The Perfect Word Transcription Service
The Perfect Word Transcription
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Frequently Asked Questions

What is audio and video transcription?

Simply speaking, transcription is turning the spoken words on a recording into a typed document. The person doing this type of work, the transcriptionist, normally uses a transcription program to play the digital audio/video files while he or she listens and types what is heard. Often a foot pedal is connected to the computer for stopping and starting the recording. Headphones are also useful.

How do I send you my files?

Here are the easy, free, and secure options for sending and receiving digital files:

Google Drive
Upload on my website
Download from client's site

Work can also be sent by courier, FedEx, UPS, or USPS for documents, CDs, and DVDs.

You will receive your completed work according to your specifications.

Do you have a bunch of different people doing my transcription?

I have a very professional and experienced subcontractor that works with me on some projects. Your work is as important to me and my subcontractor as it is to you. On these projects, we are both involved in ensuring that it is done properly, professionally, and with strict confidentiality. I maintain strict control over the quality of the work, something that’s very difficult to do in large transcription companies. You will communicate with me, the owner, every step of the way.

What about confidentiality?

The Perfect Word takes the confidentiality of client work very seriously, using password-protected computers, encryption of files when appropriate, and encryption of emails when requested. A confidentiality statement is also included in our agreement form. At the client's request, any files sent to The Perfect Word for transcription and/or transcripts produced by The Perfect Word can be destroyed once the project is completed.

Where are you located?

All transcription is done in the United States—Central Virginia to be more exact. Work is NEVER subcontracted to anyone outside of the US.

Do you only work with local clients?

I have had clients from all over the United States, as well as Canada and overseas. But because I am located in Virginia, a large number of my clients are from areas in that state including Lynchburg, Williamsburg, Newport News, Roanoke, and of course Richmond and Glen Allen. So wherever you are in the USA (or the world), please get in touch if you’d like to have The Perfect Word’s expertise handle that transcription you’d probably rather not be doing!

Isn't transcription just typing?

It takes a certain skill and talent to transcribe proficiently, even with a very clear recording and only one person talking. Being able to type well is, obviously, essential, but so is a person's ability to listen and type at the same time! And in so many cases there is much more on the recording than just the voice or voices to transcribe. It takes a keen ear and great concentration to pick out clearly what should be typed from everything else.

Can't I use voice-to-text programs like Dragon?

If it's just one person without an accent on a clear recording (no static, background noise, etc.), and you can train that person's voice to the program, then yes, I believe it could be done that way. But proofing the transcript against the recording would still be necessary, as well as some editing.

But so many recordings have background noise, more than one person, static, voices cutting in and out, mumbling, or a heavy accent. It would be almost impossible to get a transcript of a recording like this that would be anywhere near correct.

I've heard it may take four times the length of a recording, maybe even longer, to transcribe. Why so long?

Try to type what someone is saying and keep up with them, and you will quickly see how much faster a person talks than we type. Average conversational speech is at about 120-160* words per minute. Now compare that to the typing speed of 40** wpm for the average person to 65-75** for a professional typist. As you can see, there's a big difference.

Then there are other things a transcriptionist may work with on a recording such as loud background noises, heavy accents, multiple speakers, and poorly recorded audio. And don't forget proofreading and possible Internet research for specific terminology or items that are unclear The more of these there are, the longer the time.

Knowing the full extent of the transcription process, the time involved definitely makes sense.

*What's your speech rate?
**What Is a Good Typing Speed Per Minute?


For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~John 3:16

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