Verbatim Transcripts simply refer to a transcript in which a transcriptionist types every word heard exactly as it is spoken, without making any further changes or revisions to it. Therefore it is crucial the microphone for recording is placed closest to the speaker, preferably in a room with good acoustics, in a quiet environment where there is no background noise and also preferably no interruption to the interview.
These kind of transcripts are the most common ones that clients prefer and since every word or utterance is typed out just as it sounds, this is the perfect transcript format to use in court depositions or hearings. In addition to the words, verbatim transcripts also take other factors such as background sounds into consideration during the transcribing process. If the audio file being transcribed is for a court hearing, then even minor sounds which may have been left out of a transcript otherwise become important. For instance, the sound of a door opening and sound of footsteps across the floor also becomes important in such cases.
One of the first important things you need to be clear about when asking your transcription agency for a verbatim transcript is to let them know if each and every word and sound needs to be mentioned as such in the final transcript copy. There may be a few important sounds which you would want to feature in the transcript as well as other unimportant ones which will not be missed if they are left out. It’s advisable to give the agency some written guidelines for a set of audio files or for each audio file as per your requirements, so that it makes a transcriptionist’s job easier. In that way, they won’t waste time on the little bits that don’t need to be transcribed and can focus on the other parts instead.
Secondly, it can also be difficult for a transcriptionist to listen to multiple speakers at talking over each other at the same time can be impossible to hear and transcribe everything verbatim. So as a client, if the information you are working with is crucial, one of the best ways to ensure that you don’t miss out on getting each word spoken by all the speakers is to use more than one recorder while recording the interview or questioning. Yes, it does require more effort on your part but it will be worth it in the end. Just remember to ensure that any recording does not take part in a room with an echo and that the recorder itself is held at a short distance away from the speaker’s mouth. This way, the spoken sentences will be much more audible on playback.
Verbatim transcripts can be a very handy tool especially when it comes to any legal or law enforcement concern. Give us a call today and we will transcribe any important audio files with a fast turnaround time for you!
When someone says the word ‘crime’ or ‘investigation’, it’s likely that images of CSI or 24 come to mind. But just as EQ Transcription Services Ltd helps to ease the workload of corporations all across the country, law enforcement agencies too can greatly benefit from working with our transcriptionists.
Investigative recordings usually involve the use of multiple recorders and speakers who may not always speak slowly or in an audible tone. In fact many of these recordings are often made at the scene of the crime itself, in an interview room, in a sting operation or even in a long-term undercover operation which may involve two or three people speaking together at the same time. Taking down notes by hand at the scene of the crime or during an interrogation is often beneficial for refreshing one’s memory or for making short reports, they may not be sufficient during a full-fledged in-depth investigation. Besides, if confidential information has been jotted down on a pad, there is also a real danger of such information being misplaced or of it ending up in the wrong hands.
In fact, we’d even happily sign a non-disclosure agreement too. Secondly, with our ready to use transcripts in a digital format, it becomes easier to sift through all the information you have at hand and to pin-point any vital clues. You may be just one more step closer to actually closing the case itself. Thirdly, our transcripts can be provided as evidence if need be, in a court of law. Some forces expect their own staff to transcribe such audio recordings. This however, may put additional stress on the transcriber, especially if that person is not experienced in handling such sensitive data or inaudible audio files.
EQ Transcription Services Ltd can step in to help you make sense of all the facts, statements and clues. In order to safe-guard such information, it’s not unusual for many agencies and law enforcers to require documents and audio files to be encrypted or password protected. We go to great lengths to ensure that your information is always kept confidential, so that it never falls into the wrong hands.
Plus, our transcriptionists are well-equipped and well-versed in dealing with audio files of any nature. That’s why you won’t ever have to worry about the quality of our transcription work. If you would like to view our portfolio in person, simply get in touch with EQ today and we’ll call you back for an appointment. At EQ Transcription Services Ltd, perfect transcripts are an everyday reality!
