1. The word transcription – defined by the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary as “the act or process of making a written, printed, or typed copy of words that have been spoken” – has been in common use since the 17th Century (first known use was in 1598). It probably originated from the Latin word transcribere  (trans- ‘across’ + scribere ‘write’).

2. Did you know that normally we speak at a rate of 150 to 170 words per minute? That’s on average 10,000 words an hour!

3. A professional transcriber can type between 80 and 100 words per minute. However, based on a clear audio, a 1 hour interview takes between 4 and 6 hours to transcribe.Interview Transcription Hardware

4. Not so long ago (in fact when I started transcribing I used one of these dinosaurs), transcibers used cassette tape transcription machines to transcribe interviews and audio recordings. These relics were used to transcribe interviews recorded on “huge” analogue cassette tapes that at most had 90 minutes worth of audio material. BTW: I once owned a Walkman (I was so cool)…the good old days.

5. “Modern” transcription software allows transcribers to transcribe interviews into a word processor without having to switch back and forth and control audio play with a set of keyboard hotkeys or a foot pedal.

5 + 1. The use of the word “transcription” has quadrupled since the 1960s.

Looking for research interview transcription services? Get a no-obligation quote within one (1) working hour or we’ll give you a $10 amazon gift card.

P.s Did you (or do you) own a Walkman?

5 thoughts on “Interview Transcription: 5 interesting facts

  1. Mary

    No, never owned a walkman.
    I enjoy reading your blog…

    1. Isaac Post author

      I’m not surprised, they are archaic.

  2. Kim

    Got here while searching for gene transcription lol!

    1. Isaac Post author

      5+1 and thanks to Roger David Kornberg, we now have a very good understanding of gene transcription. BTW he won the Noble price in 2006 for this work.

  3. Tom Clark

    Thank you for sharing this blog with us.
    And, no i never owned a Walkman.

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