How to Go Beyond the Basic ‘Transcribe’ Definition

Laura Briggs |

Sep 29, 2021 |

6 min

Laura Briggs

Sep 29, 2021

6 min

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Did you know that the average person speaks 100 to 300 words per minute? The average person types at 40 words per minute. If you’re scrambling to take notes during a meeting, it’s no wonder! This is a common reason to consider automated transcription instead, in which your audio or video files become text documents.

Transcription can help you leverage the spoken word or dictation, whether it’s for content repurposing, note-taking, or reviewing training materials. Read on to learn more about how transcription works and the benefits of using it.

‘Transcribe’ Definition

video-call-on-a-laptop

What is the definition of “transcribe”? When we dig into the general etymology, the definition of transcribe is to make a written copy. In Latin, the word transcribo means “to transfer in writing” and can also be referenced as Latin transcribere, scribere, and scripts.

Transcription, however, has a few different applications in the English dictionary. These include:

  • Writing something in another script
  • Rearranging a piece of music for a different instrument
  • Creating a phonetic transcription of something
  • Converting genetic information from a DNA strand into messenger RNA instead (this is used in biochemistry)

If you check a thesaurus for synonyms of this version of transcribe, you’d find word lists that include terms like rewrite, write up, translate, render, transliterate, and interpret.

For the purposes of this article, we’ll use the first definition mentioned above.

What Are the Biggest Benefits of Transcription?  

Kermit the frog typing

Beyond saving your fingers from trying to fly quickly to capture everything in a meeting, transcription has many advantages!

Transcription technology usually uses voice recognition software to make a written copy of a conversation. You can use the resulting transcription file in a variety of different ways.

Transcription benefits include:

  • Accuracy: getting a word-for-word account of what was said
  • Comprehensive notes: creating material that can be reviewed later
  • Accessibility: providing different formats of material for broad audiences, like people who are hearing impaired

Accuracy  

When exact words matter, transcription helps to capture every little detail. For example, if you and a teammate can’t agree on what date you discussed for the budget review, you can check the transcript for that meeting.

Consider this other major use case for audio capture: From depositions to trials, court reporters can be found in every major legal hearing. Their finished work in the form of a transcript becomes a formal record.

Accurately transcribing is extremely important for everyone to agree on what was said and by whom.

Comprehensive Notes

Note-taking can be hard to practice when you’re actively participating in a meeting. Automated transcription is one way to make sure you don’t miss anything. You’ll get a complete record of the meeting after the fact in case you want to review it.

While you can still take notes in a meeting, the transcribed text file is key for reviewing information and building a list of action items.

Accessibility

Transcriptions often help with accessibility. Per the Library of Congress endeavour, By the People (which “invites you to transcribe, review, and tag digitized pages from the Library’s collections”), transcription makes things more searchable, readable, and accessible. This means a broader group of people could consume it.

Accessibility helps more people understand your content. Someone who is hearing impaired, for example, can’t enjoy a podcast unless there is also material like a transcription available. Likewise, adding captions to a course video helps those who prefer to learn through the written word. Additionally, many businesses and governments have recently become more interested in accessibility.

Transcription Uses Beyond Business

person-talking-to-a-dictaphone

While transcription can be incredibly useful in the business world, you’ll see transcription in many parts of life.

Even the closed captions on your TV are a form of transcription! Anyone else need to turn those on anytime a Scottish actor speaks very quickly, or is that just us? (And captions also don’t hurt when you have that one family member who has to talk through the entire movie.)

Let’s talk more about professions that use transcription. People like doctors or lawyers, who prefer to speak out loud to create notes, often use transcription software. Often, these audio files are dictated into a specific machine to be later transcribed by someone else and put into a written record.

Plus, both fiction and nonfiction authors also use dictation to get their ideas out of their head and onto the page. Many use software to help them flesh out their scenes or even write entire chapters. This calls on them to think in a different way and, in some cases, write many more words per hour than they would typing!

Additionally, busy executives might want an assistant to transcribe their voicemails so that they can review a text version of all their incoming communication.

Finally, transcription can help people get more mileage out of their content. With the help of transcription software, a single 45-minute podcast episode can more easily get recycled into a lengthy blog post, show notes, social media snippets, and more. From lectures and speeches to sermons, transcription helps repurpose material so a bigger audience can reference it.

How to Get a Transcription of a Meeting or Event 

team-in-a-video-conference

Using transcription also takes the pressure off of attendees who know that they can stay focused on the information being shared because they know they can return to the file later.

So, what’s the big question when it comes to starting to transcribe? Whether you should hire a transcriber or use software.

While a person adds a human touch to reviewing the file and listening for important details, many software programs are very advanced in terms of the end quality. Plus, if you don’t work with a freelance transcriber and instead try to take on this role yourself, you could quickly find yourself overwhelmed.

Voice recognition or meeting transcription software is often faster and more affordable than other options.

Whichever way you go, remember: Transcription is an art form that takes some practice.

Get Complete Transcriptions Today 

As you’ve seen, there are many ways to use transcription. With benefits like accuracy, comprehensiveness, and accessibility, your team can start using transcription today for everything from daily meetings to recorded training.

Anchor AI helps to capture all the most important details. If you forget who said what, who was in the meeting, or what was said at particular times, you can use your typewritten transcription to refresh yourself on the facts.

We give you searchable transcripts so you can get to exactly what you need to find as quickly as possible. No more digging through your old notes.

Get the right things on the record with Anchor AI. You can sign up for Anchor today and make your professional life easier with transcriptions of your meetings!

Laura Briggs

Laura Briggs

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