A transcriptionist’s job doesn’t always start off as an easy one and like all other professions in the world; it takes loads of practice, dedication and hard work to actually become an ace transcriptionist. But what most self-help forums don’t tell you is that in order to become a highly skilled transcriptionist, you also need to work smart. As a reputable transcription agency, we’ve gathered a wealth of information along the way and it’s this experience that has helped our transcriptionists deliver the highest standards each time.
So, irrespective of whether you are just starting out, have a few projects under your belt or a veteran-
we hope that these tips will help make a difference in the way you work:
- Everybody has to start somewhere and during your years as a beginner, having multiple projects of a shorter duration on your resume is much more impressive than having just a handful of projects of a longer duration. Put simply it is better to have experience of different speakers on a variety of subjects. Whether you would prefer to be experienced in general transcription in different areas or specialise in one or two niche areas e.g. legal and medical, is a decision you need to make. What’s more important is that you have adequate knowledge about the subject matter you transcribe and also carry out relevant searches online to find the correct information.
- Ask any agency about the top two skills needed to become a great transcriptionist and ‘speed’ will without doubt be one and the other is accuracy. Yes, clients may want a transcript to be delivered in the space of an hour or two but which do you feel is better- delivering a highly flawed transcript and meeting the deadline or asking for an extension on the time and submitting a quality transcript? So, yes, if an impressive resume, good feedback and more work is what you want, then aim for accuracy and not speed. If you feel that a deadline is simply impossible to meet for example if the audio quality is poor or there are many participants, don’t hesitate to ask for an extension from the client as long as it’s fair and justified.
- Staying updated and keeping abreast of the latest developments in the field of transcription and of course, in your niche areas is very important.You’ll find plenty of great online forums which provide a good meeting ground for transcriptionists from all over the world and of course, for an exchangeof new ideas as well. Invest in the right books which you can refer to anytime you need to look up an abbreviation, understand a certain term used or simply to refer to.
- Many transcriptionists hesitate to invest in a pair of good quality head-phones and even in reliable transcription software. Yes, getting a good cheap deal online may make you smile now, but it most likely will not help you work efficiently.The quickest way to make a good decision you won’t regret in both cases is to talk to other transcriptionists and to do your bit of product review research as well. It’s likely that you will find conflicting reviews on the internet and that’s why you need to take time to do your reading thoroughly. But, in the end you’ll find that your efforts will pay off and let’s face it – you won’t be spending money unnecessarily either!
More tips coming your way next week!
(continuation of last week’s article)
- When you sit at your desk in the morning, it may seem like you have ample time to complete your transcripts, but by the time it’s afternoon, you may find that there’s still plenty of work left to be completed and not much time to do it either. One of the best ways to solve such a problem is to jot down your schedule for the day, week and month in a planner or work diary so that you take control of your time management. Besides, it also helps you meet any set deadline and also smooths out the entire work process as well.
- We agree that it does get difficult to remember what each abbreviation stands for, the details required for various transcription formats or even any specifications laid down by regular clients. How about using a notebook to jot down important information that you keep using time and again, for abbreviations, links, references and the like? When you are transcribing and listening to an audio file, your quick notes will be the reference tool you need.
- Let’s be honest – listening to an audio file and typing out each word that you hear can be difficult. As a transcriber, you don’t have to get all the matter absolutely correct first time typing, by proofing it and running the audio a second time against the document can ensure corrections are made. By using Auto Correct a typist can use abbreviations and short forms of long words and phrases which automatically replace. For instance, words like ‘collaborate ’ can be shortened to ‘clb’lse, ‘step-by-step ’ to ‘sbs’ and other difficult to type words which are tricky or use a lot of key. You don’t really need to adhere to a prepared format for such short forms- simply use what works best for you as long as a common word is not made from it i.e. ‘ate’ cannot be used for ‘at the end of the day’ as the word ate exists and would be replaced! In fact, the ‘Find and Replace’ option in Microsoft Word, also helps you edit whole documents in seconds. For example, if you hear a specific phrase which has been used countless times previously in the audio, but which is heard clearly to be different well into the audio, and you find the exact word online to confirm in context to make sure. Then you can put into Find the incorrect word and Replace with the correct word and it will show you how many replacements have been made! On a second run through you can check to ensure all the spelling and grammar and any Find and Replace have been done correctly.
