General Transcription Tips

General Transcription Tips
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Though general transcription is not tough and anyone with a good typing hand and ear can start of as a transcriptionist; accuracy does matter. It makes or breaks your reputation as a transcriptionist even if you are in a company.  General audios have materials that are full of technical, financial or specialized terminology.  This is typical of business transcription. To the managers, the terminology may seem easy but transcriptionists may be unfamiliar with them. What to do?

It may be necessary to listen to words, terms, sentences or even a whole section several times in order to transcribe them properly. In such circumstances, it helps enormously if a glossary of keywords can be provided in advance or words can be spelled out while dictating. If you are working for a company you can ask for the glossary beforehand especially if the client is a prior one.

However, if you are working independently and if you are working with a new customer or in a new area of business, you would be wise to get prior information about vocabulary and difficult words that may crop up. These words may not be specialist terms but may just be terms that are specific to the particular recording to be transcribed. Getting such a glossary avoids you using incorrect words throughout a document. Also, if you have a prior knowledge of a topic and information on the kind of words or names that may come up, you will find it easier to decipher words that on the first hearing you may think are audible.

Knowing how to spell difficult names or words will help not only to make the final version of your document more accurate, but it will make your task more enjoyable. There is nothing more frustrating than hearing a word time and time again and having no way of checking whether you are transcribing it correctly. This is particularly the case with people’s names because no dictionary, specialist or otherwise will help you check the accuracy of the spelling.

If you are transcribing the recording of a meeting, you might wish to ask for a glossary, which contains the following-

  • The name of the attendees
  • The name of the project being discussed and related projects
  • Name of other people and organizations who are closely involved in the project
  • Relevant addresses, place names, property names
  • Technical phrases, jargons, abbreviations that may be used during the course of the meeting

Create your own glossaries as you work. In addition to requesting a glossary from the authors, you may find it helpful to note down, as you transcribe, any words that you find difficult to hear or spell for your own future reference. In this way, you can create your own on-going glossary that you can refer to and add to any time-in financial, medical or legal terms.

Also Read: Transcription Tips: 7 Ways to Improve Your Transcript

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.