FAQ

How quickly will I receive my transcripts?

We provide high quality, affordable transcription services with your deadline in mind. We offer standard (3-5 business days), rush (2 business days), next day, and same day service, all of which are priced very reasonably. With our large team of expert transcriptionists, we can typically meet almost any deadline without any problems at all. Completed transcripts are emailed to you as Microsoft Word documents.

 

What types of audio recordings can you transcribe?

Verbal Ink can transcribe almost any audio format. While most transcription services only handle digital files, we can transcribe videotapes, microcassettes, cassette tapes, DVDs, or nearly anything else. In some cases, we may have to convert your audio into a digital format before we transcribe it. For this reason, we highly recommend digital files – they’ll save you time, save you money, and result in quicker turnaround.

 

Why are digital recordings so great?

Digital recordings are crisper and cleaner than tapes and microcassettes. They also save you both time and money by essentially eliminating the need for physical tapes, storage space, and shipping. All of your files can be stored and catalogued electronically and uploaded to Verbal Ink for transcription almost instantaneously.

 

How can I get the best audio recording possible?

You can help us provide you with affordable, accurate transcripts by sending us clear audio recordings. We’ve written a guide to the best practices for audio recording and audio transcription;here are some of the most important points:

  1. Record your audio in a quiet place. Background music, silverware, street noise, air conditioners, and ice makers can make transcription more challenging.
  2. Use an external microphone to capture voices more clearly.
  3. If possible, if you have several people speaking in your audio, have them introduce themselves by name.

What makes Verbal Ink different from other transcription services?

We bet that there aren’t too many other transcription companies that have barbecues, play charades, and put on their own version of TED talks! Beyond our office culture, there are several things that set us apart. We pay a living wage, our transcriptionists for all English language projects are 100% U.S. based, and we support various initiatives that allow us to “give back” to others. If you’d like, you can read more about our philosophy, or visit Verbal Ink’s Facebook page to follow our office hijinks.

 

What are time stamps and time code?

Time stamps and time code are both used to easily link the content of your written transcript to the particular moments of your audio or video file. Time stamps are used for audio files;as each minute of the recording passes, the transcriptionist types that minute as its own line within the written transcript. The frequency of the time stamps is up to you – most of our clients have them added either at every minute or at every five minutes.

Time code is used for video files;a sequence of numbers representing the hour, minute, second, and video frame (00:00:00:00) is superimposed on top of the original video. The transcriptionist then types this number sequence into your transcript at every minute, every thirty seconds, or in some cases, even every line. Generally speaking, if you don’t work with video files, you’ll never need to use time code – but don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Account Executives if you have any questions.

 

How do your prices compare to other transcription services?

Verbal Ink sets the standard for reliable – and accurate – transcription. We bill by audio minute, so you’ll never be surprised when you get your final bill. When you upload your recording, you’ll receive an estimate by email. Should that estimate need to be adjusted, your dedicated Account Executive will call you to confirm the change before the adjustment is made. We’ve even provided a transcription rates calculator to help remove the guesswork for you!

 

Why charge per audio minute?

Charging a flat transcription rate for each recorded minute of audio minimizes the confusion of page counts, hours worked, and so forth. As a customer, you may not have a sense of how many pages your final transcript might be, or how long it might take our transcriptionists to create that transcript. But in nearly all cases, you know exactly how long your audio or video file is.

 

How accurate are your transcriptions?

We guarantee a 98% or higher rate of accuracy with good audio;typically our accuracy is closer to 99+%. We only hire the best transcriptionists, and we make sure to match them to your specific project. In other words, if your recording is in English, it will be transcribed by a U.S. resident. For foreign language transcription, we’ll pair your project with a transcriptionist – either in the U.S. or the country where that language is spoken – that can best capture the meaning of what’s being said. By using native speakers, we’re able to guarantee fantastic quality.

 

How do I get my material to you?

From London to New York, LA to Paris, our clients span the globe. For digital files (MP3s, .wav files, etc), simply sign up as a new client, then upload your file. If you have physical audio recordings like cassette tapes, you can mail them to us.

 

Where do I mail physical audio recordings?

Please send all physical audio recordings directly to us at:

Verbal Ink
11835 W. Olympic Boulevard
Suite 1020E
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Is there any sort of form or paperwork I need to submit with my electronic or physical audio sources?

If your files are digital, simply log into your account and upload everything directly to us. If you are submitting physical audio, you can print a submission form from within your account.

 

How do I know you’ll keep my files confidential?

