Interesting Transcription Facts and Statistics at a Glance

Interesting Transcription Facts and Statistics at a Glance
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Transcription – A Quick IntroThe word ‘transcription’ has been derived from the Latin word transcribere, where trans means ‘across’ and scribere means ‘write’. This word has been in use since the 17th Century, and the first known use was in 1598.

Basically, transcription involves listening to a recorded or live speech, or a video and then converting it into written form. Essentially, it is the process of preparing a written record of any audio or video file, which contains spoken words in any language. Transcription services are being widely used for transcribing interviews, conferences, seminars, lectures, meetings, webinars, court hearings and more.

Transcribing – Stats and Facts

Transcribing Facts

The person who is responsible for the transcription process, i.e, converting audio or video files in written form, is called a transcriber. The job of a professional transcriber looks very easy, but in fact, it’s just the opposite. Here are a few stats and facts related to the transcribing process.

  • A professional transcriber can type between 80 to 100 words per minute.
  • It takes 4 to 6 hours to transcribe an interview of 1 hour. This means that it takes a transcriber 2.35 minutes to transcribe 1 minute of talking.
  • On an average, we speak 140 words per minute. An English word contains an average of 4.5 letters, i.e., 140*4.5=630 characters. For these 630 characters, more than 170 characters are added for punctuations making it a total of 800 characters. The transcriber has to patiently and carefully break these down on paper.

A transcriber has to pay great attention to every utterance and interjection. Also, looking up the definitions of technical jargon or unfamiliar words is sometimes time-consuming. The transcriber pays close attention to side comments added during the speech as well.

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Transcription Then & Now


In 1998, the typists used two fingers to type on a computer.

  • 40 words per minute was considered fast
  • 35 words per minute was considered moderate
  • 23 words per minute was considered slow


In the current era, professional typists type at a much faster speed. In 2015, 50-60 words per minute are considered to be an average typing speed. However, for some positions, it is 80-90 words per minute. 120 words per minute is considered advanced.

The typing speed of professionals under various situations are-

  • 37 words per minute for memorized text
  • 27 words per minute while copying text
  • 60 to 70 words per minute in bursts

When do you need professional transcription?

professional transcriber

Videos on websites
Transcribing your videos and posting the text on your website with relevant keywords will help in SEO ranking,

Subtitling is vital for viewers who have trouble with accent recognition, hearing and those who cannot understand a spoken language.

Legal and court hearings
Transcribers record all technical details, proceedings, evidence evaluation and other important details during the case proceedings.

Market research and focus groups
Professional transcription is highly beneficial for market research and focus groups.Without a professional transcription, the research project could be less successful.

Organization conferences
Professional transcription services at conferences can add an advantage, ensuring that every spoken word is captured and recorded for the benefit of others.

Press conference for Journalists
Transcriptions act as proof of announcements or commitments, which are made during press conferences.

Transcribing HR meetings and grievance proceedings
Professional HR transcripts record each and every utterance and pause during a meeting, which helps in determining the intent and tone of the spoken words.

You may like to read: - How Transcription Can Make You Efficient at Every Job

Transcription – The Benefits
With the advent of online merchandising, transcription has reached new heights. Let’s have a look at a few benefits of using transcription services.

  • Transcription services can be used to prepare written records of business meetings.
  • Transcription services are helpful for people who are hard of hearing, or those who don’t understand a foreign language or those with difficulty understanding accents.
  • Transcription of educational and training seminars are helpful for future reference.
  • Publishing text versions of informational audio or video on a website with relevant keywords can help in getting higher traffic with improved SERPs.
  • Transcription for TV programming and videos ensure maximum visibility and availability of information.
Related Post: - The Myriad Benefits of Using Transcription Services

Quick Facts

  • We speak at a rate of 150 to 170 words per minute. In total, an average of 10,000 words per hour.
  • We speak 7 times faster than we write and 4 times faster than we type.
  • In 1946, Stella Pajunas continuously typed at a speed of 216 words per minute for a duration of 50 minutes.
  • Barbara Blackburn holds the record of typing in bursts of 150, 170 and 212 words per minute.

How does it work?
With professional transcription services, you can keep and share the text form of podcasts, films, videos, webinars and interviews by converting them into-

  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • White Paper or Case Studies
  • Newsletters
  • PDFs
  • E-Books

Have you ever tried transcription services? Transcription services can give you better results from interviews, conferences, seminars, lectures, meetings, webinars, to legal or court hearings. Get all your transcription needs to be handled by professional transcribers. Contact GMR Transcription today for all your transcription projects!

Also Read: Academic Transcription: An Effective Note-Taking Technique for Students

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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.