Saturday, April 20, 2013

General Transcription - Not Just About Typing Speed

Is transcription really just about accurate typing speed?

While the ability to type as much as 70 wpm, 80 wpm and even 90 wpm and beyond is a skill in itself, there has been a growing awareness of how essential the ability to really listen and comprehend what the speaker wants to convey in their piece is.

In these changing times, the new breed of transcribers need to cultivate and incorporate within their work the following skills: 

  • Comprehension of the gist of the message
  • An innate sense to re-listen or replay parts of the audio if they think what they typed did not make sense
  • Good grammar skills and the common sense to run their completed transcription through a spelling and grammar checker if they are in doubt of their own skills and
  • The down-to-earth common sense to get into the speaker’s head and truly  understand what they meant to say. 
Transcripts that are provided as part of a course, a teleseminar or a webinar are provided to the client's audience as a PDF file. These are consequently saved to their computers, printed out or viewed online. An effective transcriber should keep this in mind to ensure that all the elements within the transcript are in order and makes sense. The overall purpose of the transcription is really fulfillment of the client's expectations, the sincerest intention to be true to the intended message and longevity.

The above skills often come before typing skills. This is something of course that can't be taught overnight. However, they can be cultivated if one is just willing to learn and expand their outlook in life. While it takes time and some effort, it will result to a more rewarding experience for both the transcriber and the client. 

As is said, typing speed comes with practice; the really important common sense stuff is something that is individually imbibe at will. In the end, the quality of the end product will definitely show the difference.

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  1. I definitely agree. I have to almost invision what I read to understand it the best. One needs more than basic typing skills. Thanks for sharing.

  2. This is a very interesting post Luchie. I often go back to transcriptions to review because I have found that the more I write during the presentation, the less I hear. You make a great point! Thanks

    1. Thanks Barry. A lot of people refer to transcriptions and a good transcription certainly enhances the experience.