We are going take a look at what we regard as the ‘7 Deadly Sins’ in transcription

We all know what are considered the cardinal sins in the human race, but they also occur in transcription.  They can be considered funny, on occasions, but there is also a serious note to bear in mind.  These pitfalls are often encountered and we’ll explain why later in this article.

  1. Phonetically spelling words or acronyms.
  2. What we call speed transcribing.
  3. Inadequate research.
  4. Inferior headphones.
  5. Poor transcription software and soundcard.
  6. In the wrong zone.
  7. Blatantly not proofing documents.

When any client uses the services of a transcription company they should receive accurate documents.  We know, from experience, this is not the case.  We’ll give you a bit more insight into how these ‘7 Deadly Sins’ can greatly affect what a transcriptionist produces.

Phonetically spelling words or acronyms:

This rather irksome habit is picked up by some transcriptionists.  In a nutshell they are basically lazy, sloppy people who can’t be bothered to spellcheck their documents.  Often they guess at acronyms, company names, anything they can get away with.  We’re glad to say they’re spotted a mile off.  Even though our proof readers have been in hysterics at what they type, it is very annoying and frustrating at the same time.

What we call speed transcribing:

Basically, it’s not hard to hazard a guess at what this is referring to.  The transcriptionist who thinks they can capture everything at 120 words per minute.  They fail to spot their missed out words, incorrect punctuation, and sentences end up as a whole paragraph.  They haven’t the knack of creating a sentence from a recording.  Their mind set is honed to office dictation and they can’t seem to grasp the concept of speakers holding conversations.  They also can’t follow instructions.

Inadequate research:

In virtually every single transcript there will be something that will require research for the correct spelling.  An experienced transcriptionist will instinctively realise that when they are listening to something regarding the NHS, you’re not going to be talking about ‘sequins’.  These tiny sparkly discs that are sewn onto clothing for decoration do not relate to the NHS.  Logic and common sense tells you that.  The correct acronym is actually CQUIN (Commissioning for Quality and Innovation).  Whilst you may chuckle to yourself, we hear some horror stories from clients.  Google is a phenomenal research tool and if used appropriately, you can find almost anything.

Inferior headphones:

Headphones are a transcriptionist’s best friend.  When you consider hearing and listening are the key fundamentals in transcription, a decent set of headphones is a must.  Many will not want to spend up to £300, but they will last for years.  You cannot do a job without the right tools or equipment.

Poor transcription software and soundcard:

In any business you have to invest in something.  In transcription we invest in our software and decent soundcards.  If a transcriptionist does not have these, along with superior quality headphones, they may as well not bother.  It’s no use just relying on free this or that, but worth investing in a variety of software.  Likewise with a soundcard.  Don’t just opt for what comes with your PCs.  Choose wisely and it makes transcription a lot easier.

In the wrong zone:

Now this is a funny one.  Many people are often thinking about other things whilst at work.  Yes, we hear you say, but it is surprising what results when working in transcription.  We’ve come across a transcriptionist randomly adding ‘cheese’ into her transcript.  She must have been feeling hungry or thinking about this week’s shopping list.  And there isn’t a chance that you would be running past a spoon, when in fact it was a swimming pool.  You do have to concentrate and actually proofread your documents.

Blatantly not proofing documents:

We do find this particularly annoying.  When the first error is picked up, you often find many others follow.  You will be surprised at how many companies do not provide a proof reading service in their transcription costs.  It is far easier to churn out document after document, because their profit margins are higher.  Cheap transcription is worthless in the end because it will eventually cost you more.  Be that in time, having it re-transcribed, or the errors actually not reflecting the accuracy you require.

These 7 Deadly Sins can easily be avoided.  Choose your transcription services partner carefully.  Transcription companies also need to take responsibility by checking and monitoring their transcriptionists’ work.  If you hear ‘transcribers proofread their documents’ that should alert anyone.  There is a lot more that goes on behind the scenes in transcription.  Our clients don’t have to concern themselves with the ins and outs.  But we are proud to say we deliver ‘what it says on the tin’!  No pun intended.