Answers to the Most Frequently Asked Transcription Questions

There are a lot of businesses and individuals across various sectors that can benefit greatly from professional transcription services. However, for those that have not used such services before there can often be some confusion or misconceptions about transcription and what it entails.

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked transcription questions.

What is audio transcription?

This is the process of ‘transcribing’ or converting spoken words from an audio recording of a speech, conversation or meeting into a text document.

What types of transcription are there?

Transcription is available for general services or specialties. These include sectors such as medical, legal, financial, academic, corporate and media to name just a few.

Isn’t transcribing just typing?

Specialised transcribing services provide so much more than people realise. The language, knowledge, listening and keyboard skills that go into every transcript are what makes the difference between a novice and a professional service. Expert transcribers have the ability to decipher various accents and being able to understand and write down complicated legal, technical, medical or financial terms with accuracy and precision.

Surely anybody can transcribe?

Transcribing is a very demanding and difficult job that requires a lot of skill, concentration and painstaking attention to detail. Without the knowledge and experience required, transcribing is an impossible task.

Aren’t transcription services really expensive?

Professional, high quality transcription services are not cheap but for very good reasons. There is so much more to the transcription process than people often realise from the secure systems, confidentiality protocols to the demand for accurate and fast turnaround times. Cheap transcriptions might save a bit of money short term but will often be inferior and inaccurate, making them unsuitable for clients who require precise, secure, high quality transcriptions.

Can’t I just transcribe myself?

Of course you can – if you have plenty of spare time and can afford to spend hours of your day attempting to transcribe audio files then that is your prerogative. However, if your time is valuable and extremely limited as it is for most professionals then the last thing you should be having to do is trying to find time for such a task. An hour long audio file for example can take a skilled transcriber up to 4 hours to complete, so imagine how long it could take a non-professional!

What about voice recognition software?

This might sound like a preferable, cheaper alternative but unfortunately the savings come at the expense of the quality of the transcript. The software used for these is only able to transcribe the words it is able to clearly hear and recognise. That means that if there is a mumble, stutter, cross talk in a meeting, a word, phrasing or place name that it is unable to recognise you will end up with a nonsensical, inaccurate transcript that will require a lot of extra man hours to go through, decipher and try to correct.

Whether you are looking for medical, legal, media, financial, general or academic transcription services, be sure to use a professional company that will deliver the high quality results you need!


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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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One Response

  1. You are right, regardless of the service sector, the quality of the translation should be at the highest level, including translate translate english to french. Indeed, especially in such areas as the medical and legal spheres, a lot depends on the quality of the translation. After all, a poor-quality translation entails a distortion of the essence. Therefore, I still advise you to contact highly qualified and trained professional translators.

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