Tips for Advancing your Math Transcriptions!

Welcome to the Biweekly Friendly Tips post! 

Written by fellow CrowdSurfers, these posts are published every Monday and will list the previous weeks most common errors and help with how to avoid making those errors in future tasks!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Hello, CrowdSurfers!

We had a lot of math coming through the queues this past week and while I saw much of it done perfectly – Good Job, Everyone! – I also saw several errors so let’s spend some time in this post on a couple of the math guidelines.


The most frequent error I saw was that of numbers being spelled out rather than transcribed as numerals. Remember, Section Seven of the Guidelines, Math & Science, tells us:

In math equations, still keep numbers as numerals even if under 10.

And this rule applies to both video and audio only transcription.


The other very frequent error I encountered was that of capitalizing math variables. Again, from Section Seven of the Guidelines:

All mathematical variables (a, b, c, x, y, etc.) should be written lowercase unless shown in the video or specifically spoken by the instructor as uppercase.


And now I’d like to remind everyone that one of the advantages of doing FTR or QC Reject over doing just short transcription clips is that in these longer jobs, we have a chance to get context or clarification which can be useful in deciphering [INAUDIBLE] and [UNKNOWN] tags. I encountered several of these tags this past week which I was able to replace with the correct words by paying attention to what was transcribed earlier or further along in the piece.

One example of this contained the uncorrected word right in the previous line.

The first line was: If you have compost, it’s going to compact over time.

The next line was: And versus the synthetic media is not going to [INAUDIBLE] because it’s made up of different types of plastic material.

The [INAUDIBLE] was “compact”. And while the speaker had a bit of an accent and perhaps didn’t speak the word crystal clearly, it was audible and easily determined using the context of the previous sentence. It’s very important that we be mindful of the entirety of the piece we’re working with so that we can fill in these tags whenever possible.


And lastly, bear in mind that the goal in doing FTR is not simply to review it line by line, but also to stitch together the fragments of transcription into a finished product that flows well and is thus, easily read and understood by the hearing impaired. I saw numerous instances last week of fragments being left uncorrected and unconnected.

One perfect example is the following where the transcriber of the first part had heard what was said through the word, “risk”, and the transcriber of the second part heard what was said, starting with that same word:

The piece came to me in QC as: Okay, if I looked at my risk. Risk mitigation budget, I would find risk mitigation items for all six of those items.

It needed to be corrected to: Okay, if I looked at my risk mitigation budget, I would find risk mitigation items for all six of those items.

Hopefully these tips will help us all to be more accurate and productive in our CrowdSurf work.


Peace, Love, Transcription!

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