Moving from translation to transcription
Thread poster: Paul Dixon

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
May 25

Due to the serious and unprecedented financial crisis that has hit the translation market in Brazil, due to the effects of covid-19, I have decided to diversify into transcription. I would also do anglicisation but nothing has come in this area yet.
My doubt here is to how to enhance my skills so that I can have greater ease in understanding the audio in some of the segments, especially those involving immigrant interviewees/speakers and those where several people are speaking at the same
... See more
Due to the serious and unprecedented financial crisis that has hit the translation market in Brazil, due to the effects of covid-19, I have decided to diversify into transcription. I would also do anglicisation but nothing has come in this area yet.
My doubt here is to how to enhance my skills so that I can have greater ease in understanding the audio in some of the segments, especially those involving immigrant interviewees/speakers and those where several people are speaking at the same time. Is there a tutorial I can follow? I can't afford a course, because of the crisis.
And where can I buy good cheap earphones? The sound on the laptop is actually quite good, but the client has told me that use of earphones is strongly recommended. I saw some advertised for BRL 48 (USD 8), is that a good price?
The job uses a portal, but I guess one day I may have to transcribe without a portal. In this case, what software (preferably free) would be recommended?
Any other options? I need to increase my income. Thought of teaching English via Skype, but how can I connect sound to Skype? I have Skype but text only.
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Despina Nifakos
 

Jo Macdonald  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2005)
Italian to English
+ ...
My (limited) experience May 26

Hi Paul

I'd done a bit of subtitling in the past, so when work dropped off in March/April decided to add transcription to the services offered and learn how to produce .srt files.

I've decided to do transcriptions only in my mother tongue and subs in the languages I translate from into my mother tongue. I haven't had much luck with transcription work so far and my impression is the market is dominated by low rates, but it is definitely another service you can offer clie
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Hi Paul

I'd done a bit of subtitling in the past, so when work dropped off in March/April decided to add transcription to the services offered and learn how to produce .srt files.

I've decided to do transcriptions only in my mother tongue and subs in the languages I translate from into my mother tongue. I haven't had much luck with transcription work so far and my impression is the market is dominated by low rates, but it is definitely another service you can offer clients, transcribing or subtitling their videos into captions and/or another language for example.

I've set my rates at €10/minute of video/audio for both subs and transcriptions as they take the same amount of time and for me this works out at about €30/h.

I'm using Subtitle Edit. It's freeware, really easy to learn how to use, and produces .srt files with the timecode. There are loads of vids on Youtube on how to use it.

I've got a big pair of studio headphones at home, but Sennheiser CX 300 II Precision Noise Isolating earbuds are really just as good and about $25 as it's an old model if you can find them. They cut practically all the external noise out too if you're somewhere noisy, so it's a much clearer sound and you can use lower volumes and be kinder to your ears. They're of course really compact so you can take them with you in your laptop bag for example. Great for music too.

You can definitely use Skype with calls if you've got a fast Internet connection. A lot of people are using Zoom now too.

Another option might be to start using another CAT tool. I've been using Trados Studio for years but added MemoQ as a few clients use that and it's free (for the translator) if used in the online Server version.

Stay strong and safe.
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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 16:39
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Headphones May 26

JVC HA-S160 FLATS are very good, and cheap. I use them for listening to music - and I'm a discerning listener.

 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Software (and rates) May 26

I offered transcription services for a while. My first dip into it paid a pittance but was a good training exercise. The next two paid a little better and while one was satisfying (I felt I had done a good job on that AGM presentation), the other was positively riveting -- a conference of former world leaders. Then it all went downhill until I struck it off my list of services.

The problem is that it's actually what we used to refer to as audio-typing. I did a bilingual secretarial
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I offered transcription services for a while. My first dip into it paid a pittance but was a good training exercise. The next two paid a little better and while one was satisfying (I felt I had done a good job on that AGM presentation), the other was positively riveting -- a conference of former world leaders. Then it all went downhill until I struck it off my list of services.

The problem is that it's actually what we used to refer to as audio-typing. I did a bilingual secretarial course as a '70s school-leaver and that was excluded from the curriculum because it wasn't considered an appropriate task for a managing director's personal assistant. That speaks volumes about the normal rates of pay. I always insisted on the lower end of my normal rates so I only ever did a few dozen jobs. They were never easy jobs and many that I refused to quote for were actually impossible.

