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October 18, 2021By legaltranslationsGeneral

What is a Transcription Error?

It’s rare that every participant would remember the precise details of a business meeting so a transcript is made while the meeting is in progress which means there is a detailed written account of the meeting available to all those participants to view when they wish. As well as business meeting transcriptions legal transcripts are commonplace too particularly for legal interviews.

With these two examples of the use of transcripts, it’s important that the transcripts are of high quality and error-free. For some reason, transcription errors do take place which could be due to insufficient understanding of the conversations recorded by the transcriber or the limitations of the software used for the job.

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Transcription errors explained

Each day, large amounts of information are transcribed by transcribers and it is often important for them to work at a fast rate which means mistakes invariably take place. In a few cases, the incorrect letters are imputed. For example, writing Jul instead of July. The transcript’s accuracy can be determined by measuring the rate at which transcription errors take place. The total number of deletions, substitutions, and insertions divided by the total number of the words gives the transcript’s accuracy.

What are the differences between transcription errors made by humans and those made by machines?

Computers are unable to comprehend language to the same extent as humans. So when given a task the computer will match up whatever input it has received with what is available in the existing database. When new pieces of information are encountered the computer will be unable to interpret them correctly. Also machines often incorrectly read unusual and untidy handwriting. Humans work entirely differently as they are able to quickly put text into the right context. However, they have a greater tendency to mistype. Therefore human-created transcription errors tend to consist of misspelled words and even at times absent characters. Overall, machines are most likely to misunderstand input while humans are most likely to input data incorrectly.

What happens when transcription errors take place?

Sometimes the odd transcription error simply doesn’t matter but at times like in the medical field, transcription errors could spell disaster. Basically, when humans make transcription errors it is usually a result of carelessness, the slip of the finger, and failure to read or hear the source material. But sometimes it occurs because the human misunderstands the material because of a lack of familiarity with the subject matter. Even though humans are the main cause of transcription errors this doesn’t mean machines aren’t responsible for some transcription errors. With OCR transcription the software will attempt to scan the text document and then convert it to a digital format. If this software can’t correctly identify certain characters a transcription error may take place. Poor hand-writing crumpled-up paper, poor lighting, and even stains may cause errors.

How to decrease the occurrence of transcription errors?

To stop transcription errors from taking place a good process for quality control is important. Just implementing some spell-checking software could reduce greatly transcription errors taking place. Another method employed often is called double data entries which can be used if many people are involved in transcribing the same material and they can then compare their transcriptions so that any errors should be caught.

With errors that involve numerical data, double data entries work very well. However, because double data entries require at least two separate transcribers, it is more expensive to use. For the individual or smaller organization, these extra costs might be too much so high-quality software should be used instead.

With the right transcription service, you can greatly reduce them

In the first place if you get the right professional transcription service this will result in fewer transcription errors being made which in the end reduces the workload.

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