Tips to transcribe difficult terms

Materials that are full of technical, financial or specialized terminology may be unfamiliar to the transcriptionists. It may be necessary to listen to words, terms, sentences or even a whole section several times in order to transcribe them properly. In such circumstances, it helps enormously if a glossary of keywords can be provided in advance or words can be spelt out while dictating.

If you are working with a new author or in a new area of business, you would be wise to get prior information about vocabulary and difficult words that may crop up. These words may not be specialist terms but may just be terms that are specific to the particular recording to be transcribed. Getting such a glossary avoids you using incorrect words throughout a document. Also, if you have a prior knowledge of a topic and information on the kind of words or names that may come up, you will find it easier to decipher words that on the first hearing you may think are audible. 

Knowing how to spell difficult names or words will help not only to make the final version of your document more accurate, but it will make your task more enjoyable. There is nothing more frustrating than hearing a word time and time again and having no way of checking whether you are transcribing it correctly. This is particularly the case with people’s names because no dictionary, specialist or otherwise will help you check the accuracy of the spelling.

If you are transcribing the recording of a meeting, you might wish to ask for a glossary, which contains the following-
1. The name of the attendees
2. The name of the project being discussed and related projects
3. Name of other people and organizations who are closely involved in the project
4. Relevant addresses, place names, property names
5. Technical phrases, jargons, abbreviations that may be used during the course of meeting

Create your own glossaries as you work. In addition to requesting a glossary from the authors, you may find it helpful to note down, as you transcribe, any words that you find difficult to hear or spell for your own future reference. In this way, you can create your own on-going glossary that you can refer to and add to any time-in financial, medical or legal terms.

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