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Transcribing accurately-breaking the Recorded Speech down to enable Accurate Transcription-How To

Updated on December 26, 2013

If you are transcribing and not hearing the words and phrases properly, then you are not alone. Even professional transcribers do experience that sometimes. They don't really hear every single word or phrase at the first hearing or listening to a particular audio for the first time.
There are various methods of deducing the actual words and phrases in a recorded audio accurately. The article will discuss some few tips on how you can break a voice mail or any recorded conversation down to make your transcription much more easy and accurate.

The truth is, you may not be hearing the words and phrases properly in an audio recording because you don't understand the situation involved or under which a particular speech or phone call was made. You don't know the people involved - that is who is calling who etc. It could also possibly be that when speaking , the speaker did not pronounce certain words correctly ; in trying to find the appropriate words to gather his thoughts or to convey his message he rather turned to confuse you the transcriber with lots of repetitions and reconstruction of sentences in his speech .

Words and phrases relate to each other depending on the context they have been used in. Most statements in a speech are only used by the speaker to give a more and clearer understanding to the listener or to elaborate previous statements he's made in the speech. In other words, most statements in a speech are not so different from each other because they are actually used as speech variations (related words and phrases) for further explanation and if you are able to note these speech variations that people normally use in expressing their ideas, it would be a lot more easier for you to break a voice mail down and transcribe.

First of all if speech variations are used in people's speeches that would mean you don't necessarily have to hear every single word and phrase from the voice mail before you can transcribe. Being able to orient yourself to some few familiar ones could help you deduce the inaudible ones. When transcribing, simply use what is available to you or what you can hear and make out meaning from that. Try and break the voice mail down by first listening attentively to the whole audio and mark- either mentally pick out or type down the audible or familiar words and phrases ( don't worry about connecting them in the first hearing- just type down audible words and phrase that you can connect later ) . After typing them down, try to deduce the other related inaudible words and phrases in the recorded conversation. The few that you have been able to hear will help you to understand the situation surrounding the conversation or voice mail and you can transcribe better.

Let’s consider the two statements from a voice mail below.
a) Hilary, call me by the way

b) Hillary call me right away.

Sometimes when listening, you might get to confuse certain phrases with other phrases that sound similar to the ear. Considering the two statements above, both statements though grammatically not wrong and can fit into any voice mail, only one may be able to fit into the particular audio you are transcribing based on the audio content and situation of conversation. The audible words and phrases should help you decide which one of similar sounding statements will fit into the final transcripts or one that really makes the message complete.

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