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Transcription Editing and Proofreading: Most Common Transcription Mistakes

We all know that speech-to-text software and voice recognition devices are now widely used to transcribe audio files. The more sophisticated the software, the better it is at picking up words and converting audio to text. Even in medical transcription, software are being used to speed up the process and make life a little bit easier for medical professionals and healthcare providers.

There’s just one problem. Even the most intelligent AI makes mistakes. It may be extremely fast in transcribing, but the accuracy isn’t quite on par with human transcribers. The transcript created by the software is far from perfect and it needs to go through editing and proofreading. And that’s where we take over.

Common Transcription Errors

When proofreading transcripts, you need to listen to the audio recording to check for accuracy. The initial transcripts done by either the software or human transcribers are likely to contain several errors in the form of the following:

Spelling Errors

These are spelling mistakes or typos as a result of carelessness or failing to run the transcript in a spellchecker software. There’s also the possibility of not knowing the proper spelling and not bothering to do a quick Google search for the correct spelling of a word or term. The confusion on similar-sounding words (homonyms) falls under this category.

Misheard Words

Misheard words are one of the most common mistakes transcription editors find while proofreading transcripts. This happens when the audio quality is poor. Some transcribers tend to just go with the words or phrases that they thought were correct.

The thing with transcription is that “sounds like” doesn’t cut it. It affects the quality of the entire transcript. Instead of marking the word as “inaudible”, some transcribers would rather guess and hope for the best. As a result, sentences don’t’ make sense and the misheard words are out of context. It leads to embarrassing results and it just makes the work unprofessional.

Omitted Words or Phrases

There will be situations where a transcriber would unknowingly omit words or phrases. It can be due to several reasons like poor audio quality, pausing and rewinding, or simply not hearing the audio quite well. Whatever the reason, it’s a mistake that must be corrected before the transcript is delivered to the client.

Due to time constraints, some transcribers fail to do one final check before submitting their work. This becomes problematic if the bad practice persists. The work falls heavily on transcription editors to ensure that there are no omissions.

Formatting Errors or Style

Each transcription company has its own general formatting style. The format should be followed if the client did not provide a specific format. However, most clients tend to have a transcription style that every transcriber must adhere to. The formatting is governed by specific rules that must be strictly followed. Unfortunately, formatting errors happen. That’s why it’s important that everyone is aware that the client-preferred format supersedes the company’s general format and there should not be any confusion about it.

Incorrect or Misplaced Punctuations

Transcribers should not correct the grammar mistakes of the speaker. The only thing they can do is to present the transcript in the best way possible for easy reading and understanding. This means using the correct punctuations. This is why transcribers must have a good grasp of English grammar so that they can apply the correct punctuations.

Transcription Editing and Proofreading Services

In an ideal world, all transcripts would be perfect. Unfortunately, there are variables that make transcription work extra challenging and prone to mistakes. Errors will continue to exist as long as there’s horrible audio quality, formatting style confusion, fast talkers, poor headset quality, and just plain carelessness.

This is why every transcript must pass through a quality check. Transcription editors are a different breed of transcription professionals who can find errors, mistakes, omissions, and formatting inconsistencies.

At Umritun, we guide our transcribers so that mistakes are minimized at the transcription level. And then our transcription editors work their magic to make sure that the transcripts meet and exceed client expectations. If you need transcription editing and proofreading services, CONTACT US and we’ll help improve the quality of your draft transcripts.


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