“I get furious when people tell me that transcribing is just listening to recorded voices and typing it out. The job requires and demands a lot more than that” fumes Stacey Portman one of our senior most transcribers at Transcriptionsservice. So if there is more to transcribing than meets the eye, what exactly is it? Well to begin with there is an extensive book of rules that transcribers will have to abide by.
If talking over the phone can lead to miscommunication, imagine how difficult it is going to be to communicate the views, and meet the requirements of someone through something as impersonal as a textual transcript!
Dispelling the clouds!
“When in doubt go by the book”, applies to the transcription sector as well. There are certain design specifications for transcripts based largely on the SGML markup language, regarded widely as the mother of all latter day markup languages. It includes general properties of a transcript such as identifying speakers if two or more people are involved in a recording. Breakpoint tags will have to be assigned to denote time offsets, and overlap tags; you guessed it, for documenting overlapping voices in the recording.
“Properties of transcribed speech”, the other major component in the specifications to be adhered to in preparing a text transcript is a different ball game altogether! It consists of such minute and hardly noticeable details such as the usage of numerals, abbreviations, lexicons and white spaces.
Still there alright, sorry all right
If you are still on this page and not left in a cold sweat, there is more. There are style guides that transcribers will have to adhere to, and using alright is not alright as it is not a word, all right makes the cut however! And ok is not ok either its okay. Apart from detailed specs of what words to abbreviate, what not to, what words to capitalize, hyphenate or do away with altogether, it also includes instructions on how to denote incomplete sentences in the transcript, and sounds in the recording other than human voices.
There are several more reasons to love your job!
If you ever felt that your job is unreasonably demanding think of the challenges faced by a transcriber the minute they wear their headphones on. And we haven’t even got down to discussing about weird accents, noisy recordings and dogs barking in the background! If you ever thought a transcriber had it easy you definitely have a second thought coming.