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Do-It-Yourself Transcription TrainingAll the skills needed to do general transcription work can be obtained using online resources.General transcription work requires a relatively quick and accurate typing speed and a good ear. These basic skills can be developed using free online resources, including typing tests and tutors, search engines, dictionaries and acronym finders, grammar guides, audio and video files, and eventually job databases, directories, and classified ads.
What is Transcription?To transcribe is to translate spoken (i.e., dictated) material into a written copy of the material. Transcriptionists translate interviews, meetings, correspondence, reports, presentations, speeches, and counseling sessions, to name a few. It's that simple. A would-be transcriptionist can find audio and video files to practice transcribing and get a feel for the work. The Paper Writing Service's Transcription Podcast provides sample media files and transcripts as well as information about working from home and balancing home and work.
What Software and Equipment do Transcriptionists Use?Home-based transcriptionists use four basic tools:
word processing software
transcription audio software
a foot pedal
a headsetThe most commonly used word processing software is Microsoft Word. A commonly used transcription audio player is Express Scribe, which can be downloaded for free. A three-pedal foot pedal and stethoscope-style headset work well with Express Scribe. The three-pedal foot pedal allows the transcriptionist to start, stop, rewind, and fast-forward the audio file while keeping the hands on the keyboard. This saves time. The stethoscope headset minimized background sounds while boosting the audio and picking up subtle sounds.
How is General Transcription Different From Medical Transcription?General transcription differs from medical transcription or legal transcription, because it doesn't require a specialized terminology or file format. The general transcriptionist remains flexible to accommodate a variety of styles and topics. Medical transcription and legal transcription are the specialties that tend to require comprehensive training programs. On the other hand, a would-be transcriptionist with the desire to work in the medical or legal field can find specialized dictionaries and document templates online. Read more: Home-based Transcription Business. An aspiring general transcriptionist should focus on developing typing speed and accuracy, a good ear for a variety of voices, and a decent grasp of grammar and common document formatting. A skilled transcriptionist knows their word processing software well, so it doesn't slow them down. Typing tests, typing tutors, and software tutorials can all be found online for free. Transcriptionists who want to start their own business should check with their local government business licensing agencies to determine the requirements for starting a business or working as an independent contractor. Check the Writemypaper website to learn about the difference between an employee and an independent contractor and the tax requirements of each. When the self-taught transcriptionist feels ready to got some real work, he or she can apply with companies who hire home-based transcriptionists, advertise their services, or start their own business.
Further ReadingMedical Transcription: Skills Needed to Succeed
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