- Don’t stress about those one or two words that appear barely audible and which don’t make any sense at all. There’s a good chance you’ll be able to figure out what the person is referring to, when you are half-way through your transcript. Constantly hitting pause, rewind and play to get a few words right can confuse you further. You’ll be in a better frame of mind to nail the missing words when it’s time to make further edits.
- Take breaks. We can’t emphasise this enough because you do need a breather at least every two hours or so just to de-clutter your mind and to refresh your senses. Besides, staring at a computer screen for long does cause eye-strain too and has been linked to decreased productivity at work.
- Learn to strike a balance between your work life and personal life. This helps to ensure that your job stays challenging each day, your job interest remains undiminished and it also helps you give your best to your clients as well.
We hope our tips help you perform at your optimum in your workplace!
At EQ Transcription Services Ltd, we take great pride in saying that our blog isn’t just for our regular clients, prospective clients or merely for the casual reader; it’s also about great practical articles for the people who sit at a desk and make each good transcript a reality. We know that transcribing for hours on end can be really tedious. After all, you have the dual task of listening and typing at the same time. That is a skill which takes time to master and yet the satisfaction of having created a flawless transcript which is readily accepted by a client is also a great professional achievement.
So, whenever you feel that you just can’t transcribe another word anymore or that your eyes are red from staring for hours at the screen, turn to our small list of relaxation tips to help you unwind:
- Begin each day with a proper schedule at hand. List down exactly what work needs to be completed as well as the time frame required for each task. Make a note of any pending work or any transcripts with due deadlines.
- Decide at what time of the day you are at your most productive. This depends on whether you are a morning person or if you would rather get other things out of the way before getting down to work.
- Ensure that your work space is properly illuminated. This greatly reduces the strain on your eyes and makes typing easier.You would have to strain twice as hard to hit the right keys in a room with poor lighting.
- You could also buy an anti-glare screen protector for your laptop/monitor as well as an extra screen lamp with a USB port.
- Considering that your job is a sedentary one, make sure that you have the right chair which gives ample support to your spine.The perfect chair supports your weight perfectly and gives a supportive cushioning effect. You will greatly reduce your chance of getting back ache as well.
- Take frequent breaks. The kind of work you do is very crucial in terms of content and getting the matter right. If you are mentallytired, you are more likely to misunderstand terminology or even type the wrong word while transcribing. This indirectly extends the time you would need to spend on rectifying those errors as well, which can be both tedious and irritating. A short break each hour acts as an instant mental refresher, perhaps listening to some music.
And of course, keep your mobile phone either in silent mode or switched off. Nothing can be more distracting than having to attend to a call while you’re otherwise focused on completing the assignment.
The world has indeed become a much smaller place and it’s certainly not uncommon for organisations to have a network of global connections which allows them to ensure that projects get completed seamlessly. Yes, if you aren’t really comfortable with the idea of giving any transcription work that you may have to a local agency, off shore transcription or even employing the services of a freelancer are definitely a good option to consider especially if you haven’t found a local agency that can work within your set budget.
However, here’s a word of caution: Cost may be the driving reason behind why you would rather look elsewhere for your transcription needs, but remember to factor in all the ‘unseen’ reasons as well before making a final decision –
- Does your offshore transcriptionist speak your language, understand the rhythms and flow of words etc?
- Is your transcriptionist familiar with the accents in which your audio files have been recorded? If she isn’t,then you will have to spend a few extra minutes pouring over transcripts for likely errors/misheard words or inaudible patches which were perfectly clear, just not understood.
- Is your transcriptionist familiar and adept with the terminology used in your audio files in the context of the interview? It doesn’t make sense hiring the services of a person who has only worked on legal transcripts if your audio files deal with management terminology.
