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

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