Nowadays, with the spread of webinars, Zoom meetings, and online conferences, transcription services are getting more and more popular. Transcribing a recording allows you to have easier access to it in the form of a text, which can be useful for future work, research, or meetings. In our previous article, we discussed what transcription is and what the four different types of transcription are — check it out for more detail. In this article, we will look at how these different transcription types can match specific needs, as well as at some of the best transcription practices.
Matching transcription services to specific needs
We touched on this briefly and generally in the previous article. Now, let us take a more detailed look at which type of transcription fits which particular situations.
Being the most detailed type of transcription, verbatim transcription is most suitable when you need to include all the verbal and non-verbal details of what is being said. Here are a few of the most common uses of verbatim transcription:
- Market research studies
- Linguistic research
- Job interviews
- Police investigations
- Court cases
- Some cases of data analysis
Edited transcription ‘combs down’ the text a bit, editing out unnecessary non-verbal information, excessive repetition, filler words, etc. It is best to opt for this type when you don’t need to know the exact ‘flavour’ and manner of speech but still need to keep what is being said word for word, like, for instance, in:
- Lectures and seminars
- Situations when the transcribed material will be translated into a foreign language
- General interviews
- Texts that need publishing
Intelligent transcription cuts out anything that is ‘not to the point’ and smoothes down the text, making it more readable and usually more concise. It is the best option in the following situations:
- Medical transcription
- Certain interviews intended for publication
- Business communication
- Meeting reports
This is a very specific type of transcription, recording the exact pronunciation using various phonetic symbols. It is used in:
- Linguistic research
- Clinical psychology
- Foreign language teaching
- Singing and acting
- Speech pathology
If you are not quite sure which type of transcription fits your needs best, consult the experts: an experienced person/company offering transcription services will be able to help you choose the best option.
Best transcription practices
It may seem that transcription is just listening to a recording and typing up what you hear. And it is, in fact, part of the process. However, transcription involves more than listening and typing and requires quite a few skills from the person doing it.
To be a good transcriptionist, one needs to:
- Be good at listening and have a great attention span
- Be very fast – but also very precise
- Do some research and be aware of the subject they are transcribing
- Constantly review and proofread their work
- Protect the information one is trusted with and keep it private
- Be open, flexible, and adaptable
- Have good communication skills
The tech and software a transcriptionist uses can also contribute quite a lot to how good their transcription is and how fast they do it. For instance, a USB foot pedal allows you to pause and play the recording without taking your hands off the keyboard — it may seem that it only saves a second here and there, but these seconds do add up.
There is also various software you can use to improve the quality of the sounds by reducing background noise — this can contribute greatly to the speed and precision of your transcription.
On the one hand, anyone can press play and pause, listen to the recording, and type up what they hear. Or, at least, anyone can try. If somebody leaves you a short voice message that you want to write down, you’ll be able to do it. However, in the majority of cases, transcription is time-consuming work that requires a lot of concentration, speed, precision, and other skills.
If you are looking for accurate high-quality transcription, employing professional services is the only way to go. Contact us for more information, or a quote!