Six Important Skills of a Transcriptionist

Six Important Skills of a Transcriptionist

Working as a transcriptionist may be classified as a menial job, but general transcription actually takes as much hard work and dedication as other jobs do. Yes, it’s true, anyone can learn how to transcribe to be a freelancer but can everyone actually do a great job at it? Here are the necessary skills of an effective transcriptionist:

  • Attentive listening

A pair of good ears is very important to transcription work. Even in transcribing general topics, you are required to have an accurate understanding of dialogues despite some audio challenges like background noise, crosstalk, and soft voices. In severe cases, an audio transcriptionist should be able to make intelligent “sounds like” guesses for barely decipherable parts of the audio.

  • Fast typing speed and high accuracy

An average person types at 40-45 words per minute, but a good typing speed of a transcriptionist is at 60-80 words per minute with very minimal errors. On the other hand, a professional audio transcriber can type as fast as an impressive 100 words per minute.

  • Grammar, punctuations, and spelling proficiency

Although some transcription requests are verbatim-specific, some clients still prefer non-verbatim or clean, easy-to-read transcripts. A transcriptionist should have high grammar, punctuations, and spelling proficiencies to provide tidied transcripts without compromising the meaning and original thought of the dialogues. Although there are digital tools that identify and correct mistakes like these in a breeze, it is still important for them to have a good knowledge foundation to prevent basic yet mortifying mistakes.

  • Research skills

An outstanding research skill is a must-have for transcriptionists. Files on diverse topics are assigned to them every day. Having a great research skill is a big help for catching words or terminologies they’re unfamiliar with, as well as for researching crucial information and proper nouns like names, acronyms, companies, establishments, or brands in general.

  • Ken attention to detail

A good transcriptionist is a keen listener and punctilious to small details that smart and pure verbatim transcriptions require to be transferred in print. For instance, the speaker said “like” five times, the audio transcriber should type exactly that – “…like – like – like – like – like…” – in the transcript. Utterances such as hmm, uhm, and uh-huh also perceives different notations imperative to market researchers. Laughter and pauses are also detailed in transcripts. Small details like these contribute to the meaning conveyed by the speakers in the audio, which is why transcriptionists should be particular with these as requested by the client.

  • Focus and determination

To be a qualified transcriptionist, one must be focused and determined to getting the job done competently. A 1-hour file takes an average of 6 hours to transcribe. It’s not a child’s play. A transcriptionist should be able to neglect unnecessary distractions and concentrate in long periods of time whilst transcribing to ensure complete accuracy and timeliness of work.

Be it in-depth interviews, focus groups, podcasts, seminars, conference calls, or even video captioning, I will surely provide accurate transcripts specific to your needs.

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