Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Digital Dictation Part 3

Remember that the recorder will pick up background noise, so try and avoid shuffling papers or other noises while you are dictating.

You can pause the recording if you are interrupted and then resume when ready without any unnecessary audio being recorded.

When doing addresses or anything that may seem unclear then the use of the military alphabet, which is included below, is a great help and will ensure that you are not misheard, eg if a “b” may be mistaken for a “p” it is a good idea to use the military alphabet to make it easy to distinguish which letter you want, (ie “bravo” means “b” and “papa” means “p”.

If the subject matter you dictate contains any special terminology, we would work with you to put together a list of commonly used words, phrases, names etc right from the start. This means we can set up shortcuts to insert those words rather than having to constantly look them up, which reduces the chance of errors being made. If the recording is of a group discussion, each speaker should identify themselves by name before making comments as otherwise it is not always easy to tell from a recording who said what. The same rule about reducing background noise is even more applicable here especially if it is a lunch meeting and there are plates rattling!! People should avoid interrupting and talking over the top of each other. There should be structure to the meeting.

Conors Admin Services charges by the audio hour. Speech is always quicker than typing, just like the speed of light is always quicker than the speed of sound. What this means is that one hour of dictation usually takes between three to four hours to type up, if the quality is good, but may take longer if quality is poor. There are ways to reduce your charges though so you get more value for money, and these are covered below.

Speak clearly, (ie try not to have a mouthful of food or to be yawning when you are dictating).Have the recorder near you rather than across the room from you, but by the same token not directly in front of your mouth. If you are dictating outside please be aware that if the wind is blowing into the microphone it makes it hard to hear the recording, so find a sheltered spot. If the types of documents you are dictating have certain standard paragraphs or formats in them, these can be set up on templates. The way this saves time is that you will not have to dictate these same paragraphs over and over and because they are already on your template they will not need to be typed again either. Since you are charged for the amount of time required to type the documents, the less typing there is, the less it costs you. So just as a very short example, if you always have a standard opening to your correspondence, your template could say: Thank you for your letter dated [insert date]. This means you can just dictate, for example, “insert date of 1 January 2017”. We can set up standard paragraphs for you on templates for any of the regular information you use. We can provide you with a list of standard paragraphs (numbered or titled for easy identification), so you simply dictate, for example, “leave in paragraphs 1 and 2, delete paragraphs 3 and 4”.

If you know anyone in the armed forces or have watched any military movies you may have heard some of the “military alphabet” (also known as NATO phonetic alphabet). “What does this have to do with digital transcription?” you may ask. The reason why the military uses this alphabet is to reduce chances of anyone mishearing communications. You can see how this is useful for digital transcription. Here is an example: If you are dictating something like a postcode or a reference number, it can be difficult to pronounce similar-sounding letters clearly enough for a transcriptionist to distinguish them. You might dictate “PS2000” but it might sound like “BS2000” or “BF2000”. Instead of sounding like you are singing “Pop goes the Weasel” to pronounce the “P” clearly or hissing like a snake to pronounce the “S” clearly, all you need to dictate is “Papa, Sierra, 2000”, for easy distinction. In other words, just use the list below to find the word corresponding to the letter you are dictating and say that word instead of the letter. Here is the full military alphabet:

A: Alpha
B. Bravo
C: Charlie
D: Delta
E: Echo
F: Foxtrot
G: Golf
H: Hotel
I: India
J: Juliet
K: Kilo
L: Lima
M: Mike
N: November
O: Oscar
P: Papa
Q: Quebec
R: Romeo
S: Sierra
T: Tango
U: Uniform
V: Victor
W: Whiskey
X: X-ray
Y: Yankee
Z: Zulu

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Digital Dictation Part 2

What Can Digital Transcription Be Used For?

You can use digital transcription for correspondence, reports, or anythiing else that you may need typed up. If you keep your recorder close at hand, you can dictate just about anywhere, even in the car but preferably not while driving.

The quality of digital recordings is much better than the old analoge and has the advantage that it can be sent across the room, town or even around the world any any time of day or night.

What Equipment Do I Need?

You will need to either buy a digital dictaphone or else investigate the options of what  dictation packages you can get for your phone. Most android and Apple phones are capable of supporting this as an option.

Other than that you’ll be good to go.

How To Dictate?

The style you choose is a personal preferrence, meaning you can either dictation all punctuation etc or you can just dictate the way you speak. We’ve been in the game a while and so are happy to insert punctuation as necessary. Due to our excellent English skills as well as the reflections in your voice we’ll know what to do.

Friday, 21 April 2017

What Is Digital Transcription

In simple terms it is the electronic typing of the spoken work, often done remotely. This unfortunately often makes people worry that they won’t be able to do it as it is too technical.

Contrary to this however the process is actually very simple and straightforward.

Once upon a time the secretary would have taken the dictation in the form of shorthand. This then moved on to using analogue cassette records (which a lot of people to this day still use). Well digital transcription is just the same as using the old analogue machines.

Just like we all, well those of us of a certain age anyway, used to use vinyl records and cassette tapes to listen to music, then we moved to CDs and now we use MP3 players or phones/tablets more often than not. This is basically the same evolutionary process as the dictation process has taken.

The disadvantages of the old analogue dictations are many, from the tapes loose quality or become mangled and played back on often and therefore quality deteriorates. If the person transcribing is not close at hand then it needs to be either couriered to them or they need to come and collect it.

With digital dictations the process is actually much easier. Once the recording is finished, the audio file is uploaded onto your PC or laptop via the USB port and it can then be emailed or uploaded to a secure site for the safe arrival at the other end. The documents are then emailed back to you once finished.

The advantages are numerous, starting with the decrease in the amount of paper that is used and the best one is that you can send work at any time of the day or night. Even when you’re travelling and are halfway around the world your transcriptionist can still receive and process your work.