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cityscape-350“At first, Tigerfish was a one person operation: I picked up cassette tapes and delivered printed transcripts by bicycle…”
Founder Adam Goldberg on the origins of Tigerfish.

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Tigerfish Blog: what you should know, and more

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Transcription Questions and Answers from Tigerfish Transcribing:

  How do you make captions for live television?   Real-time Captioning Whether making captions for pre-recorded video or a […]

 

How do you make captions for live television?

 

Real-time Captioning

Whether making captions for pre-recorded video or a live event, high quality transcription services are needed.  In order to make captions you need skilled transcribers — whether they are stenographers producing a transcript in real time, or transcriptionists providing a fully edited transcript.

 

Real-time captioning (also called online or live captioning) gives viewers access to live news and other time-sensitive programming on television.  Using the skills of speech-to-text reporters, trained to type between 180 and 225 words per minute using stenographic machines, captions become visible within seconds.  However employing stenography for live captioning results in multiple errors and typos, as you’ve no doubt observed if you’ve watched a captioned live television show.  If you require high quality edited transcripts there’s no match for transcription using a traditional keyboard.

 

For pre-recorded programming, transcripts are made, usually by a dedicated transcription service, then edited and formatted according to the needs of the producers.  Transcripts are time-coded, and the captions can then be created and positioned before airing or streaming.

 

When programs contain a mixture of live and prepared content, an edited transcript is often made ahead of time for the pre-recorded portions, and stenographers create an up-to-the-minute transcript for the live portions. Then captions are created using both of these.

 

Jason Avery

 

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Book Report: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!

  A series of posts on transcription related books, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, a transcription service providing video […]

 

A series of posts on transcription related books, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, a transcription service providing video transcription, audio transcription, general transcription, as well as legal transcription, medical transcription, corporate transcription, and more.

 

The Real Sound of Fake Language, Part 2

 

In the last post I was telling the story of Richard Feynman speaking fake Italian to real Italians. He loved the sound.  Not knowing the language, he ‘spoke’ just the sound. And this story, as written, is a wonderful example of how a text transcript can capture some of the feeling of the sound of language.  For many uses of transcripts this is not important:  we just need to know the words.  But it’s nice to see the possibilities of this kind of verbatim transcription.  The story comes alive in the transcript, because of the way the transcriber (Ralph Leighton) used capital letters to convey intonation and accented syllables.

 

Here’s a quote:

 

“There was an Italian radio station in Brooklyn, and as a boy I used to listen to it all the time.  I LOVed the ROLLing SOUNds going over me, as if I was in the ocean and the waves weren’t very high.  I used to sit there and have the water come over me, in this BEAUtiful iTALian.”

 

There are always choices to be made about how to transcribe spoken language–verbatim, or edited, whether to include information about other sounds, or about the way things are said.  In most business transcription, there is no notation of tone of voice or accent, but for storytelling such as this, transcripts for video and film, and in linguistics transcription, transcriptionists can indicate more about the ‘SOUNd’ of the talking, as well as the verbal content.

 

Ciao!

 

Ellen Park

 

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Book Report: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

Book Report:  “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!” A series of posts on transcription related books, brought to you by Tigerfish […]

Book Report:  “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”

A series of posts on transcription related books, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, a transcription service providing video transcription, audio transcription, general transcription, as well as legal transcription, medical transcription, corporate transcription, and more.

 

The Real Sound of Fake Language

 

Just another note about the physicist Richard Feynman and transcription.  I was reading some of the stories in “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”  Adventures of a Curious Character, a book of transcripts of anecdotes Feynman told about his life and various kinds of mischief he got into.  The stories were told to Ralph Leighton, the transcriber, while he and Feynman played the drums together, and then transcribed on a typewriter.

 

In one story Feynman talks about loving the sound of Italian, and spontaneously speaking fake Italian back to people who call to him in Italian!  Nobody seems to notice or mind that the words aren’t real–it sounded like Italian, and that seemed to be enough!  It’s a funny tale.  And the transcript highlights the spoken nature of the story and conveys the way it was told, by using capital letters to emphasize syllables.  This simple device captures the rolling sound of the fake Italian beautifully. Just by reading, you can hear in your mind the enthusiasm of Feynman for the sounds, and easily imagine him telling it aloud.

 

Ellen Park

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Back in the Day: A look at transcription technology through the ages

  What makes shorthand short? Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, for all your transcription needs: video to text, audio […]

 

What makes shorthand short?

Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, for all your transcription needs: video to text, audio to text, rush transcription service, conference call transcription, verbatim transcription, edited-for-clarity transcription.