Quoting is often on the basis of audio minute. I found it could take anything between 4 and 10 minutes to process and check one minute of audio. You need to check the file thoroughly. A faulty microphone halfway through will make a massive difference, as could a new, unintelligible speaker, an argument, or a road drill setting up just outside. Be careful not to get duped into confusing the different timescales -- a per hour rate that sounds reasonably generous may well actually refer to an atrocious rate for handling an hour of audio!

Anyway, tips for someone about to get into it.

One essential is to use transcription software. I used ExpressScribe but there are others. I set up some of the function keys on my desktop to serve as hot keys for pause, rewind, fast forward and fast rewind, and would have invested in a foot pedal to do those jobs had I not decided to stop. Those things make a vast difference to your speed. The software allows you to filter out some of the background noise and to slow the audio in a very controlled way. That has to be done carefully if it's to help, as too slow becomes unintelligible. ExpressScribe also helps deal with time-stamps.

If I'd continued, I'd have been thinking of training Dragon Naturally Speaking or similar tool to my voice. Then I'd have acted like an interpreter -- listening then speaking -- getting DNS to type the script. I think using both tools would have speeded things up more (and saved strain on the wrists).
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tamil traans
 

Gerard de Noord  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 17:39
Member (2003)
English to Dutch
+ ...
Very soon transcription will have evolved in post-transcription May 26

Very soon transcription will evolve into post-transcription, like MT and PEMT. Don't go into that direction if you can't offer any added value.

Cheers,
Gerard


Jorge Payan
 

Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
PE of VR has already arrived May 26

Gerard de Noord wrote:
Very soon transcription will evolve into post-transcription, like MT and PEMT. Don't go into that direction if you can't offer any added value.

I've already noticed a few monolingual transcription jobs that call for you to read the output of voice recognition software and check it against the audio. Needless to say, I haven't investigated further . For one of the transcription jobs I did, maybe two, the software could maybe have done a half-decent job. For the others, it could only serve to waste vast amounts of time.


 

Janet Muehlbacher  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:39
Member (2013)
German to English
+ ...
During the few transcription jobs I´ve done May 27

in the past 10 years, I used Express Scribe software which is very easy to use with headphones and footpedal.

I wish you the best of luck!


 

Thierry Martial NIANGORAN  Identity Verified
Cote D'ivoire
Local time: 16:39
Member (2019)
English to French
+ ...
How to become a transcriber? May 27

There is a very interesting discussion thread about moving from translation to transcription here. Unfortunately, you need to be a certified pro to access it. https://www.proz.com/forum/miscellaneous_topics/343756-proz_academy.html?action=Reply"e=1&post_id=2849480#reply

 

Paul Dixon  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 13:39
Portuguese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Jun 4

Thank you to all who have replied, but it did not work out. I was removed from the pool of transcribers by client decision.

Interested in the software but the financial situation is very bad here so can't afford it right now. What I really need now is a tutorial on how to do transcription, preferably on the Internet (I can't afford any kind of course right now). Same for earphones, they are on the wish list for when some money comes in. I guess that with earphones I will not miss an
... See more
Thank you to all who have replied, but it did not work out. I was removed from the pool of transcribers by client decision.

Interested in the software but the financial situation is very bad here so can't afford it right now. What I really need now is a tutorial on how to do transcription, preferably on the Internet (I can't afford any kind of course right now). Same for earphones, they are on the wish list for when some money comes in. I guess that with earphones I will not miss any words (the room where I work is very quiet)

Still interested in English Language Transcription though, but as I mentioned I need a tutorial and also the tags present a problem.

Thierry: I have started the procedure for Pro status. From what I understand I need to present a sample translation which shall be analysed by other Pros. My biggest problem will be getting references.
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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 16:39
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
WWA Jun 4

Paul Dixon wrote:
Interested in the software but the financial situation is very bad here so can't afford it right now. What I really need now is a tutorial on how to do transcription, preferably on the Internet (I can't afford any kind of course right now).

I don't know whether you have "Plus" membership here? If so, all the training videos are available to you. But aren't they available anyway at the moment, as a gesture for those struggling through the pandemic? Check that out as there may be a tutorial or two on transcription. Youtube may have tutorials too. Also, I think ExpressScribe has either a free version or a limited period free trial. I doubt that I paid for it without using it.

Thierry: I have started the procedure for Pro status. From what I understand I need to present a sample translation which shall be analysed by other Pros. My biggest problem will be getting references.

I can't be 100% sure but it could be that your WWA entries will automatically provide you with the required references.


 


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