Everything You Should Know Before You Start Transcribing | myTranscriptionplace Blog

Everything You Should Know Before You Start Transcribing

Oct 12, 2023, NS

Transcribing audio into text is a skill that's in demand across various fields today. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced transcriber, there are essential things to consider before you dive into this world. In this comprehensive guide, we'll provide you with valuable insights and practical tips to help you kickstart your transcription journey successfully.

What Exactly Is Transcription?

Transcription is the process of converting spoken words, whether from audio or video recordings, into written text. It involves keen listening, accurate typing, and a meticulous eye for detail. You'll find a need for transcription services in industries like legal, medical, academic, and media.

Types of Transcription

Transcription isn't one-size-fits-all. There are various categories, including:

1. General Transcription

This type involves transcribing everyday conversations, interviews, podcasts, and more. It's a great place for beginners to start.

2. Medical Transcription

Medical transcription requires familiarity with medical terminology and precise formatting. Transcribers in this field often collaborate with doctors, hospitals, and healthcare institutions.

3. Legal Transcription

Legal transcription involves documenting legal proceedings, court hearings, and law-related materials. It's essential to be accurate and well-versed in legal jargon.

4. Academic Transcription

Academic transcription includes transcribing lectures, seminars, and research interviews. It's important to maintain the integrity of the content and adhere to academic standards.

Key Considerations Before You Begin

1. The Right Equipment and Software

Before you embark on your transcription journey, make sure you have the right tools. You'll need a reliable computer or laptop and transcription software that lets you control playback speed, rewind, and insert timestamps. A good quality headset or headphones are also essential for clear audio.

2. Sharp Listening Skills

Transcription hinges on your ability to listen attentively. You must be able to differentiate between different accents and handle audio with background noise. Developing these skills is critical for producing accurate transcriptions.

3. Time Management

Transcription can be time-consuming. Assess your availability and set realistic deadlines for your projects. Staying organized and managing your time effectively is a must in this profession.

4. Familiarity with Style Guides

Different industries may have specific style guides and formatting requirements. For example, legal transcription may have a different format compared to general transcription. It's crucial to familiarize yourself with the relevant style guides to maintain consistency and professionalism.

The Transcription Process

1. Setting Up Your Workspace

Create a quiet, distraction-free workspace. Minimize interruptions and make sure your environment is comfortable to enhance your focus and productivity.

2. Verbatim vs. Clean Transcription

Clients may have different preferences for transcriptions. Some may want verbatim transcripts, including every utterance and pause, while others prefer clean, edited transcripts. Clarify these preferences with your clients before starting a project.

3. Proofreading and Editing

After you've transcribed the audio, always take the time to proofread and edit your work. Correct any grammatical errors, ensure proper formatting, and review the content for accuracy.

4. Time Stamps

Certain projects may require timestamps at regular intervals. Make sure you understand when and how to insert these timestamps in your transcription.


Transcription is a valuable skill that offers a wide range of opportunities. Whether you're considering it as a part-time gig or a full-fledged career, understanding the basics and preparing accordingly is essential for success. Equip yourself with the right tools, develop strong listening skills, and familiarize yourself with the nuances of different transcription types. Time management and attention to detail will further contribute to your effectiveness in this field.

Remember, transcription is about more than just converting words; it's about capturing the essence of spoken communication. As you embark on your transcription journey, practice and dedication will improve your skills over time. Happy transcribing!