What is Transcription? How it Works

How do transcription services work?

Transcription is a skillful task that requires special attention and attention to detail. The transcriptionist usually works with a foot pedal that is associated with software specifically designed to play audio and video files. A foot pedal allows the transcriptionist to stop and start recording to decipher the content. It also allows them to fast forward and rewind through the file, which can be especially useful when parts of the recording are blurry.

The transcriptionist is also responsible for time stamping the printed copy. This is especially important for video transcription, as it links each piece of dialogue to the corresponding visual portion of the file. If the transcription is then translated and foreign-language dialogue is applied to the video, the timestamps will keep the verbal and visual elements of the file in sync.

The same is true if subtitles are applied to the video – whether in the original language or in translation.

What other services complement the transcription work?

Because transcription is such an important part of video and audio translation, it is often used in conjunction with a number of other services. These include time synchronization (as described above), the translation process itself, and subtitling. Where video or audio translation is required, it is usually more efficient and cost-effective to use one person or company to complete all of these different parts of the process.

How to find a transcription agency

If you are looking for a transcription agency, consider what additional services you might need before you start looking for potential companies to use. There are people and companies that only provide transcription services, as well as those that provide the transcription as part of a wider range of services (such as translation services).


Look for references from other businessmen as a starting point and look for reputable companies online. As with any industry, price and quality can vary greatly, so be clear about your budget and expectations from the start. Use personal recommendations and testimonials to ensure quality, and request quotes from multiple companies to compare potential costs.

Remember, you can also access transcriptionists through freelance sites like Upwork. Again, pay special attention to the feedback from those you intend to use for your transcription work.


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