Why U.S.-Based Transcription Matters: The Communication Gap
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Why U.S.-Based Transcription Matters: The Communication Gap

The basic premise of outsourcing is simple: some countries are cheaper for widget production than others. Creating the widget in a country with an average hourly rate of a few pennies is going to maximize profit. Regardless of the political or ethical ramifications, there’s an ever better reason why your transcripts shouldn’t be outsourced overseas: transcripts aren’t widgets.U.S.-based transcriptionists create better transcripts. Transcription requires audio recordings be heard by sharp ears and comprehended by agile minds. In order to convey meaning in text, the transcriptionist relies on his or her native language, itself informed by a lifetime of communicative experience. Just as light refracts differently through any two prisms to produce unique rainbows, audio recordings are understood differently by different people.

If you’ve ever played the telephone game, or misheard the lyrics to a popular song, you know exactly what we’re talking about. One person hears “There’s a bad moon on the rise” while another person hears “There’s a bathroom on the right.” Since these sorts of misunderstandings can happen to native English speakers from time to time, it should come as no surprise that they’re even more likely to occur when non-native speakers attempt to transcribe English audio files. U.S.-based transcriptionists create better transcripts because they possess a lifetime of cultural acumen and contextual awareness. That’s why Verbal Ink exclusively uses U.S.-based transcription for your English language projects.

Widgets can be outsourced in part because they don’t require this awareness. A nine cent washer doesn’t need to reference the intricacies of human communication in order to do its job. Your transcripts are different: if they’re going to be at all useful, they have to be rooted in all of the whimsicalities and idiosyncrasies of our shared language. Ugly Betty and Don Draper, Neil Young vs. Carl Jung, “a stitch in time saves nine” and “a rolling stone gathers no moss” – these are just a few of the reasons to choose U.S.-based transcription.