Focus group transcription requires determination and skill

We can hear the sighs already at the mention of focus group transcription.  All transcriptionists encounter focus group discussions and often, once these files are downloaded, sound like a bunch of people at a social event.

Common Challenges:

There are often no introductions; participants are shouting over each other and frequently, the noise of scrambling for snacks and drinks that have been provided, have all been picked up on the recordings.  A transcriptionist’s nightmare!  Taking a few deep breaths, and probably a few choice words are uttered, we patiently work out how many speakers there are to decipher.  Often, it seems like an impossible task, but years of experience and a great deal of determination helps.

These group events can take weeks or months to plan and organise.  Why do you think little thought is given to the recording quality and lack of clarity amongst the speakers?

Persistence Pays Off:

It takes a highly skilled transcriptionist hours and hours and hours to turn a garbled, uncontrolled group discussion into an accurate, professional transcript.  You have to have a highly tuned ear to be able to work out who is saying what – keeping your sanity intact at the same time.

There are also some laughs along the way, particularly when certain individuals have to have the last word, and there’s usually always one.  People get carried away and, thinking they are in a pub or with a group of friends, swearing and joking ensues, but being the professionals we are, it’s all in a day’s work.

Some group discussions are heart-wrenching, particularly when they involve stories around children or conversations about illness and bereavement.  You thank your lucky stars it doesn’t involve you or your family, but have fleeting moments of sadness for the individuals concerned.

Transcription is often enlightening and informative and focus group transcription certainly keeps you on your toes, albeit most transcriptionists are relieved when they complete a focus group transcript!

Share your highs and lows on one of the more difficult forms of transcription.

If you would like to discover how Alphabet can assist you or your organisation in the transcription process, please telephone: 01707 260027.