The Perfect Transcription

Hero Curve Element
The Perfect Transcription

We receive all kinds of transcription requests. We’re sent audio and video files in all sorts of languages and our clients have a diverse range of demands when it comes to transcription. But one thing that never changes, irrespective of language and presentation, is the need for quality.

Whether our customers request English transcripts of university interviews for postgraduate research, or transcripts of medical interviews, or focus groups, or whether the written versions of the recordings are destined for police or court, then there is one consideration that supersedes all others: the same language transcription must accurately reflect the content of the audio or video. One hundred percent. And while this may sound easy, it can be a difficult process.

Depending on how the transcription is to be used, the client may request either ‘verbatim’ transcription (where literally everything is transcribed, down to the last ‘erm’), or alternatively ‘intelligent verbatim’, where certain elements (such as said ‘erm’!) may be deliberately omitted. There may be specialist vocabulary, medical or legal terminology, or there may be a number of individuals participating in the recording, all of whom need to be identified and named correctly. In order for our partners to reference specific points in the transcript, they may need time-code markers, every five minutes, every minute, every sentence, or they may even need subtitles or captions!

So how do we make sure that all the t’s are crossed and all the i’s are dotted? Firstly, we always ask our clients to be super-specific about exactly (and we mean EXACTLY) what they require. Once we’ve established the spec, we constantly liaise with our vetted transcriptionists to ensure that they understand what has been contracted. Finally, we check, check, check, check and check again. We ask our transcriptionists to ‘listen again’ to the audio, as a third listen will almost always pick up words that may be missed the first or second time round. Their work is obviously carefully checked (spelling, grammar and so on) and finally it is again checked in-house. And for some projects, our clients will also commission a separate proofreading stage! And the end result? Quality.

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