Common Mistakes of Transcriptionists

female transcriptionist typing

Transcribing audio and video takes a lot of hard work, effort, and precision. But of course, there are mistakes that are continuously being committed by many. These mistakes, whether big or small, can definitely affect your performance and your output as a transcriptionist. And if you are finishing a simple transcribing project for work or research, you need to be aware of these possible errors and avoid them as much as you can.

Here are some of the common mistakes being made by transcriptionists:

Not using proper equipment

The most common and ultimately the most foolish mistake by a transcriptionist is perhaps not using the proper equipment. Transcriptionists rely on hearing and even seeing the movement of the speakers’ mouths to better comprehend whatever is being said. If you do not have great and fully-functioning headsets, speakers, or computers, then you will more likely than not come up with a pretty inaccurate transcript. Get the proper gear and make sure you are ready to transcribe a new recording.

Not proofreading

Of course, no matter what kind of transcription it is, proofreading is a must. You should not feel all too contented or satisfied just because you took only two minutes to transcribe the video or audio, or because the topic is one you are truly familiar with. Especially when you utilize free transcription services, you should definitely do basic and extensive proofing to make sure your transcripts are as error-free as possible. One last checking and proofreading will save you from little errors and typographical mistakes you might have missed in the first place. 

Not getting the proper information

Transcriptionists who do not get the proper information or relevant references are only setting themselves up for trouble. Wrong names of people, places, event titles, research titles, and a lot more cannot only look bad in the eyes of the client but can also lead to the distribution of false data. This is especially crucial when it comes to transcriptions of interviews, focus groups, informative podcasts, debates, seminars, conferences, and more. This is also essential in transcriptions where detailed descriptions about the speakers are necessary. So before you start transcribing, make sure you have all the information needed and that they are accurate. 

Using autocorrect

Autocorrect, on the contrary, does not always come up with the correct word. Though it picks up simple misspelled words, a lot of the time, the autocorrect function can mess up transcriptions by replacing some errors with frequently-used words that are not contextually appropriate. To be on the safe side, you better turn off the autocorrect function on the program or software you’re using and save the extra labor.

Having unrealistic deadlines

Setting unrealistic deadlines is also a common mistake among transcriptionists. Yes, you want to churn out transcriptions at an impressively fast rate, and you might even considering using automated or free transcription services for quicker turnarounds, but you also do not want to disappoint customers by presenting inaccurate and underwhelming outputs. This could ruin your career as a transcriptionist. Instead, set appropriate deadlines so you have enough time to work on the rest of your projects – or let your clients know that they will get their hands on quality audio transcriptions in time.


Do not fall prey to these common mistakes and make sure you are a smart and efficient transcriptionist!