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What Is Voice Transcription and How Does It Work?

What Is Voice Transcription and How Does It Work?
  • On June 22, 2021

Voice transcription is a process of converting speech to text. This can be either for work purposes or just for fun. Using voice transcription can happen in a wide range of scenarios from video making to dictating out papers and essays, even working within the live-sphere for conferencing and in social settings using a smartphone app to help hard of hearing people participate in conversations.

The Difference Between Voice and Speech

Voice transcription is a popular and effective form of automating the process of transcribing speech into text. The word “voice” is used rather than “speech” because the services that provide voice transcription are based on natural language processing using AI to understand the differences in tonality, leading to more accurate transcriptions, including a level of punctuation.

Voice transcription can also work with speech that is difficult to understand due to background noise, pronunciation difficulties, accents, or dialects (a variation in language based on geographic location, ethnicity, or social grouping).

Dialect Difficulties

Where voice transcription can sometimes fall down is in the understanding of particular colloquialisms, such as the Northern English word “nowt” meaning ‘nothing’, or Cornish words such as ‘hubbadillia’, meaning ‘a loud raucous party’.

Dialects often cross national borders or ethnic lines. Outside of academia, vernaculars are broadly referred to as dialects and share words and grammar not standard in the speaker’s main genres of speech. Dialects include patois, Appalachian English, New Yorker English, Geordie, slang, and other forms of colloquial changes to languages.

Why Is Transcribing Important?

One of the most common questions people ask regarding voice transcription is whether it’s worthwhile using it. In many instances, the answer to this question is a resounding yes.

Here are a few reasons why:

  • For remote working – By transcribing conversations or meeting notes, employees can access them at any time and easily translate them into another language such as French, Spanish, German or Italian, etc.
  • For quick information gathering – Voice transcription can help in obtaining information from others by automated translation. For example, voice transcription can help law enforcement obtain evidence in investigations or court proceedings, especially via recorded interviews with witnesses.
  • For notetaking – It can be used as a form of dictation when creating content and documents. For example, voice transcription can be used in the medical field to obtain data that can then be utilized in diagnostic reports.
  • For translation – To translate audio files into text files ready for translation by machine or humans.
  • For transcription services – To supply media resources to consumers for use in videos, etc.
  • For speech recognition – To get a speech-to-text transcript and turn it into a file or document for a multitude of uses.

Why Is Speech to Text So Hard?

Voice transcription has come a long way, thanks to innovations in natural language processing and machine learning. However, voice transcription is still a difficult task for computers and machines.

One of the primary issues is that speech recognition software still struggles to identify certain words, especially when many words have multiple possible pronunciations, complicating the process. However, with the right software on hand that has accuracy at the forefront, these problems can be overcome.