3 Ways To Avoid Bad Transcriptions

By: Speechpad Team
Published:

While it’s not something we recommend, there may have been one time or another where you’ve watched a film that you obtained through less than reputable sources—and it may have had some pretty bad subtitles.

Screen capture from Spiderman 3

When you’re looking for quality transcription services, you have to do your due-diligence in finding a company that works for you. And that could mean a number of things, but specifically, it should fall in line with these simple ways to avoid bad transcriptions.

Review and Reject

Simply put, you have to stand up for yourself against bad transcriptions. People will promise fast turnaround times, and they’ll certainly deliver—but it can sometimes come at the cost of shoddy workmanship. Obviously, you don’t have to put up with bad work, just because they “fulfilled” their promise of speed.

The easiest fix for this is to make sure that before you ever even send over a file to be transcribed, you outline how many errors are tolerable to pay someone. Then you make sure that you back yourself up. Take the time to watch the file once beforehand, and send it back if it doesn’t meet your prerequisites.

Use Humans

You may not have time to send it back if you’re on a short deadline—which is why so many get away with promising quick times and then not delivering on equality transcriptions. They can sacrifice your service next time, because so many people are coming to them in a rush.

So if you’re crunched for time, and you don’t want to take a gamble on using a company that won’t give you the quality you need, then one of the first pre-screening tests you can give a company is if they use humans or not.

How many times have you used your smartphone’s personal assistant and asked them to give you directions to “ 6 Spooner Street” and it’s come back, “I’m sorry, I cannot find anything matching “The sick spoon and sheet.”

The problem with the technology of tomorrow is that it’s still today, and the only way you’re guaranteed to get an accurate translation is if your transcription company has the best software and your file has perfect sound quality. And even then, accents, colloquialism and more simply don’t translate.

Ask For Samples

At the end of the day, you may not feel comfortable going on such a wild goose chase for all of the right qualifications, and you may really only be able to afford what certain services are offering. In that case, our best advice is just to ask for some samples of their work: it’s not hard to see when a company does or does not do a good job transcribing an audio clip, just by looking at it yourself.

This should give you all the insight you need into not getting cheated out of your money when looking for a quick transcription. Speechpad guarantees at least one human will touch your file. Your file will be transcribed by a human and then reviewed by yet another human to ensure accuracy. We utilize top tools with our transcriptions, but ultimately humans have the know how that the computers simply do not yet possess.

So wherever you go, just remember that the power to get a good transcription is in your hands, all you need to do is ask.