Monday, July 29, 2013

Is it worth bidding on projects in online freelance work-sites for Indians?

For most people who live outside of the so-called “underdeveloped third-world developing nations” (mainly Asian, not all though) and who’s currency rates are far more above than these countries, the bidding process is a waste of time and the pay rates are peanuts for them to even consider the prospects. For those rates, they can outsource their projects and get the work done and then proofread and deliver to the client the transcript.

For someone who is living in these countries and whose currency exchange rates are far way below the average, for them it is like a little nugget, be it of gold or silver.


To put it into perspective and taking the example of US and India, 1 USD = 57 or 60 INR. If you want to take that in absolute terms think in the opposite, 1 INR = 57 USD. For 1 USD you are being paid 57 or 60 Indian Rupees. People here, in India, generally get roughly about 1,500 to 1,800 an hour. 


Putting it through currency conversion, it would be roughly $27.88 (1500 INR) or $33.46 (1800 INR), if you’re the lucky ones or big companies who have been able to get a direct client from US/UK/NZ or any other European or developed country. 


From a company’s perspective, if you generally employ about 10 people and on average they are able to produce 5 hours of work every day (Mon-Sat, generally speaking) and taking an average month to be 30 days. Now, deducting 5 Sundays, it would leave us with 25 days. So, the total production for the month would be 25 x 5 = 125 hours. 


Average income for various rates: 


1. 125 x $27.88 = $3,485/month x 53 INR = 1,84,705 INR/month 


2. 125 x $33.46 = $4,183/month x 53 INR = 2,21,699 INR/month 


The company would be generally paying around 1,25,000-1,50,000 per month to all the 10 employees combined altogether. 


It definitely varies with each country’s currency exchange rates as compared to India’s rates for that particular day. 


Now, if you were working somewhere and/or there was a middleman/vendor involved, you would be getting anything from 800 ($14.87) to 1,000 ($18.59) INR, this is for home-based employees, freelancers, and sub-contractors (all the bad/distorted audio goes to these people most of the time). 


When people go to these bidding sites and they try and bid for a project, they try to make the most of it. By bidding, on average, lesser than the next guy/gal in line and most probably it would not go less than $10-15 per hour. That’s why you see most of the clients putting up jobs for that range on there, though there will be people or clients who put/post jobs for less than this. 


The intermediary would be receiving it from the client anywhere from $15-33 per hour and would be subletting/subcontracting it out to other people for lower rates. 


It depends on the actual client also giving out jobs directly to people on these sites, but I have yet to see an actual client. I may have, but might not have recognized it with all these low rates and bidding going on there. 


For people in India or other countries where there is a huge currency rate gap, it provides an opportunity for people to just make it out and to try and get above all the job mongering going on.



It’s like the glitter of gold/silver from afar.



Just my two cents in this ever-growing pot of thoughts.




[NOTE: The article "Is it worth bidding on projects in online freelance work-sites for Indians?" first appeared on the Transcription, Online Presence, Articles, eBooks, and What Not... blog.]

[Follow: Devesh Prabhu is an avid blogger and blogs on many topics. He has been associated with the blogosphere for the past 8/9 years. You can follow Devesh Prabhu on social media through the buttons provided on the blog.]


[DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.]



Sunday, June 30, 2013

Transcription Process for Freshers and Experienced Alike

The Transcription Process

Transcribe the audio using transcription software.

  1. Express Scribe: http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/index.html
  2. Transcriber: http://trans.sourceforge.net/en/presentation.php
  3. f4: http://www.audiotranskription.de/english/f4.htm
  4. inqScribe: http://www.inqscribe.com/download.html

FIRST RUN [getting started]

The first thing that I always do is listen to the audio, at least, once and get a feel for the context and subject that is being spoken and/or talked about and do research about the terms that you come across. So, when you’re transcribing the audio, you know the terms and know what is going on rather than just jumping in blindfolded.

Always, keep and maintain a text file of terms that you encountered when listening to the audio. It would be good that you did the research and kept the correct spellings and terminology to help you out during the actual transcription process.

SECOND RUN [the actual]

Transcribe what you hear as fast as possible, without going back to hear if it is right or is accurate. Use abbreviations as much as possible and don't dwell on the correct spellings at all, especially of proper nouns (names of people and places). Mark speakers separately using numerical denominations unless you know the spelling (M1, F2, Male 1, Female 1, Speaker 1, Speaker 2 and the like, you get the drift, right?). If obvious, put in punctuation, but don't dwell on it at all. This is the most time-intensive run, so the key here is no to do anything but put down rough text unless the time it takes to do additional stuff is negligible.

Time taken for this process should be in the neighborhood of 50-60 minutes, but it greatly varies with audio quality, speaker enunciation and recognition of dialect/accent, crude typing speed, getting used to specific words, and using more abbreviations.

THIRD RUN [the review]

Go over the transcribed segment with the audio again, correcting proper nouns (names of people and places, format according to the template or what has been given by the client) with their proper spellings, punctuation, and first time phonetics and inaudible segments. Don't stop for spelling errors of non-proper nouns. Put in the correct speaker names (format according to the template or what has been given by the client, not first-time usage) using the software.

