Transcription vs. Dictation

While taking diligent notes is still an integral part of meeting attendance or being in the legal field, professionals’ lives have gotten much simpler thanks to modern technology. Two types of helpful technology are dictation devices and transcription devices.

Dictation and transcription services are similar, but they’re not the same. Continue reading to learn what the two are and the biggest differences between them.

What is dictation?

Dictation is the process of speaking into a recording device to record your meeting notes or trial proceedings for future use. After dictating, you can go back and re-listen to the audio file to take quick notes or just save them on your computer to listen to when needed.

Dictating can be helpful when you’re brainstorming ideas or if you’re writing down notes for personal use.

What is transcription?

Transcription is when the recorded speech is typed to review as notes in the future. Fast typists or writers have transcribed meetings for centuries., but nowadays, voice-recognition software can take care of the job for us.

Transcribing a meeting or courtroom discussion is more time-consuming than dictation; however, it is useful because your notes can be shared with anyone who needs them.

Differences between the two

Dictation services and transcription services are similar to one another—but, like we mentioned above, they’re not the same. Here are a few of the differences between the two:

  • Time: The main difference between dictation and transcription is that dictation is much faster. Since it’s just a recording of what’s said, dictation happens in real Even if you’re a fast typist, transcription can be a lengthy process because you need to re-listen to the entire conversation to take any necessary notes.
  • Human vs. computers: Dictation services typically used to involve a secretary writing the conversation in shorthand before typing up a full version of the recorded speech later. Nowadays, dictation software automatically writes anything that’s recorded and saves it as a text file. Transcription still requires a human’s touch to physically type everything up as a text file.
  • Ease of sharing: Anything that’s been dictated can be shared as audio files with those who need to hear what was discussed—but navigating through an entire audio file to find a quote or review the discussion isn’t easy. On the other hand, a transcribed text file is easy to share and view. If you’re sending a long conversation to someone, they’ll most certainly prefer a transcription to a dictation.
  • Clarity: The human element of transcription is difficult to replicate with most dictation software, which can be frustrating for anyone reading notes dictated by a computer program. That said, dictation software has come a long way in the past few years and is much more reliable than it used to be. You’ll just want to make sure your audio recording is as clear as possible for the software to reliably document the conversation.

Get your dictation software from us

If you’re interested in streamlining your daily operations with dictation services software, contact our team at Efficiency, Inc. Reach out to us today to learn more about our advanced technologies.

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