(Full-time VA from the Philippines)
Transcribing is a way of transferring someone’s voice recording into typewritten words to be posted into a blog post. Let me guess, everyone had a fair share of this bittersweet experience. And, I too, am going to talk about my own experience and sentiments (just kidding) when I had it firsthand.
Actually, at first, I am clueless about transcribing, I don’t know what are the “How-to’s” even if it’s just the basics with transcribing. All that I had in mind is just “Oh, geez, that’s probably the easiest task where you’ll just transcribe and transfer what others are saying or talking about”.
The 6-minute Audio
So, I started transcribing this 6-minute audio using my headset and Microsoft Word window and no other fancy software around.
The first minute of transcribing felt okay—that feeling of “this is so easy and exciting”. But, I was dazed when I was in the middle of this 6-minute video; I looked up at the monitor and saw that I already had typewritten a thousand words. And in a little while I felt a little pang and stiffness at the back of my shoulders. It feels like I did some bench press for the very first time during the last 3 minutes.
3 minutes of transcribing felt like an hour because you have to look back and forth on the monitor, press pause and play to get the words clearly and you’ll never know when to put a period, comma or question mark because the tone of the voice just sounds the same.
Finally, I survived my first transcription—at least I get to experience different things so that in the future I will know what I should do or tricks that will make things easier for me. But, later an hour, I had this feedback saying,
“Okay, your transcription is good, the only thing is, it looks like a page from a novel book. All in all—it’s impressive.”
For a newbie like me who doesn’t know how to go around this task is quite happy but not satisfying because I have to arrange and organize it to be a readable transcript again.
So, my conclusion is: when you don’t know how to start the task, it is safe to ask the experts to help you with the walk-through of the task to avoid repeating it or you can also ask for samples for you to get an idea of the task at hand.