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Speech Transcription - Hanging on Every Word

The transcription of political, business, educational, and other types of speeches is one form of audio transcription. Like the others, transcription services for speeches allows for a written copy for easier access and a quick way to find the information you need.

As long as people have had something interesting to say there's been a need to document it in some form. Writing started with cave paintings and has since advanced to more modern forms. Transcription is a way to document in a particular written form something that has been said or written in a different form or format. There are several types of transcription that cover a variety of fields such as medical, legal and business, not to mention forensic transcription, phonetic transcription and transcription for conversation analysis (which is an interdisciplinary field including anthropology, communication, linguistics, psychology, and sociology. The focus of this piece however is speech transcription. Not speech as in the spoken word, but rather prepared or impromptu speeches.

Regardless of the focus or field of a given speech, transcription takes the recorded audio/video media and converts it to a text document. There are benefits to having a written version of a speech readily available.

When Can Speech Transcription be Applied

Basically any speech of any type can be converted to the written form whether it is from a political activist, lecturer, or business executive, their words are equally recordable. Any speech that has been saved by some form of A/V recording device is a candidate. You may want to have a quick reference for a memorable family event in which a speech has been given or to include a speech in a family memory book. You may even need reference material from a speech and would prefer to shuffle through written text quickly rather than playing a sound bite over and over. In many cases the transcription of speeches is a matter of storage as well as convenience.

Transcription is a layer of protection for Archiving Speeches

One good reason to have a written copy is for easier and less costly dissemination without the need to ship and reship the original or increase wear by making multiple copies (applying more to physical media such as audio tape). It is also much easier to protect the words on the page than it is on magnetic or other less stable media.

Some optical media have an unpleasantly short shelf life in the data burned into their dye coats - even if the dye lasts for a thousand years. Paper can also survive in temperatures that will decimate electronic storage media. If it is worth keeping a recording of a speech then it is probably worth having a backup on hand from a speech transcription service for quick reference as well as to reduce any wear on the original recording media.

How does Transcription Work

Historically the person doing the transcription was not working from a recording; they would actually be on location using shorthand or some other speed writing technique to keep up with a speech as it was spoken in real time. With the introduction of recording technology the job was made significantly easier by allowing the transcriptionist to stop the playback and back it up if something was missed or an unavoidable interruption occurred. With further advances in modern computing, software has made a few steps at making automated transcription possible. Unfortunately, modern software using speech recognition is far from perfect and makes significant mistakes thus requiring a person to spend time editing and proof reading.

Speech Transcription Services

There are companies that can do far greater justice to a speech recording than a machine by itself. These companies employ dedicated individuals with the knowledge and skills to use tools such as forensic analysis of a damaged or poor recording to recover the speech as well as operating the technologies and possessing the skills to quickly and accurately convert long speeches into the written word. Not only can these services help you protect your data or speech but they can quickly provide speech transcription while freeing up your time for other more important pursuits.

Article Tags: Speech Transcription

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TransDual Forensics provides forensic, legal, and general transcription services for law enforcement, attorneys, businesses, universities, and others. Contact us for information on conference, lecture, seminar and interview transcription services. We’re a bilingual company so also contact us for any Spanish transcription needs you may have.

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