of a recording. It is therefore extremely important that a transcript is transcribed and not just typed, and in fact, transcribed accurately and meticulously, or in all reality, the transcript will be useless.

Factoring Transcript Quality

An audio typist merely types from an audio recording whereas a transcriber applies the five transcription quality requirements to produce a high-quality transcript:

  1. Precision listening,
  2. correct grammar,
  3. word recognition,
  4. comprehensive research, and
  5. the protection of a speaker’s intention.

These requirements ensure a high-quality transcript that is accurate, reads well and protects the integrity of the document.

We explore each transcription quality below.

Precision Listening

A transcriber listens to an audio recording, word for word.

This ensures that each word is heard and typed correctly. An audio typist’s goal is to type as fast as possible with minimal errors. This can, unfortunately, lead to multiple errors because an audio typist may hear incorrectly then type incorrectly. A high-quality transcript records every word from an audio recording correctly.

Correct Grammar

Grammar can make or break a transcript.

Correct grammar ensures a document reads well, as well as delivers a message as it was intended, making clear sense to the reader. Correct grammar prevents run-on sentences and combines incomplete thoughts to make them read more clearly and succinctly. There is often a wide disparity between traditional written grammar and the way people actually think, and the challenge for a transcriber is to reconcile the two. A high-quality transcript does not contain any grammatical errors.

Word Recognition

There are many words that sound and are spelled the same way but differ in meaning (their/there/they’re for example), or which sound the same but are spelled differently (complement/compliment for example).

A transcriber is a linguist, a language professional, attuned to the nuances of language and speech and can, therefore, distinguish between words, their spelling, and meaning. They are able to select and type the correct word. This is very important when a speaker is either nearly inaudible or speaking with a heavy accent. A high-quality transcript contains the right word for the relevant context.

Comprehensive Research

It is frequently necessary for a transcriber to research the topic being transcribed to limit the number of [unclears] and to ensure the correct spelling of names, places, and specialised terms, often medical or legal.

An [unclear] is a term used in transcription to define inaudible sounds. This occurs as a result of interfering background noise, when people speak over each other, or when a speaker has a heavy accent or speaks very softly. A transcriber must apply research skills to fill in these blanks by researching the sound, the place, the name…whatever is required to find and fill the correct word with correct spelling. Certainly, the more knowledgeable and well-read a transcriber is the more words that will be recognised in a recording. But research is a common and necessary component of a high-quality transcript. Therefore, a high-quality transcript will be thoroughly researched.

Speaker’s Intention

A high-quality transcript stays true to the speaker’s intention.

A transcriber ensures this by not removing anything that may change or distort the intention of the speaker and the meaning of sentences Grammar must be correct as well as used correctly for the conveying of the correct meaning and intention. You know the age-old example: “Let’s eat Grandpa!” and “Let’s eat, Grandpa!” Common grammar errors such as misplaced and dangling modifiers can create dual meanings and misunderstandings, and so can misplaced commas! A high-quality transcript does not change or modify the speaker’s intention.

Using a quality type out transcription service ensures a high-quality transcript – which then reads well, contains no grammar or spelling errors, has virtually no unclears and conveys the speaker’s message as intended. There are many companies and individuals who offer transcription services, but few are able to deliver high-quality transcripts in a short space of time.

Professional Transcription Makes a Difference

When it comes to selecting a professional transcription service must be considered. This decision must be based on quality. For the most part, transcription is a service where quality cannot be sacrificed for price. A quality transcript is worth every cent because it preserves the integrity of the spoken recorded word.

Interested? Read more about Way with Words here.

8 STEPS TO CHOOSING A TRANSCRIPTION PROVIDER