Frequently Asked Questions

General

What happens when parts of the audio cannot be transcribed?

Those instances where portions of input cannot be accurately transcribed will be denoted in the transcript as “indiscernible” or “inaudible”. In the case of “indiscernible”, a time stamp will also be inserted to indicate where in the audio file the author can listen to the portion that could not be accurately transcribed. If the author can recall the input or is able to discern the input, he or she can then edit the transcript. In the case of an “indiscernible”, the transcriptionist will insert this into the transcript where cross-talking or a loud noise has rendered the input “indiscernible”. The reason for the portion being “indiscernible” is also given, for example, “(indiscernible – noise)”.

Will I be able to edit my transcript?

Of course. Except where a verified transcript is required for disciplinary processes, all transcripts are fully editable. You will receive an Microsoft Word Document and can edit the transcript as if it were your own. In fact, it does belong to you once you have paid for the transcription. For researchers, the transcript will need to be coded, notated and edited before analysis of the transcript is performed. For this reason also, the transcript you receive will be editable.

How will I get my recordings to you?

A number of methods are available to send your digital audio files to Etranscript. These include email; an encrypted file transfer such as Dropbox; or an FTP facility. The level of security required and the size of the file will determine the best choice for your files. Dropbox allows for files up to 20Gb is size to be transferred. Audio and video files are usually much smaller than this.

Can you provide a nondisclosure agreement?

Yes, of course, this is mandatory. A confidentiality undertaking or a nondisclosure agreement is signed by me and sent to you, the client, before transcription of your audio files begins. In addition, the highest care is taken at the time of sending and receiving materials related to your project. As I do not outsource any of my work, all materials received are for my eyes only.

Can I make arrangements to deliver recordings to your home-office?

Etranscript connects with its clients via the internet. Files and documents can be emailed or transferred via an internet based file transfer facility or cloud storage service. However, should you wish to deliver media for transcription, this can be arranged. I am located in Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa.

What languages do you transcribe?

I am a first-language English speaker and transcribe only English language recordings. Audio files that contain a little Afrikaans can also be transcribed but not academic-level Afrikaans or full Afrikaans-language recordings.

Can you reformat my MS Word document?

Yes. I will check your document for any spelling and grammar errors. I will also check the formatting and reformat the document, if required. Whether your document is your thesis, training manual or report, I can assist you. I make use of specialised software to time each task. A copy of the time sheet will be sent to you along with the invoice on completion of the task.

Turnaround Time

What is the turnaround time for your dictation transcription service?

I strive to complete the transcription of dictation within 24 to 48 hours. Obviously this turnaround time will be dependent on the total number of dictation minutes received for transcription.

How long will it take to transcribe my interview recordings?

It takes approximately four to five hours to transcribe one hour of an interview recording. However, if the audio quality does not allow for an efficient pace of transcription, then a longer turnaround time can be expected.

Will I have to wait for all the files to be transcribed before I receive my transcripts?

Absolutely not! When I receive a batch of interview audio files to transcribe, I will send each transcript to you as and when it is complete, so that you can start working with the transcribed material as soon as possible. If, for some reason, this arrangement would not work for you, then I will hold off dispatch of the transcripts until all of the interviews have been transcribed.

 

When I receive a batch of files that all pertain to the same disciplinary procedure, I then will first transcribe all the files into one continuous document before sending it to the client. For the sake of ease of use, a transcript of a disciplinary process is usually transcribed into a single MS Word document.

Rates and Payment

Do you charge different rates for different types of transcription?

No. My charge rates remain standard across all types of transcription. Where the quality of audio is so poor that the rate of transcription is significantly slower, an additional charge will be levied for the extra time needed to transcribe the file.

How do I pay you?

Local (South Africa) payments are received via EFT. An invoice is sent to the client on completion of the project and is due and payable on presentation. International payments are received via telegraphic transfer and are due on presentation of the invoice.

How to you calculate document services charges?

Document services are charged on a per worked hour basis. As estimation of the cost will be provided before commencing the task.

Can you accommodate urgent transcription at a more expensive rate?

A standard rate is quoted for all transcription. I do not charge an increased rate for rush work. Your files are booked into the work queue as soon as they are received. If availability allows, work on your project can commence as a matter or urgency for completion by your deadline date.

Recordings

What types of audio file formats are best for recording meetings or groups?

The best file format to use for the recording of multi-voice situations is “.wav”. An “.mp3” or “.wma” format is a compressed file format that, if used for a focus group a disciplinary enquiry recording, could compromise the quality of the transcript.

Which file formats do you recommend for recording interviews?

When recording interviews or speeches, make use of a lossless compressed file format such as “.wma”. If you are recording an interview in a noisy environment, then it would be best to rather record the interview in a high-resolution file format such as “.wav”.

Can I make arrangements to deliver recordings to your home-office?

Etranscript connects with its clients via the internet. Files and documents can be emailed or transferred via an internet based file transfer facility or cloud storage service. However, should you wish to deliver media for transcription, this can be arranged. I am located in Fourways, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Which digital file format should I use for my recording?

The most appropriate file format to use for the recording of dictation is very different to the file format that is used to record a disciplinary hearing. The best possible audio quality is required and the choice of file format is the primary consideration to achieve this outcome. Read the File Formats page for assistance.

How will I get my recordings to you?

A number of methods are available to send your digital audio files to Etranscript. These include email; an encrypted file transfer such as Dropbox; or an FTP facility. The level of security required and the size of the file will determine the best choice for your files. Dropbox allows for files up to 20Gb is size to be transferred. Audio and video files are usually much smaller than this.

Transcription Types

Can you transcribe a training presentation video?

Also falling under the category of Lecture and Speech Transcription is the transcription of training sessions and presentations, either from audio or video file format. Often the transcript produced from this type of recording is helpful for the editing and authoring of training manuals or may form part of online learning materials. Please refer to the Lecture and Speech Transcription process as the information provided also applies to the transcription of training sessions and presentations.

Do you transcribe general business dictation?

Yes, I do transcribe many categories of dictation including general business dictation for consultants, self-employed individuals, insurance assessors and executives. I also transcribe medical and medico-legal dictation for lawyers, cardiologists, surgeons, authors, educational psychologists and neuropsychologists.

Do you transcribe media interviews?

Yes, I transcribe all manner of interviews including interviews for radio, TV and film production. I also transcribe research interviews conducted by investigative journalists and authors.

Can you transcribe a recording of a disciplinary enquiry for one of our employees?

Yes. I have many years of experience transcribing disciplinary procedures for companies, IR consultants, HR departments, attorneys, labour unions and private individuals.

Do you transcribe conference speeches?

Yes. I transcribe speeches and lectures for academia, media, researchers, NGOs, companies, institutions and advocacy groups. I am also able to transcribe recordings of training sessions and presentations.

Do you transcribe focus group interviews for academic research?

Yes. I transcribe focus group recordings for academia, people development consultants and market research companies.