What is audio transcription?
The audio transcription process is a service that converts speeches into written texts or documents. Audio transcription is a written document of verbal/audio communication. It is the process of transforming any video or audio file into texts.
In the earlier days, audio transcription was just a written document of only a person’s voice, mostly courtroom proceedings, public speeches, etc. Now it includes more than that, it includes any digital recordings now, could be a movie, an interview, webinar, etc.
There are two main types of transcriptions which are verbatim and non-verbatim.
- Verbatim transcription includes all speech made, including filler words, repetitions, stutters, even non-speech sounds like laughs, applause, sneeze, coughs, etc.
- Non-verbatim transcription is the opposite. It excludes all unnecessary speech to ensure the transcript is readable without changing the speech in question’s structure.
Now you know the types of transcriptions and it looks like a pretty and really easy job to do but that is far from the truth as there are tools you need to transcribe an audio text effectively and accurately.
- An audio player
- A word processor
- A quiet place and several hours dedicated to concentrating
So how are these important and how do we use these to transcribe? What are the steps?
- Ensure your word processor and audio recording is ready then have them accessible to you; this is so you do not have to move too far to turn off, rewind or pause your audio recording. Imagine the stress!
- Abbreviations and shorthands can be used while you listen and translate to help fasten the whole audio transcription process. Any shorthand or abbreviation you use must be something you understand clearly and may even use too. You can write it properly when done with the transcription process.
- Write only what is spoken and you hear. Listen carefully to the audio recording and write accordingly.
- Edit your written document once you’re done transcribing. Listen to the audio again and correct any lapses made, make sure the audio and text match, check the pronunciation and spellings of each word, especially names.
- Export your written document: What you use to save your text matters a lot. If you plan to keep the file for more editing, save it in a .doc. file is a great file extension to use. If the purpose of transcribing is for video subtitles or something else, you should ensure you confirm the type of file extension you’d need first.
For some people, these processes are a lot of work, and luckily, you do not need to have such stress on your neck and shoulders, as you can use transcription service companies.
Many people in industries like the law, media, use professional transcription services which can transcribe efficiently and precisely too. There are a lot of audio transcription companies out there but if you are looking to transcribe any African language then I recommend Afrolingo Translations over any other service providers in the African region. Africa is home to diverse people scattered all over the world, with diverse languages spoken by different people from different African countries.
To enjoy effective transcription services, you will need competent transcribers like Afrolingo. They have a team of transcribers and translators who are native speakers of a lot of languages from across Africa.
Language barrier has always been one of the many challenges in the legal system, even though more people speak English, not everyone can speak English or is fluent. For example, an African in the UK with next to zero fluency in English, the foreign law in the UK can require that the African litigant be tried and judged in his local language and in order to properly record the legal events of the day, a transcription and translation of the proceedings and this is called legal transcription and uses the verbatim transcription I earlier mentioned about and to me the best of their features, from these service providers is in what they offer in terms of transcription services:
- Medical transcriptionist
- Business transcriptions
- Media transcriptions
- General transcriptions
To show they’re trustworthy, they’ve worked with top brands like Microsoft, IBM, DELL amongst others. You could also check their website for more services and if interested in working as a professional transcriber you could also check their site.
Now you know how to transcribe yourself, I even gave you my recommendation on a transcription service company to try out today but that mustn’t be enough. You must be wondering why all these are important… I’d also ask if I was you.
Why is audio transcription important? When is it even needed? Why can’t I always transcribe myself?
Why is audio transcription important?
There are a lot of reasons you may need to transcribe audio and they are:
- Transcribing audio recordings for the deaf or those with difficulty hearing: if you’re a company or brand that offers accessibility options to those with hearing impairments, it improves your brand or company image, and has the potential to draw you a whole new audience for whatever services you offer.
- Transcribing audio recordings for subtitles or closed captions: An audio transcription is really important when you want to translate for subtitles or closed captions.
- Transcribing for translation: In order to translate, you must first be able to transcribe. This is the first step and transcribing is really important for translating because a translator has to make the translations fit properly with the audio recordings or voiceovers.
- For legal, technical, professional, and even police purposes
- For interviews, speeches, medical reports, and webinars
- Audio transcriptions can be needed also for phone calls, podcasts, meetings, and even documentaries… The list is endless
Why you need a transcription service company
I know I already showed you how to transcribe by yourself but here’s the thing, it’s not always so easy, and here’s why you need a transcription service company
- You may be working with complex recordings: Transcription is an easy job but sometimes it can get really really complex and also frustrating because the way we speak is different from how we write. We repeat a lot of sentences, use filler words during speeches and interviews and some people talk each over during conversations and this can be frustrating and difficult to transcribe but with the help of a transcription service company, experts can help you through the entire process and will help you create quality written documents.
- You may not understand the speaker: Accents vary with people and also their languages and their dialects too which all appear in audio recordings so you will need to get familiar with a lot of accents which is essential for a transcriber and can also be difficult but professional transcription service companies like Afrolingo hire linguists and transcribers who are experienced in working with certain languages and accents.
- Transcribing requires a deep level of patience and attentiveness that most humans lack. Transcribing is an easy job but it requires attentiveness, patience, and precision, and we humans are always quick to give up, something you cannot do while transcribing but these experts at the transcription companies are trained to have these skills and hone them as they carry out more projects.
- Most companies require mandatory business transcriptions and this is to avoid disputes and unnecessary lawsuits. Using a transcription service company gives you a professional transcript with all your important details remaining.
- Transcription service companies are available 24/7, anytime you’d like because this is their specialization and no matter how urgent a transcript is needed, it can be delivered.
- Medical organizations require transcription service companies because it gives them access to a reliable record of patients’ information, not limited but including doctor’s notes regarding treatment, patient’s history, etc.
- Universities also use transcription services to document lectures, meetings, conferences, presentations. These are always later analyzed, published, or archived.
- Motivational speakers also use these services especially if their plan is to reuse most likely their speech for other purposes like a webinar, podcast, course, ebook, or a different event.
- Legal organizations use transcript services a lot and for extremely important and official services like hearings, depositions or for less official purposes like recordings of interviews with clients, personal notes, collated research, etc The lawyer can always go back to these transcripts for whatever relevant information he requires.