Say It Right Series

Tips for making transcripts

Posted by xiaophil February 2, 2010 in the Group Transcripts with Tal.

Tags: transcript advice, transcript technique

Okay, as promised, I'm letting y'all know how I made my transcript.  Please feel free to make suggestions, offer critiques and/or point out alternatives. 


I use a free audio editing program called Audacity.  I prefer it over normal media players for the following reasons:

  1. I can easily mark a place in the audio file and go back to it if need be.  I hate always adjusting the starting point only to discover that I have gone backwards too far or not far enough. 
  2. Since I can see the wave form, it is easier to predict where to move to when looking for a specific part.
  3. I can alter the tempo to a snail's pace, which is helpful if a particular word has been spoken too fast or is one I am unfamiliar with.  Note: when using this capability I only use the preview function as I don't want to alter the actual file.


I use the online word processing program at  Here are the benefits of it:

  1. Unlike offline programs, after the transcription is done, I can easily convert the file into an Internet link that everyone can view, and unlike some other online services, it hasn't been blocked yet (knock on wood).
  2. I can continue to use my Perapera-kun Firefox pop up translator.  I find this essential when Jenny says a word I'm unfamiliar with and I want to make sure the word I chose makes sense.


Positioning is important.  I resize both Audacity and Firefox and then place them one on top of the other as shown below.

transcript screen shot

It's a bit tight on my dinky computer, but I find it is worth it as toggling between the two programs is infinitely easier.

Well, I reckon that's about it.

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