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.]

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