The Joylessness of Transcription

Is there anyone who enjoys transcribing interviews?

I can’t say that I do. It’s tedious and time-consuming. I do admit that listening to an interview a second time is helpful. I’ll pick up on things I didn’t notice the first time around, sort of like  watching a movie a second time and spotting something new.

Today I finished transcribing a 53-minute interview. I’ve been working at it off and on since January 22. (The project is long term, so there was no need to transcribe the interview immediately.)

My method for doing a word-for-word transcription is fairly simple. I take it a sentence at a time. That’s about all my brain and fingertips can accurately process. So, yes, it’s click on, listen, click off, type. Repeat. I like interview subjects who speak slowly. Fast talkers fluster me.  I often have to listen to sections again and again.

The full transcription of the 53-minute interview is 13 pages. I consider it a small victory. No, make that a medium victory.


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