Do you know the difference between an audio typist and a transcriptionist?

Here at Alphabet we would be interested to hear if you make a distinction between an audio typist and a transcriptionist? Obviously both compile a typed document of a recorded medium.  But here at Alphabet we recognise there is a vast difference between the two.

The Definition of an Audio Typist Explained:

An audio typist often has worked in various office settings, be that in the legal, medical or financial sector, etc., but usually only transcribes one person dictating office correspondence. Namely letters, memos, reports, and they become familiar with their bosses’ voices, quirks, and the content of the material that is produced on a daily basis.

The Definition of a Transcriptionist Explained:

A transcriptionist has to have many skills. Firstly, they have to be adept at dealing with more than one speaker, and often multi-group discussions are commonplace. These can involve over 20 people speaking, and it is a challenging task transcribing this sort of discussion.

A highly competent transcriptionist needs to have an excellent ear and the patience to deal with people over talking incessantly, and being able to document this accurately in a transcript. They have to cope with all sorts of accents and dialects, often with poor audio quality and all sorts of other noises and distractions on the recordings.

Being able to research adequately is another key element that a professional transcriptionist must be able to master. Patience is required with not always picking the first thing that springs up on Google, but to diligently filter through the meaningless items that can appear.

A transcriptionist can be asked to transcribe the recording of a medical conference one day and a fraud investigation the next. Their skills have to be honed and tuned at coping with extremely complicated recordings where they have poor audio quality, speakers with heavy accents, lots of specialist terminology and tight deadlines.

Knowledge is Key:

We appreciate how hard transcriptionists work and their jobs are not an easy one, and that is why we make a distinction between the two. An audio typist does not have the experience of dealing with multi-speakers on a daily basis. Their boss does not change on a daily basis. The subject matter does not alter on a daily basis. They do not have to deal with children screaming on a recording, or an interview being conducted in a café on a daily basis. On a daily basis a transcriptionist’s workload is extremely diverse, and when you hear the words ‘audio typist’ and ‘transcriptionist’, this is how you differentiate between the two.

At Alphabet our transcriptionists are certainly not referred to as audio typists and we do not employ audio typists. We are inundated with secretaries who assume that because they have worked in an office and can type at 100 wpm, they will make an ideal transcriptionist. This is not the case. You require many more skills to become a highly successful and competent transcriptionist.

This is just a snippet of how we distinguish between an audio typist and a transcriptionist.

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