- Can your transcriptionist be trusted to keep all your data confidential? Non-disclosure of details is a very serious concern that most organisations face especially when outsourcing such services.
Is hunting on the Internet for an offshore transcriptionist really worth it? Besides the likelihood of having to deal with inaccurate information and shoddy transcripts, you would also be wasting both your time and money. So it makes sense to entrust your precious data to the hands of a reputed agency like EQ Transcription Services Ltd. which has years of experience in the transcription business. We’ll not only do a great job with a remarkable turnaround time but even sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you can have 100% peace of mind always. So, why wait any longer? Give us a call today and let’s discuss your transcription needs.
Quite often, it becomes difficult to tell a myth and the truth apart. As a prospective client, chances are that you have heard about transcription services from your friends or from other business associates but you may also have a few questions to ask or doubts to clear. In this article, we talk about a few such myths or beliefs that are associated with transcription itself:
- Myth No 1: Who needs a transcriptionist or a transcription agency when you have free dictation or transcription software available on the Internet? The truth is that if such software and other applications were that successful and effective, there wouldn’t really be a need for agencies like ours or even for freelance transcriptionists. Although there is plenty of great software out there, you would have to try them at your own risk. Plus, don’t be surprised if your free software has trouble discerning accents or doesn’t play certain file types. Such hiccups and more are effectively erased when you hire a professional transcription services provider.
- Myth No 2: Transcription, data entry and typing are all the same thing. So it makes sense to hire one person who can do all three well. The truth is that transcription requires listening carefully to audio files and then typing out each word that is heard in a format such as MS Word or Notepad. Data entry requires working with number crunching and other data which involves the use of spreadsheets, records and other databases. Typing refers to any general activity which involves the use of one’s fingers and a keyboard. So, yes all three job profiles are definitely not the same although they may appear similar.
- Myth No 3: Anybody who can type fast can become a great transcriptionist. Sound typing skills are of course a wonderful skill for any transcriptionist to have, but that trait alone doesn’t make one a great transcriptionist. A professional and experienced transcriptionist would also be required to review the transcript thoroughly, proof-read and edit where necessary as well as have some familiarity with the subject matter too. Basic knowledge goes a long way in enabling one to make corrections as and where necessary. Most importantly, one also needs the patience and ability to listen in context which requires great concentration.
- Myth No 4: We have the best anti-virus software installed on all our office computers. Our data is 100% safe so we don’t need any of our files to be transcribed at all. Let’s be honest. In this age of technology, is any data that’s on a computer really ‘safe’? If a virus attack seems like a distant possibility, what about the chances of the servers crashing one day or a few important audio files getting deleted by mistake? These are just two examples of minor issues that do crop up in all organisations and which can seriously hamper smooth workflow. Why take a risk of this nature at all? It make sense to just stay safe by having ready to use transcripts of all your audio files instead. After all, you don’t have to worry about technology related concerns with an actual transcript copy.
In the second part of our article, here are four more tips to help you in your hunt for the right transcription agency :
- Check the Client List: An agency can rave about how good it is but if they don’t have a sound client list to present to you, then your data just won’t be in safe hands! There are many types of transcription services such as medical, legal etc and by asking for client references of other organisations, in the same industry as yours, you can gauge how qualified the agency in question will be with transcribing your data. In addition, you could also call up their clients in person for a reference check and to get an unbiased review. But remember, don’t hesitate to ask!
- Visit the agency website: You’ll understand so many hidden details about an agency just by properly scrutinizing their website. An agency that is professional and serious about doing good transcription work will at all costs, have an error free and easy to surf website. Yes, looking over each sentence for punctuation and grammatical errors may be a tad tedious but it gives you the right hints about the kind of transcripts you are most likely to end up with! A website filled with sentence errors translates into an unprofessional transcript too!
- Understand the payment terms: Many agencies love to advertise just how ‘ low-cost’ and ‘budget friendly’ they are. But what they don’t tell you is about the number of hidden costs that you may end up paying for without knowing they existed in the first place. An agency that is not transparent about its charges including payment structure and payment installments is an agency to be avoided at all costs. Assuming that you have plenty of regular transcription work to give any agency, make sure that you sign on the dotted line only when the terms are favorable to you.