Time taken for this process should be in the neighborhood of 25-35 minutes, but it greatly varies with audio quality, speaker enunciation and recognition of dialect/accent, transcriber's knowledge of the subject.

FOURTH RUN [running errands]

No audio usage. This process is used at the end of the process when you have gone through the transcribed text and have finalized the transcript. Replace the abbreviations with full-form content (Use a macro will greatly fasten this process and will help in quickly doing the usual ones all at once). Proper case should be automatically done. Spell check the document before sending it off to the client or the end person (Time and again I cannot stress how important this is). Put in first time speaker references.

Time taken for this process should be in the neighborhood of 5-10 minutes, but it greatly varies with varies with the amount of speakers in the file.



[NOTE: The article "Transcription Process for Freshers and Experienced Alike" first appeared on the Transcription, Online Presence, Articles, eBooks, and What Not... blog.]

[Follow: Devesh Prabhu is an avid blogger and blogs on many topics. He has been associated with the blogosphere for the past 8/9 years. You can follow Devesh Prabhu on social media through the buttons provided on the blog.]

[DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.]



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Recording Audio for Transcription Purposes


There would have been times when you would have felt the need to go back to that interview / speech / discussion / brainstorming ideas to know what all you said and discussed and wished that you had recorded the session or taken down notes to review them later.

Today I would be explaining the different options on how to record audio for transcription purposes, so that you can get the best audio quality and low file size to provide for transcription (conversion to written format) to the vendor or the person who would work on the file.

There are many things which you have to consider when you record audio for the purpose of transcription - audio quality, file size, distortion effects, telephone line quality (long distance calls) cell reception, digital recording, file conversion options, etcetera. Also, you would have to weigh in that the transcriptionist would be going through all of this to provide you with a readable text document for the audio that you have provided.

For small file size, you can record the audio or have the audio converted to the following format after recording.

Mp3, 16 kBits/s, 11.025 Hz, Mono

For quality recording, you can record the audio or have the audio converted to the following format after recording.

Mp3, 128 kBits/s, 44.100 Hz, Stereo

You can also experiment with the various bit rates and frequencies to get the best and optimal recording, but do keep in mind that with a small file size you will have some distortion and with quality recording your file size will go up.



[NOTE: The article "Recording Audio for Transcription Purposes" first appeared on the Transcription, Online Presence, Articles, eBooks, and What Not... blog.]

[Follow: Devesh Prabhu is an avid blogger and blogs on many topics. He has been associated with the blogosphere for the past 8/9 years. You can follow Devesh Prabhu on social media through the buttons provided on the blog.]

[DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.]


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What is Transcription?


The word Transcription means to convert from one format to another.

It mostly involves listening to verbal speech through playing the audio file in one of the various audio listening software(s) and then writing it out into a readable format into a word document according to the client specifications.

Many people, or most of them, when they hear the word “Transcription,” immediately associate it with “Medical Transcription,” as they are mostly aware of this through their friends / family / or through various advertisements both online and offline.

Simply put, Transcription is to write out into a readable format what you are able to decipher by listening to the audio being played.

Mostly, it is a two-step process and involves one person writing out the rough transcript (this is called writing the transcript) and then a second person reviewing the transcript for errors (this is called editing the transcript). The final product is then sent to the client in the form of a word document.

The Process:

Transcriber: A person having zero to two years of experience in the field of transcription and is involved in the process of writing out the speech or conversation by listening to the audio into a readable format. A transcriber does not send his files to the client direct as there would be many errors in the transcript due to the person having less exposure in this field.

Editor: A person having at least three to four years of experience in the field of transcription and has moved on from the position of a Transcriber and is now in the process of reviewing other people’s transcripts for errors. An editor sends the files directly to the client after reviewing them and removing the errors that the transcriber has made. The editor has more exposure in this field than the transcriber.

Quality Checker (QC) / Quality Auditor (QA): A person having more than eight years of experience in the field of transcription. The QC/QA is one who reviews/audits transcripts after they have been submitted to the client for errors and marks them appropriately. In this process all errors marked are taken for review and feedback is provided to the Transcriber and/or Editor respectively.

There is another process by which a single person does the writing and the editing of the file and then delivers the final transcript to the client. These people are called direct deliverables and have, at least, 4-8 years of experience.

Since this is a human process, it always has the element of error and the client would most of the times come back and point out errors in the document. Both parties (client and vendor) should work out ways to have it rectified rather than pointing finger at each other and souring the relationship.



[NOTE: The article "What is Transcription?" first appeared on the Transcription, Online Presence, Articles, eBooks, and What Not... blog.]

[Follow: Devesh Prabhu is an avid blogger and blogs on many topics. He has been associated with the blogosphere for the past 8/9 years. You can follow Devesh Prabhu on social media through the buttons provided on the blog.]

[DISCLAIMER: All content provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site. The owner will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information. These terms and conditions of use are subject to change at anytime and without notice.]