“We suggest building a relationship with a business or freelancer that you get to know, can hold accountable for their work, and that you trust.”
No real delivery timeline
Wrong speaker ID
With today’s economy and the ease of finding companies outside of the U.S. thanks to the Internet, it seems like outsourcing transcription is more popular than ever. The rates are usually much, much lower than industry standard, mostly due to the companies paying their workers — you guessed it — much, more lower than industry standard. But with the growth of the industry, cautionary tales are growing as well.
Take, for instance, news in late 2012 that involved $140 million dollars, a hospital, and outsourcing. A jury awarded that amount to the family of a woman who died due to what her lawyers say was inaccurate transcription work that her hospital relied on to treat her. The transcription services were outsourced to a company in India, and errors in the transcript led to the victim receiving a lethal dose of insulin that she eventually died from.
Ellen Cushing wrote an article last year on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, an outsourcing system that allows you to post a job to the site and then have workers complete the task. Sounds great, right? The problem is the workers get paid extremely little (even before Amazon takes their cut) and none have had to pass any test to do the work. You could be receiving work from someone who knows very little English, someone with no knowledge of your business, interests or what you do, or a magnitude of other problems.
From Cushing on Mechanical Turk’s wages:
Ipeirotis has estimated the average hourly wage to be roughly $2, while Joel Ross of UC Irvine’s Department of Informatics places it closer to $1.25—and whatever it is, it’s certainly lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
Why is this important? Why isn’t the cheapest option the best option? It’s the hospital settlement all over again. If workers aren’t making a fair wage, they have no incentive to submit a correct transcript. And without an accurate transcript, what’s the point of even having audio or video transcribed?
Have you had good or bad experiences with transcription outsourcing? Let us know in the comments!
Today more and more services are being automated and outsourced. In an effort to be the fastest, language service companies are using “translators” with no qualifications who accept pennies to work, or they’re forgoing translators altogether and using machines to translate.
Neither of these approaches really work for high-quality translations. This is mostly because translation is not a solid structure – it’s vast, it’s an art, it has endless approaches to single words and phrases. To say that a language can be treated as a math equation is just not accurate. Just look at how complicated English is and how it can be interpreted in so many different ways.
Here’s the thing: you only need to pay for a translation once, and then it’s yours forever to do with as you please. So what’s the point of paying for a bad translation that you’ll be stuck with? Or worse, that could make you a laughingstock around the world?
How We Can Help
Atomic Scribe believes in a human-powered, personal approach to translation. We dedicate a project manager to figure out what you need, because that is different for everyone. A single sentence can be translated in countless ways depending on your industry, tone, humor, or other factors. A technical manual should not be translated the same way as a blog post, but it oftentimes is by machine or poor human translation. We want to make sure everything is tailored to you so that the translation is useful.
We promise that our translators are the best in the business. They’re qualified, have over 5 years of experience at the minimum in their language pairs, and they can translate your work in any way you choose. Let us show you why human-powered, personal translations are the best and only route to go to save you money in the long run.