GeneralWhy Human Transcription Services Are Preferred?

February 29, 2024by admin

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876. Soon, people tried to record and transcribe human speech. The first device to record and replay voice was a Dictaphone. Thomas Edison received its patent in 1897.

At last, Bell Laboratories unveiled the Audrey system in 1952, which could identify spoken digits. Undoubtedly, it was a major development in speech recognition and established the framework for current artificial intelligence (AI) transcription software, such as automated speech recognition (ASR) software.

AI has advanced dramatically in the past decade, transforming industries and streamlining challenging tasks. One procedure that includes the conversion of audio into text is transcription.

However, despite their increased popularity, voice AI-powered transcription technologies sometimes fall short of the skills of human transcribers.

This blog will discuss why human transcriptions remain superior to automated speech-to-text tools, focusing on the subtleties, context, and expertise that only people can bring to this creative endeavor. For simplicity, we will compare human transcription with ASR throughout this blog.

So, without further ado, let’s get started with the basics!

What Is Human Transcription?

The process of turning audio or video information into written text by a qualified transcriber is known as human transcription. After listening to the audio recording, the transcriber types out the words they hear.

For accurate transcriptions, this kind of transcription mostly depends on the knowledge, language skills, and contextual awareness of humans.

Fortunately, expert transcriptionists can translate across many languages, accents, and dialects. They can even add punctuation marks and identify speakers to make the material easier to read.

Human transcription is preferred, especially for audio files that require precise transcription, attention to detail, and an understanding of linguistic nuance.

Human transcriptionists can comprehend the context and identify terms that are challenging to recognize by AI.

Benefits and Challenges of Human Transcription 

Understanding why one approach is preferred over another requires understanding its benefits. However, nothing in the world is perfect! Thus, there are also a few challenges associated with human transcription. This section will discuss both.



Human transcriptionists can comprehend the context and identify terms that an AI tool like ASR could find challenging to recognize.

Transcribing a lengthy audio recording may require several hours or even days. Turnaround times could get longer as a result. A hybrid approach can be used to overcome this challenge.

Human transcriptionists use their contextual understanding to add punctuation, improving the readability of the text.

Human transcription is expensive because it requires more manual labor and time than AI transcription. Again, a hybrid approach can reduce the cost.

Human transcribers have training to comprehend various languages, dialects, and accents.

Depending on the transcriptionist’s viewpoint, there may be minor variations in the transcription. However, this can be avoided when working with knowledgeable specialists.

Human transcriptionists can customize the transcript to match particular formatting or style specifications.

Key Aspects of Human Transcription Services

A skilled human transcriptionist uses human transcribing to translate spoken words from recorded meetings, webinars, podcasts, interviews, and other events or media files into written text. There are several steps involved in transcription by humans:

Step # 1 – Listening

To accurately transcribe the spoken content, the transcriptionist pays close attention to the audio or video recording—perhaps even listening to it more than once.

Step # 2 -Typing

The transcriptionist enters the spoken words into a text document and makes changes as required by the client. The audio information is captured precisely in verbatim transcription, including all words, utterances, and filler words. Word-for-word transcription of a recorded or live event is known as verbatim transcription.

Human transcriptionist uses non-verbatim transcription to create a more polished transcript. This method is also known as clean transcription. It involves capturing the audio’s essential material while excluding superfluous speech segments.

Step # 3 – Attention to Relevance and Context

Transcriptionists employed by professional transcription companies, like Limegreen Media, are proficient in the language and familiar with the terminology used in a particular industry.

These subject-matter experts can decipher spoken content, including accents, dialects, colloquialisms, slang, cultural references, and other subtleties, enhancing contextual accuracy.

Step # 4 – Review, Editing, and Proofreading

Professional transcriptionists check, edit, and proofread the transcripts to guarantee accuracy, fix errors, and enhance readability. It entails checking spelling, looking up strange words, and ensuring correct formatting and punctuation.

Step # 5 – Speaker Identification

When transcribing multi-speaker audio, the transcriptionist will use signals like voice tonality, speech patterns, or speaker labels to identify the speakers and assign the spoken words to the appropriate speaker in the transcript.

Step # 6 – Time Coding and Formatting

The transcriptionist formats the text according to the client’s needs and preferences, including formatting specifications such as margins, font size, and style.

