Christmas is on the way and with it the eternal question: What shall I get for aunty Helen? Or cousin Maisie? I am certainly well on the way of having ideas, albeit not having had the time to buy them yet.
Transcription and Translation… All I want for Christmas is…
But what can you get a transcriptionist or translator? I mean besides a brand-new laptop that is of course…. We all would like one of them of course. No, besides the laptop or computer, there are a few tools that we use alongside just using our hands to type. We use our feet too. We are using a specialist foot pedal, that allows us to play, stop, rewind and forward the audio or video recording that we are working from. This is then cleverly linked to specialist software that we have on our computer, which lets us play around with the files in certain ways. My favourite function is that you can adjust the speed of the audio file that you are recording. That means that if the nice gentleman from the medical conference is suddenly talking as fast as the wind to get all his amazing facts out before his time runs out, then I don’t need to freak out and get my fingers into a knot, I can just set the audio speed to a lesser percentage and keep going in the same pace as before. And breathe. The software also allows us to have a number of handy shortcuts. Now and again we might not understand a word, no matter how hard we try. And although we have specialist knowledge of the subject area we are working in, there might be the name of a medical drug that we just haven’t come across yet and therefore we are not quite sure how to spell it. In this instance we are not guessing, because accuracy is absolute key to our work. We will include a time stamp, telling the exact moment in time of where this word is in the audio or video file, so that the client might go back and correct it. The software enables us to do that with ease at the click of a button, literally.
I am also a translator for English and German translation services. You might be aware that the German language has a few extra letters, such as ä, ö, ü and ß, just to make it that little bit more tricky to learn that language. These don’t appear on an English keyboard. Also the z and the y are swapped around on the keys and some of the commas and full stops are in a different place. Incredibly nature has it that my brain adapts to these different keyboards with ease, just like you can simply switch your computer from one keyboard layout to another. However, I do prefer having an actually separate keyboard for each language I am working in, so the extra one simply gets plugged in when needed, while it usually sleeps in a drawer under my desk at other times.
Last but not least we use headphones. This way we ensure we hear each and every last bit of what we are transcribing and get very close to the action. Sometimes files are being recorded with slightly noisier backgrounds such as in restaurants, which makes it more difficult to understand. We ensure that we are working with our utmost attention, so noise-cancelling headphones are an absolute must. Wireless even more, so your hands are free of tangling cables.
So while you are writing your list of beautiful things to give to your loved ones, I will be asking Aunty Helen for that pair of fancy headphones this Christmas. I will get her something nice as well. Well, you never know!
Translation Services, Transcription Services, Captioning Services and Subtitling Services
Here at Transcription City, we offer expert translation services, transcription services, closed captioning services, open captioning service and subtitling services. For more information contact us via telephone or email and we can help. We are open over the Christmas and New Year period to take the stress out of working over the holidays.
For more information about the German language visit this useful website.