What’s the Truth About Transcription?

There are various misconceptions concerning transcription and its use in the modern world.

Sitting in front of a typewriter and using shorthand are long gone.

We have software, automation, and foot pedals these days.

Since transcription is here to stay, we may as well educate ourselves a little about it and dispel any myths around it.

So here’s the truth about transcription.

1. Transcription is not easy.

Not everyone can do transcription because it is not easy.

A person can type one minute of audio in 3 to 4 minutes.

This means that it will take 3 to 4 hours (including time for editing) to type one hour of audio.

If you’re dealing with poor-quality audio recordings, more time is needed, for sure.

It might take one to spend the whole 8-hour day to type a 2-hour audio file, and the quality of the finished product might still be lacking.

2. You don’t have to be super fast in typing.

There is no industry standard for how quickly you need to type, but studies show that the average transcriber can do so at a rate of 50 words per minute.

The completion of transcriptions will be subject to deadlines imposed by the company you’re working for.

However, accuracy is more important than speed.

3. Even if you’re a fast typist…

It’s not enough to become a transcriber.

Fast typing speed is undoubtedly part of the skill set needed to excel as a general transcriber, but it isn’t the only one.

To guarantee that the customer is happy with the finished job, transcription work involves more than just giving the client a written copy of a video or audio clip.

The completed work must also undergo rigorous quality checks, including many rounds of editing and proofreading.

Therefore, in addition to language ability and an exceptional vocabulary, the transcriber has to have the following:

  • good command of the English language, which includes grammar and punctuation that is above average
  • knowledge in word processing software
  • a high level of Internet proficiency
  • able to sit for an extended amount of time

4. Machine transcription versus human transcription.

Speech recognition technology has come a long way and is continuously improving.

Background noise, accents, and many other factors make professional-level typing impossible for AI.

Technology also doesn’t edit or proofread your transcript or use the correct format you need.

Despite the fact that AI can save a lot of money, the accuracy and quality are far from that of a human transcriber and particularly not great for files with multiple speakers.

Human transcription is still preferred because of the following:

1) More accurate. Of course, accuracy is frequently the top concern when someone needs something transcribed.
Automated transcriptions are reliable but not perfect. When transcribing audio, humans can give the work the amount of attention that machines cannot.

2) Background noise is not an issue. There are occasions when background noise cannot be avoided, even in the ideal recording
environment. Small hiccups are common, but they won’t affect how well human transcription is done.

3) Accents and dialects can be understood by humans. The wide range of accents and dialects present in the world shouldn’t have an influence on the accuracy of a transcript.

However, automated transcriptions can find it difficult to do this. Humans are used to hearing a broad range of accents and dialects and are able to comprehend what is being said.

Since machines can’t distinguish between accents and dialects as humans can, automated transcriptions run the risk of having more errors.

5. Training is required.

In order to start a job in general transcription, regardless of how good a typist you are, you will need to complete a training.

Compared to legal or medical transcription, general transcription may require significantly less training, but you still need to get it.

So head on to our free transcription course where you will learn the basics to get started in transcription.

6. It’s possible to earn a good income.

Not everyone who aspires to work as a transcriber succeeds.

And because of this, others may have reservations about transcribing as a viable freelance job.

Sometimes transcription jobs are temporary.

You’ll get projects here and there, but it could just be temporary.

There are periods of the year when there is less work, especially if you’re working for a transcription company where transcribers are competing against each other on a few projects.

However, there are transcription companies that offer career advancement if you improve your skills and stay with them long enough.

They promote transcribers to the position of editor and pay them more.

If you do a little research, you’ll discover that a lot of people have achieved success in transcription.

If you want to earn more and you’re particularly interested in transcribing podcasts, you can use this strategy.


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