After I relocated to the U.S. in 2016, I became determined to make a living as a full-time, freelance language services provider (LSP). A year later, one of my regular clients asked me if I wanted to try transcription. I accepted because I thought it would be related to my professional field. Indeed, most of the transcription projects that I work on involve people speaking more than one language. That’s when my translation experience comes in handy.
While translating involves producing a document in a different language that conveys the same meaning as the original, transcribing consists of creating a copy of something piece by piece. In the context of linguistics, transcription refers to the representation of speech or signing in written form. There are arguably two types of transcription:
READ: Verbatim Vs. Non-Verbatim Transcription
Choosing transcription also meant that I could make good use of my strong typing skills – my average speed is 89 words (around 445 clicks) per minute with 100% accuracy. I learned how to type during the summer of 1999. It was also around that time that I began using the Internet at home. That allowed me to practice typing in chat and messenger applications for hours – remember mIRC, ICQ, and MSN Messenger?
I almost regretted accepting my first transcription job in 2017. It felt like an extremely challenging, time-consuming task. But as I gathered experience, the process became more comfortable. I learned some tips and tricks that allowed me to improve and feel more confident. Still, I thought that my return on time invested (ROTI) was not enough to make it a regular thing. That would change when I began using software such as Transcribe or ExpressScribe.
Transcribe has become my favorite tool since it allows me to have both the media controls and the text editor in one single window. A one-year license only costs $20. This tool includes a dictation function and is compatible with some foot pedals. An automatic transcription option is also offered at extra cost. I’ve never tried this option, probably because I have the impression that it’ll be like machine translation.
After I began using a foot pedal, my ROTI got even better. I’m currently using Infinity, which is compatible with Transcribe. This inexpensive, USB pedal enables you to play, rewind, and fast forward by tapping different sections of the pedal with your foot. It takes some time to get used to a foot pedal, but it’s the best investment you can make if you want to increase your productivity.
My transcription experience entails the audiovisual, insurance, and law-enforcement fields. My services include the following:
– Monolingual Transcription (Source Language Media > Source Language Text)
– Interpretive Transcription (Source Language Media > Target Language Text)
– Bilingual Transcription (Source Language Media > Source Language Text + Target Language Text)
Additionally, my captioning services may involve transcription as well. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions here. I look forward to hearing from you!