The Complete Course in Audio Transcription (For Beginners)
Welcome and thank you for joining this course. But first, a brief introduction about transcription and what to expect from this course.
What is transcription?
Transcription is the task of converting a video or an audio file into a written or text document. A transcriptionist — or a transcriber as others prefer to call it — listens to the audio recording and transcribes or types a dictation, usually on a Word document.
As simple as it may sound, it can be very tricky, just like in this example.
In the first sentence, the correct word is “confidence” and not “competence.” In the second sentence, the correct word is “total” and not “turtle.” In the third sentence, the correct words are “it continues” and not “he continuous.” And so on and so forth.
We are here to help aspiring freelance transcribers learn the basics, improve their skills, and gain experience.
There are three major types of transcription: medical transcription, legal transcription, and general transcription.
This training focuses in general transcription. General transcribers don’t specialize on a specific subject.
Why study general transcription?
It’s easier and faster to learn and inexpensive. It doesn’t require lengthy courses. You don’t have to learn medical and legal terminologies. All you need to do is brush up on your English, typing, and listening skills.
It’s more interesting because it covers a wide variety of subjects. You get to learn a lot of things in the process as well.
General transcription has more flexible turnaround time. Medical and legal have tighter deadlines.
General transcription is a growing industry. There are more and more general transcription jobs these days; therefore, it’s easier to get these projects and earn more.
Among the benefits of a transcription career are following:
The ability to work from home along with flexible hours.
Since this is a home-based job, you save time and money on long commutes going to work. However, since you normally work on your own, a great sense of responsibility and self-discipline is important.
Even if English is just your second language, you can still succeed in this industry.
Required Skill Set
Obviously, this is one of the skills good transcribers possess. Recordings have different quality levels. Some are easy, and some are not so easy. A good transcriber can finish a transcription accurately and quickly.
2. Attention to detail.
Transcribers need to understand the context of recordings in order to consistently generate quality transcripts.
Good transcribers type and think at the same time. They can easily recognize the difference between words like “affect” and “effect,” “everyday” and every day,” “allude” and “elude” and others.
Transcribers have a strong command of the English language. This includes wide vocabulary, proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation.
Proper punctuation is of paramount importance. A misplaced comma or period can totally change the meaning of a sentence.
Excellent writing skill will definitely make your work better.
Transcribers are often met with terms, names, places, and jargon they’ve never heard before. Simply guessing based on what the word sound like doesn’t work.
Good transcribers know how to use Google when they need to.
5. Microsoft Word knowledge.
Transcripts are usually sent to clients in Microsoft Word document, and sometimes clients require a specific formatting style.
Therefore, knowledge in Microsoft Word is required in transcription.
Fast typing helps you earn more in transcription since earnings are determined by production; meaning the faster you type, the more transcription projects you can complete on a given deadline.
However, you can start slow and improve your typing skills over time. You need to be able to type at least 50 to 60 words per minute to earn a decent income.
So what is your typing speed?
If it’s 60 words per minute or above, well, that’s awesome.
But if it’s below 60 words per minute, you can always practice and track your progress on this website that you see on your screen.
This website is called 10fastfingers.com.
7. Right attitude.
All the skills mentioned above can be learned and developed through practice and, of course, through this course.
But more importantly, you have to have the right attitude.
Transcribers love learning and are self-driven. Becoming a good transcriber doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of practice. It is a continuous learning process.
Transcription is not something you decide to do and claim you’re an expert at even without enough experience just because you know the English language and you know how to type.
Concentrate on developing your skills, and eventually you will see progress.
Transcribers are reliable and can work independently. For them, deadlines are important.
Clients depend on you and trust that you’ll turn in completed projects on time. Otherwise, you’re more than likely to lose your clients.
Transcribers are patient and focused. Transcribers are in front of their computers most of the time.
This can be very physically and emotionally exhausting for some. Others are more productive and accomplish more being in solitude.
To get started, here are the things you need:
(1) Desktop or laptop with Internet connection
(2) Microsoft Word
(4) Comfortable and quiet work environment.