Qualities of Professional Transcriptionists

Transcribing is not simply about listening to a recording and typing it. it is about much more than that and requires certain skills. Here is a brief list of some of those skills:

Research
Researching the subject matter so you better understand what is being said is perhaps the most important part of being a transcriptionist. Learning a little about the subject first helps you know the correct terms and understand what is being said in a more precise manner. It also lets you spell terms correctly, and remember a technical term might sound the same as an everyday word, but it may very well have a totally different spelling.

Be Professional
If you cannot make out a certain part, do not make up what is said. Listen many times, and if possible ask another person as they might hear something you didn’t, but if you still are unable to decipher what was said, write this. If you can guess, write your guess, but make a notation explaining that is what you did.

Proofread
Checking spelling and grammar might seem like an obvious thing to say, yet a number of people leave out this important phase of preparing a document for consignment. During this process, check that what you have written makes sense too, and if in doubt listen to the recording again. Punctuation is very important, so put punctuation marks where they occur in the recording, not where you believe they should be. Your job is to write everything verbatim, not interpret or correct.

Tip: It is a good idea to put timestamp after every few minutes as you write – that way you can easily find a particular part in the recording. Remember to remove these markers when you are finished.

Being a Transcriptionist means delivering exactly what was said, how it was said – an exact copy in other words.