We take great measures to ensure the highest degree of client confidentiality. Many transcription services claim that they will keep your material confidential by simply signing off on a standard non-disclosure agreement. This is the minimum requirement and only the first step to ensure your privacy. Verbal Ink has strict confidentiality procedures to guarantee that your information will remain private, including confidentiality agreements, background checks, and other technical safeguards.

 

How often will I be billed?

We can bill you for our transcription services after the completion of each project, or keep a running invoice for you and bill at the end of each month. You may pay either by credit card or check, but we do require a valid credit card on file for all clients.

 

Can you handle a large project? Like, really large?

Verbal Ink has been in business for many years and we only hire the best transcriptionists. We are confident that we can accurately transcribe virtually any project for you. If you have a high volume project or specific needs, just give us a call or send us an email.

 

Should I send you my original recordings?

We immediately make digital copies of the physical audio recordings that we receive. It is advisable to make a copy of your master tapes just to protect yourself from the slim chance that tapes may be damaged in shipping, etc. If you are not able to make copies or do not want to, rest assured that we treat your masters with the greatest of care.

 

Do real people transcribe my audio?

They sure do. Believe it or not, the robots haven’t taken over yet – voice recognition technology is still a long ways away from being as accurate as our team of transcriptionists. In fact, we’ve written a great article about the foibles of voice recognition software here. All Verbal Ink transcriptionists are 100% human, and they love it when they receive well-recorded audio files.

 

How do you determine the cost of a translation project?

It depends on whether we’re providing document translation or audio translation. For document translation, we charge on a per-word basis. For audio translation, your cost is based on the number of minutes in your audio or video recording.

 

Can you provide an estimated cost for my translation project?

Absolutely! For audio translation, we’ll need to know how long your audio or video recording is, as we charge on a per-minute basis. We can provide an estimated cost for document translation based on the document’s word count.

 

What is the difference between audio transcription and audio translation?

When we transcribe a file, we type what is being spoken in the same words and same language as the audio file. When we translate a file, we convert the words being spoken in your files into text in another language. We’ve written a longer essay about the difference between these two services that you may enjoy reading.

 

Do you have a minimum size for translation projects?

No – we will accept on projects of any size. Call us at (877) 9-VERBAL with the details of your project and one of our team members will give you an estimated price and turnaround time.

 

Who works on my translation projects?

All of our translations are completed by translators who have demonstrated native level fluency in English and a second language. Our translator testing process measures each translator’s proficiency with text translation, audio transcription, audio translation, and technical terminology. Depending on the specific languages and content of your project, your translator will either be based in the United States or in the most appropriate country for the source language.

 

How do you ensure quality?

Verbal Ink’s language specialists audit each translated document to ensure the quality and accuracy of the translation. We also have several bilingual Account Executives who oversee your projects from start to finish.

 

Are your translations computer generated?

Never. Verbal Ink believes that humans are superior to machines when it comes to capturing the nuances of language. We do not use translation software during any stage of our translation process.

 

What languages do you work with?

We currently offer translation between English and each of the following languages:

  • Arabic
  • Cantonese
  • Dutch
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Persian
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish

 

What’s a source language? What’s a target language?

The source language is the language that your original document or audio recording is in. The target language is the language that you’d like your final translated document to be in. Let’s say that you have a German audio recording and you’d like an English transcript of it. The source language is German;the target language is English.

 

Do you work with regional dialects?

Yes. We strive to hire translators from diverse backgrounds so we can accommodate requests for regional dialects such as Belgian Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, and Québécois French.

 

How long will it take for you to complete my translation project?

Translation project turnaround times depend on the length of the document or recording and the complexity of the language in the document. In general, most translation projects can be completed in five business days. Larger or more technically complex projects may take significantly longer – we’ll review your project with you and with our language specialists to make sure that you know exactly when to expect the final documents.

 

Do I have to pay for transcription if I only need translation of my audio files?

Nope. If you do not need a transcript in the source language, we can translate from the audio file to produce a transcript in the target language. This can be a little confusing;here are a couple of examples to help clarify things:

John has a French audio recording. He would like us to create an English transcript of that recording. John pays for translation, but does not need to pay anything additional for transcription.

Mary also has a French audio recording. She would like for us to create a French transcript of the recording;she would also like an English transcript of the recording. Mary needs to pay for transcription (for the French to French transcript). Mary also needs to pay for translation (for the French to English transcript).

Philip has our third and final French audio recording. He only wants a French transcript of the recording, and doesn’t give a moldy baguette’s worth of thought to an English transcript. Philip pays for transcription but does not need to pay for translation.

Get Started Now—Call (877) 9-VERBAL