Regardless of your degree of competence or skill, you must have a solid foundation in transcription in order to follow the specific requirements of transcription projects. The essential rules that will guide you through your transcription task are what you need to understand and remember. As you are probably aware, not every project is the same. Each one has its own set of needs and conditions. Before you can understand those complex and frequently contradictory principles, you must first grasp the fundamentals of transcription.
- Accuracy: Accuracy is extremely important in transcription. Type only the words, phrases, and sentences that are spoken in the audio file you are transcribing. Even if there are grammatical errors, you must fight the urge to correct them.
- Do Not Omit Word or Phrases: There’s a tendency to omit words that are difficult to understand. There are tags to be used when words or phrases are unintelligible or inaudible. Instead of omitting, use the correct tags accordingly.
- US English: Use proper US English capitalization, punctuation and spelling. Sometimes there are files in British English or Australian English. If this is the case, the spelling of some words will be different. Eg : Colour ( British) vs Color ( American)
- Do Not Paraphrase: Do not correct the speaker’s grammar or rearrange words. Also, do not cut words that you think are off-topic or irrelevant. Any words not spoken should not be included. Type the actual words spoken.
- Do Not Add Additional Information: Do not add additional information such as page numbers, job numbers, titles or your comments in your submission. Such information can be added in separate fields below the transcript.
- “Clean Up” Non-Verbatim Jobs: Lightly edit non-verbatim work to remove false starts, filler, and stutters. Check the company’s guidelines on what should be removed.
- Verbatim Work Should Be Truly Verbatim: When transcribing verbatim work, include every utterance and sound exactly as you hear. Unless directed in the work’s “Notes” section, all filler words should be included. Also, transcribe stutters as accurately as possible. Strict verbatim is all about accuracy and completeness. Readability is not the main requirement.
- Do Not use phonetics or shortcuts: While it may be easier and faster to shorten words like using “u” for “you” while you are transcribing, they should not be used. You must use the actual words in their correct spelling.
- Follow the transcription format: Transcription companies follow a general transcription format. There are rules on how to write the time, date, numbers, currency, country codes, and telephone numbers. They must be followed unless the client prefers a different format. If the client sends a specific format, this will supersede the company’s general transcription format. Always ask for clarification if you are unsure.