My next post will talk about getting all the details about the required format of a typed transcription but what about receiving the job in the first place?
I often get people filling out a job request on my site or phoning me to find out about the cost of getting a transcription done. However they give me little other information initially and I have to ask questions.
There are a number of things that needs to be known when organising a quote for transcription work:
- What format is the recording in – analogue (tape) or digital (file)?
- If analogue, what type of tape is it? Mini, micro or regular size?
- If digital what file type is it? dss, wav, mp3 or other – sometimes it could also be a video file.
- How long is the recording? A transcription can take 3-6 hours typing time for 1 hour of recorded time.
- Is there more than one voice speaking?
- Is there any background noise?
- Are the voices clear or muffled, fast or slow?
- Is there any specialised terminology?
- What is the timeframe this is needed?
The answers to these questions will help determine a more accurate quote for the job to be done.
It is important that VAs have previous transcription experience before taking this work on. It’s not as easy as might be thought and can be long hours for those not used to this type of work. It’s not just typing what you hear, but it’s editing for grammar and checking for spelling. Be sure to check what version of English too – is your client using US English or UK English? Or perhaps another variation altogether.
Check also for their paper size – in Australia it’s A4, in the US it’s Letter.
Getting all the details in the first place will ensure that you won’t have the work handed back to you, to fix up what you missed – or didn’t ask about.