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The difference between an Audio Typist and a Transcriptionist

Posted on 18th January 2015 • Categories: Transcription

How many of you actually know the difference between an Audio Typist and a Transcriptionist?

Both compile a typed document of a recorded source, but there is a vast difference between the two. An audio typist does not have the experience of dealing with multi-speakers on a daily basis. Their boss does not change on a daily basis. The subject matter does not alter on a daily basis. They do not have to deal with an interview being conducted in a café or a similarly noisy setting, with lots of background distractions such as coffee machines, phones ringing, people shouting.  Every day a transcriptionist’s workload is extremely diverse, and when you hear the words ‘audio typist’ and ‘transcriptionist’, this is how you differentiate between the two.

An Audio Typist

An audio typist has often worked in various office settings, but usually only transcribes one person dictating office correspondence which include letters, memos and reports. They become familiar with their bosses’ voices, quirks, and the content of the material that is produced on a daily basis.

A Transcriptionist

A transcriptionist has to have many skills. Firstly, they have to be proficient at dealing with more than one speaker in multi-group discussions. These can involve over 30 people speaking, and it is a challenging task transcribing this sort of discussion.

A highly skilled transcriptionist will have an excellent ear and patience to deal with people over talking incessantly, and being able to document this accurately in a transcript. There will be all sorts of accents and dialects, often with poor audio quality and background noises and distractions on the recordings.

Being able to research adequately is another key element that a transcriptionist must be able to master. Patience is required with not always picking the first thing that springs up on Google, but to diligently filter through the meaningless items that can appear.

A transcriptionist can be asked to transcribe the recording of a police investigation one day and a medical conference the next. Their skills have to be perfected in coping with extremely complicated recordings where they have poor audio quality, speakers with heavy accents, lot of specialist terminology and tight deadlines.