Transcription is not just simple typing. It is much more complex and difficult. It takes high focus, patience as well as determination to work as a transcriptionist. If someone wants to earn easy money, then transcription is the work for them.
Transcription is the process of converting audio to a written or text document. People who do this work have specific degrees which help them specialize in different subject matters. They also need to have years of experience and practice to perform good quality high volume work in a short amount of time.
However, there are ways and techniques which can help in completing transcription work quickly. Professional transcriptionists use these tips and techniques. But, we should also know what makes a good transcriptionist.
Qualities of a Good Transcriptionist
- Fast and accurate typing skills are vital. Transcription work is not just about typing. But it is the most important factor. Professionals in this field have typing speeds above an average of 40 words per minute. 40 words per minute are the basic typing speed as higher earning professionals can type with speeds up to 120 words per minute. However, this is the speed without errors.
- Accurate hearing skills is a must. You see, the audio quality varies from audio to audio. A person who has a good vocabulary of words in the source language and who follows his/her gut is the best person for this hearing job. Also, a focused person with accurate hearing skills is necessary for transcribing audio.
- The willingness to research is an important trait. As it is not just about typing. It is also knowing what you’re typing. Because a person cannot solely depend on hearing skills to type accurately. And most of the times, audio will contain words and terminologies unknown to a transcriber. Hence, researching becomes an essential option. And this takes time.
- A good transcriptionist is often a good multitasker. He/ she should be able to control the audio playback, and other settings, research on different words, and type at the same time.
- Oh! And I forgot to mention the most important point of all. He/she should be a master of his/her language.
Now, how can you transcribe faster?
· Use good quality headphones
Using good quality headphones will obviously increase your transcription productivity. It should belong to a good brand, have features like noise cancellation, crystal clear sound and a good volume.
· Use transcription software and foot pedals
Foot pedals allow you to control the audio playback. It allows you to rewind, play, pause and fast forward audio using the foot pedal. This leaves your hands for only typing. This is a must for professional transcriptionists as they have to type high volume work is short amount of time. These foot pedals work along with a variety of transcription software products such as Express Scribe which allows you to control the playback.
· Use auto-correction tools
Transcriptionists use auto-correction tools while transcribing as it helps them to correct mistakes in their work without investing much time. This doesn’t mean that you can rely on these tools completely and type incorrectly. There are a variety of auto-correction tools such as the one present in Microsoft Word or software such as Grammarly.
· Good ergonomics
Good ergonomics help a lot in any kind of desk job. Since you will have to work in front of a desktop or a pc for long periods, you must make sure that you are comfortable. Using a desktop is better than using a laptop. Because in a desktop, the monitor and the keyboard are independent. You can adjust the monitor according to your line of sight and the keyboard should be below or at the level of your elbows. This ensures minimum strain on your shoulders and spine.
· The use of good audio editing software
There will be situations where a transcriber will have to work on very poor quality audio. In such cases, good hearing skills and research won’t help much. In those cases, the ability to use audio editing software comes in handy. Audio editing software such as Audacity can help you edit an audio file to reduce the background noise, increase clarity and amplify.
· Taking regular breaks
Taking regular breaks increases productivity a lot. It keeps your energy levels up. You might feel that taking a break will consume a lot of time. This might be true if you take a break when you are completely out of energy and the will to work. But regular breaks will keep your mood, energy, and motivation to work high. Taking a 5-10 minutes to break after every 1 hour is a good choice.
· The ability to move on
There will be cases where transcribing a part of audio will seem impossible, even after you have tried every tip mentioned above. In such cases, you will have to move on and mark those places as [INAUDIBLE] or [OVERLAP] in cases of overlap or [“YOUR CLOSEST GUESS”?] if you have a guess about that word but you are not sure.
· The requirement of the client
You should know the exact requirement of your client and ask them all the questions which you think are important. This will give clarity about what you need to do exactly. And it will also save your time by avoiding unnecessary things.
These are the tips and techniques which transcriptionist use to help them complete work on time. You can use them too and tell us about your opinions in the comments section. If you are interested to view our other quality content in the field of translation and transcription, feel free to do so by checking out our blogs section.