FAQs

 

Need Some Help? We’re Happy to Assist!

 

How quickly will I receive my transcripts?

We provide high quality, affordable transcription services with your deadline in mind. We offer standard (3-5 business days), rush (2 business days), next day, and same day service, all of which are priced very reasonably. With our large team of expert transcriptionists, we can typically meet almost any deadline without any problems at all. Completed transcripts are emailed to you as Microsoft Word documents.

What types of audio recordings can you transcribe?

Verbal Ink can transcribe almost any audio format. While most transcription services only handle digital files, we can transcribe videotapes, microcassettes, cassette tapes, DVDs, or nearly anything else. In some cases, we may have to convert your audio into a digital format before we transcribe it. For this reason, we highly recommend digital files – they’ll save you time, save you money, and result in quicker turnaround.

Why are digital recordings so great?

Digital recordings are crisper and cleaner than tapes and microcassettes. They also save you both time and money by essentially eliminating the need for physical tapes, storage space, and shipping. All of your files can be stored and catalogued electronically and uploaded to Verbal Ink for transcription almost instantaneously.

How can I get the best audio recording possible?

You can help us provide you with affordable, accurate transcripts by sending us clear audio recordings. We’ve written a guide to the best practices for audio recording and audio transcription;here are some of the most important points:

-Record your audio in a quiet place. Background music, silverware, street noise, air conditioners, and ice makers can make transcription more challenging.
-Use an external microphone to capture voices more clearly.
-If possible, if you have several people speaking in your audio, have them introduce themselves by name.

What makes Verbal Ink different from other language service companies?

We want you to know you are taken care of. You not only will have one of the best linguists working on your project, but you will have a dedicated Account Executive who will be with you the every step of the way. We are committed to making sure you are 100% satisfied. We have a very intentional culture that drives everything we do. Part of this is that we pay a living wage to all of our linguists. We also do not outsource any of our English speaking projects overseas to the lowest bidder. Our linguists are some of the most highly screened in the industry because we want you to know that we take your work seriously. If you’d like, you can read more about our philosophy, or visit Verbal Ink’s Facebook page to follow more of what we are about.

What are time stamps and time codes?

Time stamps and time code are both used to easily link the content of your written transcript to the particular moments of your audio or video file. Time stamps are used for audio files;as each minute of the recording passes, the transcriptionist types that minute as its own line within the written transcript. The frequency of the time stamps is up to you – most of our clients have them added either at every minute or at every five minutes.

Time code is used for video files; a sequence of numbers representing the hour, minute, second, and video frame (00:00:00:00) is superimposed on top of the original video. The transcriptionist then types this number sequence into your transcript at every minute, every thirty seconds, or in some cases, even every line. Generally speaking, if you don’t work with video files, you’ll never need to use time code – but don’t hesitate to contact our friendly Account Executives if you have any questions.

How do your prices compare to other language service companies?

Verbal Ink sets the standard for reliable and accurate translation, transcription, and writing services. For transcription, you will be billed per audio minute. For translation it is calculated on a per word basis. Please know that we do not shop your project out to the lowest possible bidder, but have some of the most highly skilled linguists in the world who work with us.

Why charge per audio minute for transcription?

Charging a flat transcription rate for each recorded minute of audio minimizes the confusion of page counts, hours worked, and so forth. As a customer, you may not have a sense of how many pages your final transcript might be, or how long it might take our transcriptionists to create that transcript. But in nearly all cases, you know exactly how long your audio or video file is.

How accurate is your work?

For transcription, we guarantee a 98% or higher rate of accuracy with good audio;typically our accuracy is closer to 99+%. If your recording is in English, it will be transcribed by a resident of either the U.S. or Canada. For foreign language transcription, we’ll pair your project with a transcriptionist – either in the U.S. or the country where that language is spoken – that can best capture the meaning of what’s being said. By using native speakers, we’re able to guarantee fantastic quality.

For translation, we have a similar approach and your project goes through a quality control process to ensure your satisfaction. You should be able to know that the translation you are getting back is accurate the first time and is one of the many reasons to go with a trusted provider such as Verbal Ink.

How do I get my material to you?

From London to New York, LA to Paris, our clients span the globe. For digital files (MP3s, .wav files, etc), simply sign up as a new client, then upload your file. If you have physical audio recordings like cassette tapes, you can mail them to us.