- Confidentiality is top priority: Many organisations don’t really think about how any data that is transcribed may be stored and used but this is a highly important factor to consider. A professional transcription agency will have a non-disclosure agreement in which it is agreed that any data sent by the customer will not be misused, given to any third parties or disclosed under any circumstances. Data theft and misuse of customer information even by an agency’s employees is a security breach that only a few transcription agencies are able to safeguard against.
Give EQ Transcription Services Ltd a call today and we’ll be more than happy to lay any concern you may have to rest. After all, we’ve been in the business of transcription for so many years, and counting.
Advertisements and general marketing do our world a whole lot of good, but when you’re swept by a wave of transcription agency ads all claiming to be the best, how do you make sense of it all? Statements like ‘We’re the best’. ‘Call us for a free quote’ and ‘We have the shortest turnaround time’ are just a few of the most commonly used phrases. Yes, do- it- yourself transcription software packages are today easily available on the Internet and if you don’t want to pay for such software, then with a little bit of Googling, you will find plenty of those too. So, is it worth really outsourcing your transcription requirements to an external agency? Of course, especially when you calculate your savings at the end of it. You have successfully avoided paying a year’s salary to a full time hired transcriptionist, you have also met all your deadlines with hours to spare and above all, you were handed error free transcripts too – all this and much more, for a low rate.
We understand that most potential clients do face a serious dilemma when hunting for the right transcription agency. We’ll address the most common concerns in this two part article, which will act as a guide in enabling you to make a better decision:
- Outsourcing from another country: The Internet is replete with many freelancers and part-time transcriptionists from other countries who take up projects and deliver transcripts within a pre-decided time frame. Although this may work out cheaper in your favour, most freelancers who work in other countries also face a problem with understanding spoken English and European accents. The inability to clearly understand what is being said on an audio file will translate into other errors while typing out the transcript. That being said, there are also plenty of online freelancer platforms which will help finding a more cost-efficient transcriptionist easier. If you decide to go ahead with one, it’s better to begin with a small assignment that enables you to check his or her skills.
- Outsourcing locally: Outsourcing any work to a local agency has so many advantages. You don’t have to worry about any ‘accent problems’ and it’s easier to get in touch with the agency directly for just about anything. In fact, this also enables the agency to serve you better and much more promptly! Google any location specific keywords, check the newspaper for local listings or scan the phone directory. You’ll be certain to come across a few agencies who can understand your industry and requirements well.
We bet you never thought that a transcript which is the ‘written text’ of an audio or a video file could actually be interactive in nature.That’s because when we think of the word ‘interactive’, we associate it with a PlayStation, a self-help kiosk or even with an Android phone. But here’s the thing – inserting the right interactive transcripts on your home or company website could work wonders in helping an Internet user know that your site actually exists, a lot faster!
Every time a keyword is typed into a search engine, the search engine itself uses a complex algorithm to skim through thousands of web pages to get you only those pages which it thinks are most relevant to you. Sure, your site may have plenty of videos and hundreds of user reviews (of course, they are helpful too!) but most search engines like Google still understand text better. And if you have videos already up on the site, imagine how an interactive transcript could actually reach even those with impaired hearing or people who have difficulty in understanding the accent used in the video.
Interactive Transcripts can be found placed on the side of a video or just below the video. As each word in the video is spoken, the corresponding words in the transcript are automatically highlighted, colored or under-lined. In fact, it also gives viewers the freedom to decide which part of the video text they actually want to hear or to navigate to a specific section. All that they have to do is to simply click on the text of their choice and the video will start playing from there onwards. In fact, research proves that people tend to retain more information when they read and listen to text simultaneously – people retain more of what they see than what they hear.
These new kind of interactive transcripts improve site rankings and SEO to a very large extent. So, isn’t it time that maybe you thought about having one interactive transcript or two on your website as well?