Transcription Terms For Beginner Transcribers In 2021

Are you new to transcription?

Is transcription a profession you would love to get into?

Have you been wondering what this wave of transcription is, and why everyone is trying to get on it?

If your answer to all these questions is yes, then you clicked on the right article.

Just like in any kind of profession, we have a jargon of words that are specific to every profession. The same applies to transcription. There are terms and words that are very specific to the transcription profession and any beginner would get really confused trying to deduce them. In this article, we will look into some commonly used transcription terms that you need to know as a beginner. In recent years we’ve witnessed a wave where 80% of individuals have tried their hand in transcription and if you also would love to get onto that wave, there are terms that you need to get accustomed to.


In a layman’s language, a transcription is a form of data entry. When you go online to try to get data entry jobs, you will more times than not get transcription jobs recommended to you. It is a data entry job that highly depends on turning oral language into written form.

Normally transcription is described as the process in which transcripts are created from an existing audio/video file. This basically means an individual listens to an already recorded audio/video file and type out everything that they hear. Transcription can also be done in real-time. This usually happens during speeches, court proceedings, interviews, and so on and so forth. Transcriptionists usually use special software; however, in some forms of transcription word processing software like Microsoft Word can be used.

With that said, it is important to note that there are different interpretations of transcription. Everyone has different ways in which they want their transcription work to be done. So, depending on which particular transcription form is in question, then that is what will be expected. Sometimes the transcription must be exact, while at other times transcriptionists must clean up grammatical errors or paraphrase.

For important files like legal, corporate finance, business, Medical, etc., the files must be transcribed exactly how the recordings are while for normal interviews that don’t really have much weight, the transcription can be cleaned up a bit as long as they still carry the original meaning.

Transcription also offers a great career opportunity for anyone who is looking to make extra money working from the comfort of their home. It is important to note that not all forms of transcription can be done from home.

 1. Transcription Reviewer

The simplest way to describe who a transcription reviewer is, is someone who reviews transcripts. What is to review? To review is to thoroughly go through something to justify that it is perfectly executed and is in the right form or format. With that said, a transcription reviewer is a man or woman whose job description is to go through ready transcribed transcripts to ensure that they are accurate, error-free, and true to the original recording. He or she must listen to all the recordings and compare them side by side with transcripts that have been transcribed by other transcribers. Though sometimes this position might be called “transcription editor” or “transcription proofreading,” it is not a typical editing or proofreading job, since typically you have to be a transcriptionist first.

What this means is that you have to be a very competent and accurate transcriber before you can be promoted to be a transcription reviewer. The benefits of being transcription reviewer is that your pay is usually better and your work is less cumbersome. Transcription reviewers are sometimes paid an hourly rate, but they might be paid a per word or per piece rate.

2. Legal Transcription

You guessed right. This is a kind of transcription that includes legal materials. Legal transcription is converting audio dictations by legal professionals and other recordings from legal cases into a word format transcript. This is one of the transcription types that need specialized skills in order to actualize it. Just like how medical transcription is the creation of transcripts from a doctor’s dictation, is the same way legal transcription is but now during court hearings. In order to be a legal transcriber, you need to be versed in the jargon used in the legal field. However, unlike medical transcription, formal certification is not required, but experience and/or education in the legal profession, and fast and accurate typing, are essential.

So, what materials do legal transcribers transcribe? This can range from court hearing recordings to interviews and depositions, dictation by legal professionals, and sometimes written documents such as handwritten communications, notes, or other legal documents.

It is important to note that legal transcription is not the same as court reporting. Court reporting is a transcription that includes the transcription of real-time proceedings. This means that transcribers usually transcribe what they hear live and nothing is recorded prior. Court reporters must undergo certification. As a legal transcriber there very many places where your services can come in handy and not only in courtrooms and whatnot. You can work for legal services companies, government agencies, or law firms as employees or as independent contractors.

3. Real-Time Transcription

When you hear the words real-time, if the first thing that comes to mind is something that happens at the moment, then you are correct. Real-time transcription is a type of transcription that takes place as words are being spoken at the moment. The difference between this kind of transcription and all other transcription types is that all other transcriptions are done on recorded file formats, while for this one it happens in real-time as words are being spoken. The most common use of real-time transcription is court reporting; however, other forms of it include real-time captioning and communication access real-time translation (CART), which is the real-time transcription for the deaf.

For you to be a real-time transcriber, you need to type 200-300 words per minute. This is to ensure that you can keep up with the speed of the person speaking. You must have impeccable listening skills, knowledge of spelling, punctuations, and grammar. Anyone practicing real-time transcription will need to be detail-oriented and able to think fast and concentrate for long periods. You will also need training in stenography, and stenographic software is needed. To make a cut as a real-time transcriber, you need to have certification and so it is important to take on the training and certification classes. Typically, court reporting is performed in person in courtrooms and at depositions, and CART work is also done on-site, though some forms may be done remotely.

4. Medical Transcriptionist

As you must have concluded, a medical transcriptionist is a transcriber who works with files that are medically related. This is usually a specialized form of transcription, so you have to be well versed in matters of medicine for you to be a medical transcriber. He or she listens to a physician or medical practitioner’s dictated notes regarding a patient and transcribes them so they can be added to the patient’s medical file. Just like for any typical transcriber, a medical transcriber uses the same tools for their work. These tools include a headset, foot pedal, and specialized transcription software.

Since it is a specialized transcription, a medical transcriptionist requires post-secondary training—either a 1-year certificate program or 2-year associate’s degree. The courses required in these programs include anatomy, medical terminology, medical and legal issues, and grammar and punctuation.

Skills That Will Make You Stand Out As A Medical Transcriber

Below are some skills that will make you stand out as a medical transcriber.

  1. Fast and accurate typing- This is very important for someone who would love to beat deadlines and still have perfectly transcribed transcripts.
  2. Detail-oriented, careful worker- Not only for medical transcriptionists but being detail-oriented and a careful worker is a standard skill for all workers globally.
  3. Knowledge of medical terminology- Since it’s a specialized transcription, you must have knowledge of Medicine and its jargon.
  4. Knowledge of medical transcription practices- You must accustom yourself to the rules and regulations of medical transcription.
  5. Excellent English grammar, punctuation, and style- This is a standard skill for all transcribers.
  6. Ability to work under time pressure- Most transcription jobs have TAT and you should be able to keep up with them as a medical transcriber
  7. Excellent hearing and listening skills- Practice being a good listener so you can get everything being said on a recording.

These are some commonly used terms in transcription that you must be accustomed to as a beginner transcriber. They are not the only terms that you will come across as you begin your journey as a transcriber. Look out for some other terms in other articles and enjoy your journey into the world that is transcription.

Other Posts