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Amazing and Fun Facts about Transcription

Daniel Chang
Daniel Chang
Posted in Zoom Sep 5 · 7 Sep, 2022
Amazing and Fun Facts about Transcription

Transcription is an age-old process that was essential in record-keeping and preservation of literature. Since then, it has evolved into a service that’s made for various industries around the world. Today, no matter what industry you’re in, as long as you have customers and clients—and you produce audio and visual content—you’ll need transcriptions.  

Transcriptions have evolved greatly through the years. From something that was only widely used in courtrooms and the medical industry, transcription has become an essential service in today’s competitive business environment. Brands and companies who are looking to improve their content strategy and grow their audience are all using transcription services. 

So, if your company isn’t transcribing yet, you’re actually missing a lot of amazing opportunities. In this article, we’re going to dig a little deeper and know more fun things about transcriptions. The following are some of the most amazing facts about transcriptions:

History and Word Origin of Transcription

  • Transcription was one of the oldest forms of documentation. The first-ever transcriptions were found in 3400 BCE in Egypt.
  • It was believed that the first-ever transcriptionists were found in Egypt. Transcriptionists in Egypt were known as scribes. They were exempted from physical labor and taxation. Scribes wrote on tablets or wall and was an important part of the administration of the king. 
  • The printing press was invented in 1429 and started the decline of the need for scribes. Texts were mass-produced. By the 17th century, scribes were simply used to write manuscripts and different types of literature. 
  • The first use of the word “transcription” in English was in 1598 by John Florio in his Italian-English dictionary. 
  • The first typewriter was invented by Christopher Latham Sholes in 1867. He was an American. 
  • In 1910, 81% of typing employees were comprised of women. This is also due to the fact that the first mass-produced typewriter was sold on sewing machine platforms.  
  • The word ‘transcriber’ refers to a machine that transcribes an audio or video file into text. If a person transcribes and does the transcription process, that person is called a ‘transcriptionist’.
  • International Translation Day is held every September 30th. It’s also a feast for St. Jerome, a renowned translator from Christian history. He translated the Old Testament from Hebrew to Latin. 
  • In 1998, typists only use two fingers to type on a computer. Back then, typing 40 words per minute was considered fast. 
  • In 2018, typing 120 words per minute is considered fast. While 50-60 words per minute were the average typing speed. 
  • Modern transcriptions were used to be made for people with limited hearing or for individuals with hearing impairments so they can watch video content with ease.  

Fun Facts about Transcriptions and Typing

  • 1 hour of audio file or interview takes around 4-6 hours to transcribe. 
  • A person can speak around 150-170 words per minute—and an average of around 10,000 words per hour. A person speaks 7 times faster than he writes. 
  • A professional transcriptionist can type between 80 to 100 words per minute.
  • The most translated languages in transcriptions are English, French, German, Italian, and Russian. 
  • Understanding unfamiliar words and technical jargon is one of the time-consuming parts of the work of a transcriptionist. 
  • The fastest typing speed on record was done by Stella Pajunas in 1946. She continuously typed at a speed of 216 words per minute for 50 minutes. 
  • The record for the fastest hands-free typing speed was done by Hank Toress in 2011. He used facial-motion capture technology to type 25 words in 83 seconds. 
  • 56% of typing is done by the left hand. 
  • People who learned to type at a young age will have a two times faster rate of learning touch typing than older adults. 
  • Studies have found that girls are more interested in typing than boys. 

Interesting Facts about Transcription, Videos, and Speech Recognition

  • Video transcription is a strategy used to improve SEO as a video with text increases the engagement of the online audience. 
  • Web pages with video transcripts rank higher than web pages that don’t have transcripts. 
  • Companies are investing in online video captions to reach more audiences in foreign markets. 
  • Social videos generate 1200% more shares than text and images. 
  • 85% of videos on Facebook are watched without sound.
  • The speech recognition industry is expected to triple by 2022—from $4 billion USD to $12 billion USD.
  • Microsoft has announced that they will soon transcribe video files automatically for Office 365. 
  • Transcripts are useful for researchers. They can search phrases or lyrics and your video can be found if they contain the keywords. 

Why Do You Need Transcriptions?

There are many reasons why someone may need transcription. Today, most modern transcriptions are done for podcasts. Podcast content is often transcribed and turned into blog posts by the oners. 

Transcription is also important in many professional industries such as the legal and medical fields. Transcriptions help professionals in the mentioned industries communicate with each other by sharing resources that were recorded during court sessions, meetings, or conventions. 

So, Why are Transcriptions Important? 

Transcription is important in capturing speech from video or audio files. The content can be used by people to find information or to use as a resource.  Companies use transcripts and repurpose them into reports, blog posts, or emails for various lead generation activities. Transcription can also improve your website’s SEO by helping embed your videos and enabling search engine spiders to rank your content. At the end of the day, successful marketing is heavily reliant on quality content. Google loves transcriptions because they make content more digestible with plenty of relevant keywords. 

Another reason why transcribing is so important is because it leads to more content for repurposing. Transcribed content can be turned into blogs, social media content, or even downloadable content for your consumers. Furthermore, recordings and transcriptions of academic and scientific material can be published and distributed to educate students.  

Should You Transcribe Yourself or Hire Someone?

At the end of the day, the choice to hire someone or transcribe yourself depends on a lot of factors including time, money, and quality. If you have the skill, and the time to spare—doing it yourself might be a good decision. However, if you’re in a rush and don’t have the skill to properly transcribe, hiring a professional to do it for you is the wisest choice.