 

Making sense physically and conceptually

 

One way shorthand speeds writing is by minimizing and smoothing the physical movements required.  The simple strokes are designed to flow into one another, so no time is wasted in transitions.  They are even ‘blended’ into single strokes representing strings of sound.  (For a good description of Gregg shorthand, read Dennis Hollier’s article in The Atlantic.)

 

Common words are abbreviated, often to a single letter.  Much of spoken English is made up of repeated common words, so this saves a lot of time.  Stenographers may use idiosyncratic abbreviations, or rely on context and memory to know exactly what they wrote–that’s why shorthand transcriptions then need to be transcribed (usually by the same person) into longhand, so meaning is not lost.

 

‘Phrasing’ is the blending of these abbreviated words into common phrases, so a few strokes come to represent a several-word sentence.  Think about all the little phrases that get repeated in a courtroom situation, for example. (BTW, it works a little like texting abbreviations.)

Screenshot 2015-05-22 11.59.11

glass of milk, pint of milk, atom bomb, opened the door, closed the door, main line, flight of stairs, half a block, about a block

 

Image from Gregg Shorthand website

 

Carmen Perry

 

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Back in the Day: A look at transcription technology through the age

  What is shorthand?   Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, leader in general transcription services, including academic transcription, research […]

 

What is shorthand?

 

Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, leader in general transcription services, including academic transcription, research transcription, video transcription, financial transcription, legal transcription, corporate transcription, and more.

If you’re like me, as a child you wondered, “What is shorthand?  And if there’s shorthand, why is there longhand?”  I couldn’t understand why, if there is a system of writing that is so much faster and shorter, we didn’t just use that one.  I also couldn’t imagine how the loose-looking squiggles, loops,  and sloped lines that made up shorthand could refer to words and sentences.  Well, now that I’m in the transcribing business, I know a little something which I will share with fellow-wonderers.

 

What is shorthand ?

 

According to reporter Dennis Hollier, shorthand “is a way of compressing language. You are the machine that does the encoding and decoding. And your brain can do it in real time at very, very high speeds.”  It allows practitioners to write more than twice as fast as they can in longhand– up to the record-breaking 280 wpm!

The most popular systems of shorthand were used for about a hundred years following their invention in the mid-19th century.  Shorthand was a primary method of transcription from dictation and discourse.  Every secretary used it, for medical transcription, business transcription, legal transcription.  As keyboard transcription became faster and more portable, handwritten shorthand has become less favored, but some people still rely on it.  (See Dennis Hollier’s article on using shorthand with a smart pen!)

 

Carmen Perry

 

Sources:

 

http://www.galleryofshorthand.org/history.html

www.alysion.org

How to Write 225 Words Per Minute With a Pen

Dennis Hollier Jun 24 2014 theatlantic.com
Screenshot 2015-05-20 13.45.10

http://gregg.angelfishy.net/indexgrg.shtml   (image)

 

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Back in the Day:  A look at transcription technology through the ages

How does shorthand work? Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, providing best transcription services NYC, transcription services SF, local transcribing […]

How does shorthand work?

Brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, providing best transcription services NYC, transcription services SF, local transcribing and long distance transcribing.

 

Making sense phonetically

Shorthand (also called stenography) refers to systems of writing which symbolize sounds, words and phrases, speeding up the process of writing.  There are several systems of shorthand, invented at different times, each promising more efficiency in transcribing spoken dictation or dialogue to text.  Two popular types in North America and Europe are Pitman and Gregg.

Pitman shorthand

Screenshot 2015-05-18 15.55.42(image from Long Live Pitman’s Shorthand Blogspot)

http://long-live-pitmans-shorthand.blogspot.com/2013_02_01_archive.html

 

Gregg shorthand

Screenshot 2015-05-18 15.52.57

(Image from American Treasure of the Library of Congress)

http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/treasures/tri190.html

 

Most shorthand systems are phonetic.  English often has multiple ways of spelling the same sound.  (For example, look at the sound ‘sh’ in these words: crustacean, potion, shell, machine, crucial, tissue, fission…and there are more.)  Shorthand systems use one symbol per sound, reducing the number of symbols that make up a word.  They also use the simplest possible symbols – one stroke, perhaps, rather than three.  Words are abbreviated–often vowels are omitted.  Some shorthand systems produce writing that is as complete and explicit in meaning as longhand, if you know how to read it.  Other systems, such as the widely used Gregg, must be transcribed into longhand soon after writing, or the meaning of the transcript may become difficult to glean.  Accuracy depends on memory and context.

 

Carmen Perry

 

Sources:

http://www.galleryofshorthand.org/history.html

www.alysion.orgHow to Write 225 Words Per Minute With a Pen

Dennis Hollier Jun 24 2014 theatlantic.com

 

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