My company as you will likely know offers transcription services, that is we take digitally recorded audio of people speaking (e.g. meetings, interviews, focus groups, company announcements, the list goes on) and we convert that to written text.
Sounds easy right? To do this we employ a team split in two, we have the transcription typists, the people who actually listen and type and the proofreaders, the people who QA the completed document.
In this post I am going to focus on the role of a transcription proofreader to give you an idea of what exactly they do and why we have them.
A transcription proofreader is a little different to the proofreader that most are familiar with. The more common role of a proofreader typically receives a transcript, usually from a book publisher or editorial team and reads the script checking for grammar, punctuation and sometimes flow of the text. In the print world, online or paper, this is an essential role. For a transcription company the proofreader works a little differently. Rather than just reading text of a completed transcript they actually listen to the original audio, the same audio the typist listened to as they typed. Their task is to fill in any words that the typist could not hear or understand as well as ensuring that the document reads well and true. The proofreader will also format the document, ie. use a specific font, add any specific headers, add or remove page numbering based on each clients requirements. To summarise the transcription proofreader:
- Quality checks all transcripts
- Formats documents as per each clients requirements
- Fills in any blanks missed by the transcription typist
- Ensures all documents are grammatically correct
The proofreader is a key role in any transcription business, we call this the second set of eyes and helps ensure that any transcript is as accurate as can be based on the audio. After all, it has passed through two sets of ears and eyes before any document is returned to a client.
Do most transcription services utilise a proofreader? The answer to that is unfortunately, no. Proofreaders add to the overall transcription time and obviously increase costs. We believe that quality is paramount and is what sets my business apart.