Those who haven’t had much experience with transcription may sometimes believe that transcribing services are basically typists with a fancy title. Unfortunately, they often realize too late (after hiring a cheap typist to do a transcriptionist’s job), that transcribing is a much more specialized profession, which requires specific skills, training and experience. Just because someone can type at 80 words per minute or more, does not mean that they can transcribe a document accurately for use in court, medicine, engineering or academia.
Transcribing Services Canada Can Be Proud of
Thankfully, there are the high-quality, experienced transcribing services Canada needs, thanks to companies such as Flaming Fingers, whose work highlights the differences between professional transcriptionists, such as their own, and amateur typists. Perhaps the most important of these differences are the following:
- A thorough understanding of appropriate contexts – Professional transcriptionists do much more than simply listening and typing. For every project they work on, they must consider the format and context into which it will be transcribed. Verbatim texts have prescribed spellings and punctuation concerning disfluencies. Many transcriptions require such content to be edited out and grammatical corrections to be included, and some require transcription of exactly what is said.
- Familiarity with accents and dialects – Professional transcriptionists are exposed to a wide variety of speakers during their training. It is very unlikely that a day will go by when they don’t need to transcribe audio of people with strong regional accents and people who are not speaking their first language. Transcriptionists tend to build up a wealth of experience in this area, whereas typists tend to listen to one speaker for years at a time.
- Familiarity with a range of specialist terminology – Whereas a typist usually spends their career working with the vocabulary of one specific field, the best transcribing services Canada can provide will be exposed to terminology from widely different areas. Often they will take courses in these areas to improve their knowledge and expertise.
- Professional presentation – While a good typist will endeavour to produce documents which look acceptable, professional transcriptionists know that a specific format and style of presentation is required for each type of transcription. By hiring a professional transcribing company, all of that work is automatically taken care of for you.
- Flexibility – The best transcription services Canada has to offer will always invite you to send your audio in the format which is most convenient for you. In order for this to be practical, they must be familiar with, and sufficiently prepared to work with a wide variety of formats. While your average typist may not have heard of AIFF, FLAC, MPEG-4 DST, ATRAC and other audio file formats, a professional transcribing company will be comfortable working with all of them.
It is clear that comparing transcribing services to typists is unhelpful, particularly if you need any kind of specialization regarding your transcriptions. There is nothing wrong with typists – they are great when you need typing. But when you need transcribing, make sure you hire a transcriptionist.