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What Should You Consider When Looking Into Transcription Companies?

Since the start of transcription companies, there have been a lot of changes in how these companies operate. The ways in which transcription has evolved over the years means that there are many different ways as to how the transcription service is carried out.


Due to this there are many factors that can effect how your audio file is transcribed, and how accurate the final outcome is. This article will outline some of the main things you should look out for when you are looking into transcription companies.

Human vs Machine:

One thing you should look for when looking into transcription companies is if the transcription process is going to be done by a human, or a machine.

Transcription by a machine is just one way in which the transcription industry has evolved over the years. Machines can have software installed that allows them to take audio and video files, and type them out as text. Companies that offer transcription services which are done by a machine are often cheaper, and have a faster turnaround time. But the results are not always as accurate.

The level of accuracy can be lower as opposed to using a human transcriber for many reasons. The first being the fact that human transcribers undergo training to become a professional in what they do. For example, someone transcribing documents for the legal industry would not only be trained in transcription, but also have a strong knowledge of the legal industry itself.

The software these machine transcriptionists use also have various limitations. One of these being that if the audio of the file you want transcribed is not the best quality, the machine might come across some issues transcribing this accurately. Humans on the other hand can work with audios of a lower quality and still produce an accurate result.

Another issue with using transcription companies that rely on machines, is their inability to separate background noise from the conversation that is being had. In some cases the machine might attempt to transcribe the background noise as well as the speech, which is another issue a human transcriptionist does not face.


Machine transcriptionists might also face issues when it comes to accents if they are not programmed to understand them. This can lead to misunderstanding what is being said if it is pronounced differently.

Lastly, machine transcriptionists can have trouble when it comes to typing out words which sound the same but have multiple spellings. These are known as homophones. An example of this is flower and flour. A human would be able to pick up the correct variation by following the sentence, but a machine may face issues when it comes to this.

Offshore vs UK Transcription Companies:

Another main factor you should consider when looking into transcription companies is to find out if the service they provide is done offshore, or within the UK. Offshore transcription is used to refer to companies that send their work off to other countries outside of the UK to be carried out. This option comes with numerous risks.

One of these risks includes the fact that you have no idea who the transcriptionist is assigned to your files, and where they actually come from. Because they are not based in the UK there is no way of knowing how fluent they are in english.This might effect their ability to transcribe your audio accurately.

Another risk you face when using offshore transcription companies is the fact that due to the files being distributed outside of the UK, they are no longer protected by the UK’s privacy laws. This means that your files could be leaked and you are no longer covered by data protection, and you may not receive support if the file is shared outside of the company.

Not only does using UK transcription companies assure your files are better protected, you can also be assured that the final transcribed document is going to be highly accurate.

Just like using transcription companies that use machines, companies that use offshore services are often cheaper. This is because these companies can get away with paying their transcriptionists less, and they can make more of a profit by operating in this way. This is highly unethical, and the quality of your outcome can also be effected by this.

To Summarise

There are various other aspects that you can look into when looking into transcription companies. These include any listed security certifications or credentials that suggest that the company can be trusted.

However, if you want the highest level of accuracy and want to be sure that your files are being sent to a company that protects your files. The main things you should be considering to assure you are getting the best result, is if your files are going to remain in the UK, and are going to be transcribed by a human transcriptionist.

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