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Transcription and Typing Services – What’s the difference?

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On an increasing basis business owners are outsourcing typing and dictation transcription work in order to derive huge operational and economic benefits. Having virtual secretaries effectively on call when needed (even when a company’s own offices are closed) is enormously beneficial.

Benefits include not paying overheads, not being responsible for pay during periods of leave, no sick pay, no medical and pension fund contributions, etc. Moreover, by outsourcing a company need not provide equipment, electricity, tea or coffee or pay for private telephone calls.

What’s the difference between typing and transcription services?

Both transcription services and copy typing involve typing tasks. However, copy typing refers to the process of converting hard copy documents (hand-written or typewriter-written), into a digital typed format (MS Word, PDF, etc.)

Copy Typing Services

The cost of copy typing varies according to the readability of your document and any additional work that needs to be undertaken. The rates will be higher if major editing needs to be done. If the task only involves simple retyping from a clear document then the cost will be lower.

Excellent grammar and spelling are also among the skills that a copy typist must possess. Always look for native language speakers rather than outsourcing overseas to countries in which English may be a second or third language.

One of the most important skills that a copy typist must have is her typing speed but be warned – do not get stung by being charged for matters beyond your control. Good copy typists will charge per page or per X number of words – this is great as you no longer care about how quickly the typist is able to type. Beware of typing companies that charge an hourly rate as you will find yourself paying for slow typists taking lots of breaks!

Transcription Services

Transcription service involve a different kind of typing work. However, in this type of work, the audio file rather than a hard copy document is transcribed into a typed file instead. Transcription task is more complicated than copy typing.

Transcription is far more complicated than copy typing because the former involves:

1) Dialogues and Technical Jargon
It is more difficult for to understand the dialogues when you when listening than reading. Sometimes the dialogues in audio files are very technical, making it hard for the transcriber to understand. In some cases the exchanges of dialogues are not very clear, making it difficult to interpret. It may require a transcriber to listen to the audio recordings several times in order to come up with an accurate interpretation.

2) Accents and Dialects
Understanding of accents is also one of the major difficulties that transcribers encounter when doing transcriptions. People who live in different parts of the country have different accents and regional dialects. A transcriber may feel dazed and confused about the situation if she is working on audio files that contain recordings of conversations between groups of people using different accents. Even a veteran transcriber has a hard time interpreting accents that are unfamiliar to her.

3) Audio Quality
The quality of the recording also affects the difficulty of the task. Sometimes the use of low quality equipment to record transcripts affects the sound quality. In some cases the recordings have too much background noise, which makes it hard for the transcriber to understand the dialogues clearly.

4) Demands of the Clients
Professional transcribers also need to consider the demands of their clients. Some clients want a verbatim transcription (audio file is converted word for word including ‘errs’ and ‘ums’). Other clients want to have a more comprehensive transcription by omitting the insignificant words in the audio file. Whether it is a verbatim or non-verbatim translation, the transcriber must ensure that he/she will provide accurate transcription of the audio file.

5) Number of Speakers
The job is easy if there is only one speaker in the audio recording. However, if the audio file has more than one speaker, the task becomes harder. In other words, the more speakers there are, the higher the difficulties will be. Sometimes speakers need to be identified on the document being transcribed every time they speak (giving rise to a transcription that looks more like the script of a play).

When it comes to the duration of the work, transcription service will take longer time than copy typing. Typically, for every hour of audio that needs to be transcribed, it will take three to four hours before the typing is complete. Pricing for transcription services is thus calculated by reference to hours of audio recording – again you are then indifferent to the typing speed of the typist as the cost will be the same to you for one hour of audio transcription regardless of whether the typist completes the work in three hours or twenty-three hours! One small piece of advice: never accept price quotes calculated with reference to hours of typing – know the price in advance.

Type It Tiger offers both copy typing and transcription work by educated native English language speakers based in the UK. For professional typing and transcription work use the service chosen by other professionals – choose Type It Tiger.

Whether legal transcription, medical transcription, audio transcription, video transcription, dictation of surveys or letters, recorded meetings, conferences or round table think tank discussions, Type It Tiger does it all. Translation work is also available together with website design, graphic work and more. Type It Tiger is your perfect outsourcing partner.

Visit the Type It Tiger website

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