Transcription Tips: Dealing with Words That Sound The Same

Updated: Dec 23, 2020

Transcriptionists oftentimes come upon certain words that sound the same every once in a while. In order to transcribe these words properly, there are a few transcription tips to follow. These tricky words are critical in transcription since mixing them up could completely change the whole narrative of the transcription.

The proper word for these words that sound the same is called either homophones or homonyms. Transcribing them won’t always be an easy job but with the right transcription tips, transcriptionists will be able to get over this bump in their transcriptions more often.

It is important to know what specific word should be used at a specific time in order to make a difference in the whole accuracy of a transcriptionist's writing. Mistakes when it comes to words that sound the same are sometimes forgivable but for some clients, these mistakes might cost much, not just for the transcriptionists, but also for them.

What are homonyms and homophones?

Homonyms are the type of words that sound alike or are even spelled alike. To be more specific, homonyms are words that sound as well as spell the same as a different word. A perfect example of a homonym would be the word lot since it could refer to a piece of land or lot as in a larger measurement.

In actuality, homophones are the same since they are a particular kind of homonym that sounds as well as spells the same. These homophones or homonyms shouldn’t scare off transcriptionists and can be considered the same thing. There isn’t really a need to go deeper into understanding what these homophones or homonyms are educationally but rather how to deal with them when they occur.

How to deal with homophones or homonyms

1. Know how the word is being used

It is important to understand how the word is being used in a particular sentence that seems a bit off. Sometimes, these are really difficult to spot. It could also be a homophone or homonym that is used as either a noun or a verb. There are a couple of those that are different solely because they are used as either a noun or a verb but for other more complicated homophones or homonyms, the transcriptionist would have to look them over in a dictionary in order to be completely sure.

2. List down homophones or homonyms

For those transcriptionists that are transcribing similar material, especially coming from a singular client, it might pay off to list down the common homophones or homonyms in order to properly counter them once they occur in the transcription audio. This is one of the general transcription tips that are very fundamental not just for homophones or homonyms but also for other confusing or problematic words that transcriptionists might run into again and again.

3. Practice through rhyming

For those transcriptionists that really want to excel in their career as a transcriptionist, overcoming most of the homophones or homonyms would be very helpful since they allow the transcriptionist to become even more accurate and efficient later on. Overcoming homophones or homonyms is just like overcoming a few blocks in the vocabulary department. As a transcriptionist, it always pays to know a little more. In order to practice certain homophones or homonyms, it is important to make rhymes that use the particular homophone or homonyms in different contexts having different meanings. This is a great way to familiarize the uses of the homophone/homonym in different situations.

A homophone or homonym that is transcribed incorrectly could potentially damage a transcriptionists career depending on the circumstances. It’s never good to push your luck and accept inaccuracy when it comes to the transcription. Words that sound the same happen quite often so instead of trying to find a way around it by paraphrasing (which is not transcribing) it is important to get through those words in order to transcribe properly.

What to do when you don’t know the word you are transcribing?

The answer to this question is quite simple, it is time to research and understand the word. It is never good to skip certain words as a beginner transcriptionist since this will just prolong the problem of words that sound the same. The sooner transcriptionists are able to get over the homophones or homonyms, the easier it will be for them later on.

The straightforward answer to this question is to Google it. Searching for the meaning online is the best course of action should a particular homophone or homonym be too complicated to understand. The problem with Google, however, is that it might not instantly come to the desired answer that could help transcriptionists get over the problem.

Using a digital dictionary that caters to homophones or homonyms could be the best shortcut that technology can offer. Instead of having to search the web for a particular homophone or homonym, the digital dictionary can give instant answers that will be very useful for the transcriptionist later on.

Best transcription tips

The key to becoming a better transcriptionist, aside from finding ways to make the transcription process more efficient by using a transcription tool (more of that later) is to have a good vocabulary and good grammar. At the end of the day, the transcriptionist that has better vocabulary and better grammar will be able to come up with better results. Since this is still a language-based profession, the most important way to go further in this career is to have better grammar.

Another tip is to use a transcription tool like that automatically turns audio into text then transcriptionists can spend the needed time to edit the transcription into perfection. To transcribe the whole thing would take quite a while but with the use of a transcription tool, not only will transcriptionists save more time but also be able to come up with better results since they can spend more time editing the transcription.

Want to simplify the transcription process? Looking for efficient ways to accomplish your transcription work? Check out for automated transcription - made even easier with their editor feature. Minimize the bulk of the workload and focus more on polishing to achieve better results.

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