Tips for Transcription
Thread poster: Ana P. Gutierrez

Ana P. Gutierrez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:50
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Jul 10, 2007

I have a potential client who wants me to transcribe and then translate a 45 minute CD (which he also has available on DVD), with audio recording of an interview (2 gentleman speaking).

This will be my first transcription project, I really would appreciate any advice to make this task easier, as there may be future projects if I do this one well.

What is best to transcribe from, a CD or a DVD? Doing it from a CD will be easy to stop and go back when I need to?

Thanks for any feedback

[Edited at 2007-07-10 03:42]


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Ahmad Batiran  Identity Verified
Saudi Arabia
Local time: 09:50
Member (2006)
English to Arabic
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I think DVD is faster but... Jul 10, 2007

Hello Ana,

Out of one project experience, trasncription is three jobs in one: translation, transcription and time-coding.

The most time wasting and frustrating part is the time-coding. So one needs to learn about to enjoy it.

Things are fine as long as there is:
- no noise,
- no weak voice,
- no overlapping.

One needs to verify with his/her customer the following:
- How long the line (how many words?) shall be before initiating a new line based on new time-coding entry?
- In case of overlapping, can a two line entry be acceptable and in what format? For example:
* 02:01:01:19
- Yes, but...
- Hold on!

It's better to do a sample and submit it for the client for approving its format.

Concerning which one to use, CD or DVD, I think you can try to save the file locally on the HDD and see if it is faster than both.

Good luck!

Arabic Tongue


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:50
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
My experience Jul 10, 2007

Ana Gutierrez wrote:
What is best to transcribe from, a CD or a DVD? Doing it from a CD will be easy to stop and go back when I need to?


I did transcription once. The source materials were VHS video tapes. These I promptly turned into MP3 files so that I could transcribe them on my computer.

The downside to this was that there were no video along with the sound, but in the case of an interview (which sounds a lot like your case) that shouldn't really matter if the people can easily be identified by voice.

I suggest therefore that you rip the CD or DVD to a sound file, and then I suggest you use the following tool to transcribe it:

http://www.nch.com.au/scribe/

It's free and you can set the speed of playback. You can also set the sound to jump back a second or two everytime playback starts. The only thing is that Express Scribe doesn't allow you do customise your time stamps, although if I remember correctly you can add a time stamp based on the length of the current file.

For my client, approximate time stamps (accurate to the nearest second, in other words) were adequate. The transcription file provided by my client had columns for start time and end time for each piece of speech, but I only filled in the start times (I informed the client that I did not have specialised equipment and that I would therefore only be able to provide start times).

What I did, which is primitive, was to print out the transcribed text afterwards, and then watch the video, along with the timer, and I just filled in the approximate times by hand, then typed them in.


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Ana P. Gutierrez  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:50
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Great tip for transcription when lacking the equipment Jul 10, 2007

Samuel Murray wrote:

What I did, which is primitive, was to print out the transcribed text afterwards, and then watch the video, along with the timer, and I just filled in the approximate times by hand, then typed them in.


Thank you Samuel, I believe this to be a great tip, especially because most of us do not start having the necessary equipment on hand.
Thank you again.


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