Where do I mail physical audio recordings?

Please send all physical audio recordings directly to us at:

Verbal Ink
11835 W. Olympic Boulevard
Suite 1020E
Los Angeles, CA 90064

Is there any sort of form or paperwork I need to submit with my electronic or physical audio sources?

If your files are digital, simply log into your account and upload everything directly to us. If you are submitting physical audio, you can print a submission form from within your account.

How do I know you’ll keep my files confidential?

We take great measures to ensure the highest degree of client confidentiality. Signing off on a standard non-disclosure agreement is just the beginning. This is the minimum requirement, and only the first step to ensure your privacy. Verbal Ink has strict confidentiality procedures to guarantee that your information will remain private, including confidentiality agreements, background checks, and other technical safeguards.

How often will I be billed?

We can bill you after the completion of each project or keep a running invoice for you to be paid at the end of each month.You may pay either by credit card or check, but we do require a valid credit card on file for all clients.

Can you handle a large project? Like, really large?

No project is too big or small for our talented team. We have handled just about any project imaginable. If you have a larger project or higher volume, please reach out to us so we can discuss your needs more.

Should I send you my original recordings?

We immediately make digital copies of the physical audio recordings that we receive. It is advisable to make a copy of your master tapes just to protect yourself from the slim chance that tapes may be damaged in shipping, etc. If you are not able to make copies or do not want to, rest assured that we treat your masters with the greatest of care.

How do you determine the cost of a translation project?

It depends on whether we’re providing document translation or audio translation. For document translation, we charge on a per-word basis. For audio translation, your cost is based on the number of minutes in your audio or video recording.

Can you provide an estimated cost for my translation project?

Absolutely! For audio translation, we’ll need to know how long your audio or video recording is, as we charge on a per-minute basis. We can provide an estimated cost for document translation based on the document’s word count.

What is the difference between audio transcription and audio translation?

When we transcribe a file, we type what is being spoken in the same words and same language as the audio file. When we translate a file, we convert the words being spoken in your files into text in another language. We’ve written a longer essay about the difference between these two services that you may enjoy reading.

Do you have a minimum size for translation projects?

No – we will accept on projects of any size. Call us at (877) 983-7225 with the details of your project and one of our team members will give you an estimated price and turnaround time.

Who works on my translation projects?

All of our translations are completed by translators who have demonstrated native level fluency in English and a second language. Our translator testing process measures each translator’s proficiency with text translation, audio transcription, audio translation, and technical terminology. Depending on the specific languages and content of your project, your translator will either be based in the United States or in the most appropriate country for the source language.

How do you ensure quality?

Verbal Ink’s language specialists audit each translated document to ensure the quality and accuracy of the translation. We also have several bilingual Account Executives who oversee your projects from start to finish.

What languages do you work with?

We can work with over 200+ languages. Just reach out to us to talk more about your project.

What’s a source language? What’s a target language?

The source language is the language that your original document or audio recording is in. The target language is the language that you’d like your final translated document to be in. Let’s say that you have a German audio recording and you’d like an English transcript of it. The source language is German;the target language is English.

Do you work with regional dialects?

Yes. We strive to hire translators from diverse backgrounds so we can accommodate requests for regional dialects such as Belgian Dutch, Brazilian Portuguese, and Québécois French.

How long will it take for you to complete my translation project?

Translation project turnaround times depend on the length of the document or recording and the complexity of the language in the document. In general, most translation projects can be completed in five business days. Larger or more technically complex projects may take significantly longer – we’ll review your project with you and with our language specialists to make sure that you know exactly when to expect the final documents.

Do I have to pay for transcription if I only need translation of my audio files?

Nope. If you do not need a transcript in the source language, we can translate from the audio file to produce a transcript in the target language. This can be a little confusing;here are a couple of examples to help clarify things:

Katie has a French audio recording. She would like us to create an English transcript of that recording. Katie pays for translation, but does not need to pay anything additional for transcription.

Mary also has a French audio recording. She would like for us to create a French transcript of the recording;she would also like an English transcript of the recording. Mary needs to pay for transcription (for the French to French transcript). Mary also needs to pay for translation (for the French to English transcript).

Louis has our third and final French audio recording. He only wants a French transcript of the recording, and doesn’t give a moldy baguette’s worth of thought to an English transcript. Louis pays for transcription but does not need to pay for translation.