Understanding The Facts And Myths About Audio Transcription


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What Is Audio Transcription?

Transcription is the transfer of information contained in recorded audio and video files into text form. There are different types of transcription with the most common being the verbatim and intelligent transcription. Transcription services are relevant but not limited to the medical, academic, legal, religious and business field.

What is General Transcription?

General transcription entails listening to the audio file and typing the spoken words. This depends on the type of transcription required since, in verbatim transcription, the transcriptionist is required to type word by word including the non-verbal cues used by the speakers.

  • General transcription differs slightly with the transcription required in the professional fields such as legal and medical fields. However, general transcription can be fully developed into a full-time career just like any other form of professional occupation.

Are There Any Promotions in General Transcription Career?

Career growth is possible in general transcription as it is with other careers. The promotions and growth are based on the level of experience that a particular transcriptionist has in different fields. In this case, one begins at the level of a transcriptionist whose task is basically typing in the information contained in the audio files. Later one can graduate into a quality analyst officer that requires experience of about 4-6 years in the general transcription field.

Can Anybody Be Successful at General Transcription?

  • I’m going to start off with a hard truth: only certain people can make it in the transcription industry. It isn’t easy, and it requires some hard-core commitment to master the skill. But in the end, it can really pay off.
  • Now don’t get discouraged! Like I said before, transcription isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. And that right there turns a lot of people away. They want easy money with very little effort… and they’re not going to find that with transcription. There’s a lot of information floating around cyberspace claiming that anyone can become a transcriptionist; all you need are fast typing skills. This is so far from the truth. So before you quit your full-time job to work your dream job from home as a transcriptionist, let’s dispel some common myths about transcription.

Myths About General Transcription

  • Myth 1: It is a widespread belief that transcription work is so easy, anyone can do it. Nothing could be further from the truth: the quality of the audio is rarely perfect, you will often be required to transcribe voice files of people who have heavy accents, transcribe dictations having multiple speakers, etc.
  • Myth 2: Another common myth is that you need to be a really fast typist: transcription work is not merely providing a written copy of a video or audio file to a client, but the completed work also needs to be proofread and edited multiple times through rigorous quality checks to ensure the client is satisfied with the final copy. Therefore, the transcriber needs to have good grammar, sharp listening skills, language proficiency, along with an impressive vocabulary.
  • Myth 3: Speech Recognition Software Can Replace Humans: While the software is great, artificial intelligence cannot substitute human intelligence, and there are many reasons: machines cannot proofread and edit, do the formatting, filtering out extraneous words, or even in understanding peculiar accents.
  • Myth 4: Transcription is Only for Women: This is no longer true. More and more women are breaking out of the traditional mold, just as there are more men willing to work from home and embrace a career that better serves their needs and interests. Some men also see this as an opportunity to stay home just to be with their kids, while the ambitious ones see this career as a way to realize their dreams.
  • Myth 5: No training is required: Although general transcription needs lesser training than medical or legal transcription, you’ll need to train nevertheless. The work of a general transcriptionist involves many variables that make training essential.
  • Myth 6: Speech Recognition Technology Will Replace General Transcriptionists: Transcriptions produced by speech recognition technology still do not adhere to any acceptable accuracy levels. Moreover, when multiple speakers are involved in the dictation, this technology is often woefully inadequate in producing accurate transcriptions: therefore the need for human transcribers in performing transcription is necessary now and in foreseeable future.
  • Myth 7: General Transcriptionists Won’t Be Needed Due to Rising Popularity of Videos: On the contrary, the rising popularity of videos has increased the demand for qualified transcriptionists. Search engines are unable to index videos and any work being done online needs written text to be accompanied by video presentations

Myths about Medical Transcription

The medical transcription field has become increasingly popular because it offers a lot of flexibility and a good paycheck without a four-year degree. It’s also predominately a work-from-home career. But there are some popular myths about this career. A lot of misconceptions prevail regarding medical transcription work. Therefore, if one intends to start a career in this field, it’s imperative that some of those myths should be dispelled. Here are some common myths about transcription for the medical industry:

  • Myth 1: Medical transcriptionists can attend to family obligations and work at the same time: Medical transcription work requires a lot of concentration and undivided attention. That’s why it isn’t recommended to take care of children while working on medical transcriptions.
  • Myth 2: Medical transcriptionists are just fast typists: While fast typing is an asset, it alone won’t guarantee success in this field.
  • Myth 3: You can do without, or with little training in medical transcription: Unless you are trained formally by an accredited, recognized school, your resume probably won’t get screened for an interview.
  • Myth 4: Medical transcriptionists will be rendered obsolete by speech recognition technology: While this technology can help medical facilities in curbing transcription costs, the results that it produces are often unable to meet the strict quality parameters that only qualified transcriptionists can produce.

Other 5 Common Beliefs About Audio Transcription Debunked

  • Myth 1: Transcription Companies offer the same service. Most businesses don’t understand that every transcription service provider isn’t the same. In fact, they differ greatly in terms of quality, turnaround times, professionalism, and prices. Not every transcription company has a team of on-site professional transcriptionists and multi-level quality control processes, which is critical for producing accurate transcriptions.
  • Myth 2: Transcribing involve only typing. Contrary to popular belief, transcription involves more than merely typing text. A professional transcriber has great listening skills and an excellent grasp on grammar, spelling, and the intricacies of language, not to forget the aptitude to decipher and make sense of different accents, which is incredibly difficult for a regular person.
  • Myth 3: transcription services are really cheap. Not true. Professional transcription companies charge competitive rates from their clients, but in return, they offer high-quality, accurate transcriptions, fast turnaround times, and most importantly ensure confidentiality and data security. Some transcription companies offer cheap rates but provide poor, inaccurate transcription services, definitely not worth it.
  • Myth 4: Transcribing is a very easy and undemanding job. That’s not true! In fact, it’s the other way around. Transcription is mentally taxing and demanding. It requires extensive training and years of practice to perfect. Moreover, it can get monotonous and tedious. Hence, it takes trained professionals with high attentiveness and concentration skills to carry out a transcription job without compromising on quality.
  • Myth 5: Automated transcription services are equally good. It’s a common misconception that automated transcriptions are the same as transcription services offered by humans. While automated transcribing can be performed in minutes, the end results are very inaccurate. Human transcriptions services offer up to 100% accuracy, more than twice (or maybe thrice) than the accuracy voice recognition software can offer.

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far and still want to become a transcriptionist, congratulations!! I know I gave you a lot of warnings, but that’s really for everyone’s good. We don’t want just anyone enrolling in our courses because, well, transcription isn’t a good fit for everyone. We want to share the fundamentals, sometimes not-so-pretty realities of life as a transcriptionist because it’s our priority to help you every step of the way — even before you get started.

You have a few options at this point:

  1. Do nothing. Forget you ever read this guide and go back to what you were doing before.
  2. Go it alone. You could try your hand as a transcriptionist by yourself without the step-by-step and guided practice.
  3. Try something else. If transcription’s not for you, maybe you’ll move on to another work-from-home opportunity. Maybe an MLM or a phone job.

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