Human transcriptionists use time coding to facilitate effortless reference and navigation. Besides, they produce synchronized transcripts by including time stamps or markers at regular intervals throughout the transcript. It helps show the beginning and ending times of each audio segment.

Step # 7 – Quality Control

The last step is quality control. The transcription is thoroughly examined to guarantee correctness, consistency, and compliance with the client’s requirements.

Why Human Transcription Services Are Preferred Over ASR?

Here, we will present a detailed discussion of factors that make human transcription services a clear WINNER. So, in case you have any confusion, this part of the blog will give you clarity.

Factor # 1 – The Quality of the Audio

As one might anticipate, a machine has its limitations. If your audio has background noise or persons talking over one another, accuracy levels may suffer significantly. Unless you have crystal-clear audio, human or hybrid transcription will give you a better result and eliminate the need to edit and improve the transcript.

There are a few more factors to consider before deciding whether to use ASR or human transcription services for high-quality output.

Factor # 2 – The Hassle to Identify Multiple Speakers

You can skip to factor # 3 if your audio has just one speaker.

Generally, you should identify each speaker individually in your transcript. Otherwise, the text may seem disorganized, and it may be challenging to determine who said what.

Can you imagine having to carefully go through a transcript that you paid for to identify the speakers? No thanks. Use human transcription services because human transcriptionists can correctly identify and name the speakers, saving the hassle of analysis. Human transcription services are also ideal for focus groups or interviews conducted for market research.

Factor # 3 – The Labyrinth of Diverse Dialects

Machines may struggle to understand the diverse range of dialects.

The reason? Many ASR software are trained on a typical American accent. You know, the generalized American accent you might hear on TV, the kind that makes it difficult to pinpoint a speaker’s nativity.

As a result, accuracy for many other dialects and accents might be significantly lower, specifically if participants are speaking rapidly. With human transcription services, you can overcome this issue confidently.

Factor # 4 – Your Requirements Matter

It all depends on you, what you need the transcription for, and if you have the time to make the necessary adjustments to reach the desired final product.

Every syllable will be transcribed if you opt for ASR. And we do mean every syllable of each word. At a glance, this might not seem like a big deal. After all, you are paying for the speech-to-text conversion, RIGHT?

"So, like, I was wondering, you know, like, if, uh, robots, like, dream, and, like, if their dreams are, you know, like, ones and zeros, or, like, something else?"

It is just an example of what a typical ASR output looks like…

Thus, if you are pressed for time, human transcription services can trim out repeats, stutters, and unnecessary words. Although accuracy in ASR services is inconsistent, it is getting better.

Therefore, leveraging human or hybrid transcription services will be your best bet for a clean transcript.

Factor # 5 – The Level of Accuracy

What separates a quality transcript from a poor one is ACCURACY!

Human and hybrid transcription services will produce the most accurate transcript if you require high accuracy. You may be sure that the transcript you receive will be of the highest caliber because most businesses will provide you with a guarantee and proofread it.

ASR is a low-cost solution if you want to make a general sense of what people are talking about. But keep in mind that the accuracy will be average. Besides, it may decrease dramatically if the audio quality is poor, there are several speakers, or the participants have diverse accents.

Bottom Line

Human transcription services are still superior in many aspects, even if AI-powered transcription systems have advanced significantly in recent years. Accents, dialects, and other details that AI may find difficult to detect can all be accurately transcribed from audio or video recordings by human transcriptionists due to their experience, contextual understanding, and linguistic skills.

Furthermore, the transcript can be altered by human transcriptionists to adhere to particular formatting or style guidelines, which facilitates reading and comprehension.

There are certain drawbacks to using human transcription services, like increased expenses and longer turnaround times. However, you can steer clear of these roadblocks with a hybrid approach.

The decision between AI-powered transcription tools and human transcription depends on various factors, including the audio quality, the need to identify many speakers, the variety of dialects, the particular requirements, and the required accuracy level.

Thus, it’s safe to say that for people who need precise, polished, and contextually relevant transcripts, human transcription is the best option.
Lime Green Media

Our multi-cultural teams do not simply “understand” customer needs; they are experts at fulfilling them. With our multi-channel solutions in place, we increase brand recognition and deliver key intelligence to our clients for core decision making.

Lime Green Media

Our multi-cultural teams do not simply “understand” customer needs; they are experts at fulfilling them. With our multi-channel solutions in place, we increase brand recognition and deliver key intelligence to our clients for core decision making.

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