Transcription, in one form or another, has always been used by mankind to document its own achievements. Today, though there are many options in voice recognition software, no machine has yet to match the accuracy of an experienced human transcriptionist. Here are the top 10 most fascinating facts about transcription in history:
Transcriptionists in ancient Egypt were known as scribes, who were exempt from taxation and physical labor.
The first known use of the word “Transcription” in English was in 1598 by John Florio as an entry in his Italian/English dictionary: “Trascrittione: a transcription, writing, or copying out.”
When a person renders the contents of audio or video files into text, they are called a transcriptionist. When a machine does this, it is called a transcriber.
In 1910, women comprised 81% of the typing workforce. This was partly due to the fact that Remington, the first company to mass-produce the typewriter, sold its first models on sewing machine platforms.
In 1998, 40 words per minute was considered fast, 35 words per minute was moderate, and 23 words per minute was slow.
In 2018, 40-60 words per minute is considered to be the average typing speed, and 120 words per minute is considered highly proficient.
On an average, we speak 150-170 words per minute, which is four times greater than what we can type. That’s why it takes at least 5 hours to transcribe and review a 1-hour file, or more if it has multiple speakers, difficult audio quality, or accented speech.
The fastest typing speed on record using an alphanumeric keyboard was set by Stella Pajunas in 1946, when she continuously typed at a speed of 216 words per minute for 50 minutes on an IBM electric typewriter.
More recently, Barbara Blackburn holds the current title of the fastest living typist, maintaining 150 words per minute for 50 minutes using a Dvorak Simplified Keyboard (DSK).
The fastest hands-free typing speed was achieved by Hank Torres in 2011. He typed 25 words in 83.09 seconds using facial motion-capture technology.