It’s a common assumption that businesses offering low-cost services must be shipping those jobs overseas. Or, in our case, using automated machine transcription, and that the quality of the final product they provide must be poor as a result. We encounter this perception frequently at Rev when people see our $1 per minute pricing for captions and transcription. We’re often asked if we hire contractors from foreign countries and what the catch is (for an in-depth explanation of how we keep costs low, transcription accuracy high, and provide same-day delivery, check out this post).

The majority of our captioners and transcriptionists (aka Revvers) are actually based in the United States. In fact, 90% of our Revvers reside in North America with the remaining 10% primarily based in English-speaking countries such as England and Australia. We have a large network of more than 10,000 freelancers that passed stringent grammar, spelling, and skills test to qualify to work with us. The requirement for strong English skills allows us to guarantee 99% or better accuracy. This is just one of three reasons listed below for hiring a service that doesn’t outsource your files to a country where English isn’t the primary language.

1. Accuracy

If you’re hiring a service to handle your captions and transcripts, you should look for a service that guarantees the final product you receive will be close to 100% accurate. 99% accuracy has become the accepted standard for transcripts and captions, and you’ll find that a few US-based services advertise this level of quality.

The point of hiring a service is to take the work off your plate and not leave you with hours of editing to deal with. Having a non-native speaker with poor English skills transcribe or caption your content presents problems for everything from grammar to accurate phrasing of idioms and spelling of brand names. A transcript with accuracy around 92-93% still leaves a lot of work for you to do, especially on longer files. In some cases, where there are legal or professional standards in place for your captions and transcripts, low accuracy just isn’t acceptable.

2. Interpretation

Captions are meant to do more than just communicate the words spoken in videos. The FCC has standards that require the descriptions of music and sound effects, as well as the attitudes and emotions of speakers in the video, to be conveyed to viewers. For someone that doesn’t speak English as a first language, interpreting emotions based on context could be challenging if they don’t understand cultural references, jokes and sarcasm. 

In addition to interpreting emotions, context is also important in understanding the appropriate spelling of words. Homophones, words that sound the same but have different meanings (to, too and two), could present issues to a non-native English speaker.

3. Consistency

Our Revvers are held to high-quality standards and must follow the style guidelines we provide them with. We allow customers to rate every transcript and caption file they order. If you’re unhappy with the quality of work from a Revver and give them a poor grade, they’ll never work on your files again. Additionally, once a Revver dips below a certain overall customer rating, we no longer allow them to work for us. 

Our goal at Rev is to provide you with the highest level of accuracy for your transcripts and captions. We’re constantly improving our proprietary tools and processes to make our Revvers faster and more accurate to deliver the best final product possible for our customers.

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