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Professional Video Transcription and the Skills Involved

professional video transcription

At Capital Captions, we provide professional video transcription services for a broad range of sectors and clients across the globe. Contrary to what those outside of the subtitling and transcription industry might think, transcription is tough. The skills involved in professional video transcription are countless.

About Working in Professional Video Transcription

For many, the thought of working in online video transcription conjures up almost amusingly unrealistic ideas. You’d be able to wake up whatever time you like and spend more time on your hobbies whilst still squeezing in a little work. Other assumptions are that audio typing is somehow incredibly simple with little to no skills, qualifications or experience required.

But any freelance transcriptionist with any amount of experience in the industry knows transcription is tough. It takes time, skill, experience and real, solid hard work. This blog looks closely at the skills involved in professional video transcription and why better transcriptionists write better transcripts.

Transcription Software and Hardware

Professional transcriptionists use both transcription pedals and specialist software to write video transcripts. At Capital Captions, our transcriptionists use Express Scribe with transcription pedals. Using pedals to control playing and pausing video and audio is great for speeding up the typing process by keeping your hands free for typing.

Using the correct transcription software is also important because programmes such as Express Scribe are very sensitive in terms of the pause function. This helps to ensure there are no gaps between pause and play, where words can be missed.

Subtitling, Video Editing and Other Software

Alongside transcription software, it’s  important to have access and knowledge of a wide range of other technology as and when needed.

Transcription and subtitling work is highly varied in nature and transcriptionists need to be flexible in terms of their capabilities. This means using file conversion software to work with numerous different types of video and audio files. It also means possessing video editing software to clean up sound if needed and subtitling software for closed captioning work.

As with any freelance online work, there is a requirement to be flexible and adaptable in working with new software and challenging tasks in your field. Professional typists will need to download and learn new software frequently, on an ad hoc basis.

Sound Quality and Accents

Having a good ear to work with both strong accents and poor quality audio is an absolute must for anyone looking to pursue a career in video transcription. Quality of work builds a good online reputation, which leads to more job offers, which leads to more experience and therefore further transcript quality improvement.

Most audio and video files are recorded without microphones and professional recording equipment. For freelancers turning down work with strong foreign or regional accents or poor sound quality, it may be difficult to build up a good reputation and working relationships in the industry.

Subject knowledge

Professional video transcription projects, especially financial or medical transcription, can involve a lot of technical terms and jargon.

Professional transcriptionists need experience and knowledge within a given field to understand what is said, in order to structure their writing correctly. Knowledge is also important for correct spellings, technical terms, and even formatting of documents, especially for dictation.

Literacy levels

Speech is comprised of a lot of repetition, overly long sentences, double negatives, misnomers and general babble. When it comes to audio or video transcription (unless verbatim) transcripts should be edited, well written and structured to the highest standard of English.

Good professional transcriptionists should have an excellent grasp of the English language. They should possess advanced levels of fluency in the transcription language, with perfect grammar, spelling and  use of punctuation.


With all the software, experience and hard work in the world, poor broadband speeds can effectively slow a budding transcriptionist’s career.

Video transcription especially involves the upload and download of large files via different sources. Often urgent transcriptions require tight deadlines of under 24 hours. Consequently, meeting deadlines is crucial for building client relationships and trust. In the freelance world, time is money and an excellent broadband speed is an investment well worth every penny.

Feel free to browse the site for more information on working with Capital Captions as a video transcriptionist, or get a free online quote today for your video transcription projects.

Subtitle Services

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Closed Captions

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  • Caption Regulations
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Translation Services

  • Foreign Subtitles
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  • French Translation
  • Captions and Formatting
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About us

At Capital Captions, we take pride in our flexible, tailor-made approach to subtitling, closed captioning, video translation and video transcription services. We offer professional, reliable, cost effective services to clients across the globe.

  • Walsham Road, Kent, United Kingdom ME5 9HX
  • +44 (0) 1634 867 131
  • infocaptions

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