When it comes to gathering information about a particular topic, for many professionals in the fields of law and research (but also many others) interviews play the key role. But even though interviews are a great source of information, if they are in an audio format, they are a bit tricky to analyze. You will need to put in some time listening to the answers, fast-forwarding, rewinding and pausing the tape will be an annoyance, not to mention that searching for a specific answer to a question might seem like looking for a needle in a haystack. This problem multiplies depending on how many tapes and interviews you need to go through and on the amount of data you need to analyze.
So, what is the best way to tackle this problem? Many lawyers, researchers, writers turn to transcriptions. A transcription is a written form of an audio file. If you decide to transcribe an interview as a result you will have a searchable document. This will make it possible for you to easily find any specific information that you might be searching for.
There are two ways to transcribe an interview.
You can do it yourself, playing back the audio and typing the transcript as you go. This typically takes about four hours for every hour of audio. The best option is to hire a transcription service company and receive a professional transcript in just minutes for as little as $0.09 per minute of audio.
This is what you need to do:
1. Block Out Time: You first need to decide if you are going to roll up your sleeves and do the job yourself, or do you prefer saving yourself some valuable time and let someone else do the job for a reasonable price.
If you have decided to do the task by yourself, let us take you through some steps on what to keep in mind. Especially if you have never done a transcription, transcribing might seem like a fairly simple task which everyone can do. But to be honest, it’s much more challenging and nerve-wracking than just typing.
For starters, you will need to invest time into doing this. Especially if you want to do it right. How much? That of course varies, but generally speaking we can say that for one hour of audio, a transcriber will need around 4 hours. That being said, you also need to take other factors into consideration to know how much time you will spend transcribing. Are you a fast typist? Do the speakers have an accent or do they use some form of slang? Are you familiar with the topic or is there a high chance that some unknown terms will occur? And above all, the most important thing to have in mind is what is the quality of the audio file? Those are all factors which could increase the time you are going to spend transcribing, but also an indication for you to know with how much patience you need to arm yourself.
2. Choosing a Transcription Style
There are 2 basic styles of audio interview transcription you can select from:
a. Verbatim Transcription: When you do a verbatim transcription, you write down everything that you hear the speakers saying, including all kind of filler words, sounds like um, erm, interjections, laugh in brackets etc.
It is also important to be aware of that verbatim transcription are challenging because of the fact that you need to be extremely well focused and also have a good eye for details.
b. Non-Verbatim Transcription: This is also known as the smooth transcription or an intelligent transcription, a non-verbatim one, meaning you do not note down the filler words, interjections and so on. In other words, you just note the main, most important part of the speech without the unnecessary filler words. If the transcriber finds that a laugh or stutter is relevant for the transcription, it should also be noted.
So, it is up to the transcriber to decide, which of those non-verbatim elements are relevant and should be included. In case you decide to go all in, and write a verbatim transcription, make sure to stay consistent throughout the whole speech.
You can also consider choosing a handy playback method since you will need to pause and rewind the audio often during the transcribing process. A food pedal is a handy device when it comes to this, since it will leave your hands free for typing. This is a little investment, but it really is worth it. Other devices that might help you with your transcription are noise-cancelling headphones which will reduce environmental distractions. They will not only block out exterior noises, but also give you a much better sound clarity. There is also transcription software that you can purchase and use. This is worth considering, especially if you plan to doing transcriptions more than one time, since this will also make you a more effective transcriber.
3. Cue Your Audio File: Now, cue the audio whether you choose a traditional tape or any other digital recording device, you will need to start, pause and rewind the tape often. By doing that you will make sure that the end result is accurate.
4. You Can Start Transcribing: Start the interview, click play, listen and start typing. If you are new to this, don’t be surprised if you find yourself struggling to catch up, pausing and rewinding the tape often. But by doing that you will make sure that the end result is accurate. You must pay very close attention to the editing rules whichever you decide to use.
You also need to somehow mark each speaker in order to know later who said what. Normally, each person’s name is written the first time when they say something, but later on initials are usually sufficient. After the name you put a colon and you write what was said.
In cases you come across some parts which you can decipher even though you listened to the part for many times, then it is best to write “unintelligible” in brackets and just skip that part. If you think you know what was said, but aren’t sure about it, put your guess in brackets. This will give the reader the information that you aren’t 100% sure that you understood the speaker correctly.
5. Edit Your Transcript: When you are done transcribing, it is time for editing. This isn’t the same for every field. For example, law transcripts are edited differently than medical ones. However, editing serves to check everything and to make the transcript as clear as possible for the reader. This is also the time to check your grammar and spelling. If you decided to use unusual abbreviations for some words, now you should write everything out fully.
6. Review the Transcript: After you have edited the transcript it is time for your final check. Go to the beginning of the tape and go through the transcript while listening to the tape. If needed, correct any error you may encounter. Once you don’t have any errors, your transcript is done and you can start analyzing your data.
So, we have described the transcribing process step by step. Some of you will give it a go, other might think that it is a little bit too much of a hassle. If you decide to rather hire someone to do the work, so you have time to do more important tasks, we also have the answer for you.
Why choose Gglot?
Gglot offers the best transcription services at a very low rate. All you need to do is to go to the Homepage, upload the audio file, and wait for the results. We will figure out the rest. If you decide to use our transcription services, you will not be disappointed. Gglot, we can say that we in a way cover all the relevant fundamental rules of transcription, and we do it in the most efficient, straightforward way.
In our professional transcriptions, we can at the beginning of each sentence label the individual who started the sentence, which makes the latter reading of the transcription much more enjoyable, because you can then easily recognize the speech situation and the overall context. This has the additional benefits of forestalling any future disarrays and reading difficulties and makes the entire undertaking of looking for that specific, particular bit of crucial information a lot simpler.
Also, we offer many options when it comes to the final formatting and editing of the text. Our customers have the options, after they receive our fast and accurate transcription, to choose whether the final transcription should include all the sound bites that might be regarded either as background noises, or, on the other hand, as important contextual information that might serve in the cases where utmost precision of the transcription is of the highest priority (verbatim transcription).
Another great thing about our services is the simple fact that we do almost everything straightforwardly from your favorite internet browser and we maintain our base of operations on our organization’s cloud server. Gglot, as we already noted, incorporates in its interface a very useful feature of an integrated editor. With this nifty feature, since the client has at its command the possibility of complete influence over the final look of the outcome.
When everything is said and done, finished, polished and edited, the final version of the transcript will be ready to be exported in your desired format.
There is really no need to doubt us any more. Choose Gglot today, and enjoy our professional transcription services at a very low price.
We work with a skilled team of transcription experts that are ready to tackle any transcription task.