The Human Cost of Cheap Transcription Services

For those involved in the professional audio transcription world – like us – last week’s news that Rev.com was slashing minimum pay rates for freelance transcriptionists was quite the topic of conversation, both online and off.

Rev is well known as a cheap transcription provider that charges a flat rate of $1.00 per audio minute – a rate very few of us in the industry can even come close to matching, and especially those of us that care about paying our freelance transcriptionists a living wage.

Transcription is time-intensive work that requires skill and keen attention to detail, and for every one minute of audio, it typically takes a transcriptionist four minutes to transcribe. Rev previously paid $0.45 per audio minute, so a typical worker would earn the equivalent of $6.75 per hour. At its new rate of $0.30 per audio minute, that same worker doing the same work would earn only $4.50 per hour. According to the company, this new structure dropped the lowest per–minute rate while at the same time increasing its highest rate for more complex audio; however, how this will average out for typical workers and typical projects is yet to be seen.

Being a transcriptionist is a great option for those looking for a flexible career, as it can be done when you want and wherever you want – from home, from a coffee shop or from the beach (as long as there’s a good wifi connection!). And for some people in some regions of the world, Rev’s new rate floor still provides reasonable compensation and continues to be a compelling option. But for many transcriptionists, in particular, those based in the US, this is just untenable.

When I talk to clients who are looking for affordable transcription services for interviews, focus groups and conference calls – whether market research companies, video production companies or academic researchers – one of the first questions they often ask is if we’re as cheap as Rev. My stomach does a little flip…and then I answer no, and that we don’t try to be. I know we lose business to low-cost transcription providers like Rev with massive online marketing budgets, but fairness to our workers and the need to ensure quality come first.

At Multilingual Connections, we care about the relationships we build with our clients, but we also care very much about the relationships we build with our high-quality transcriptionists and translators – and we believe in paying them fairly for their work. We’re a certified woman-owned company based in the Chicago area that provides English and foreign language audio transcription, as well as translation, transcreation, subtitles, and voiceover in 75 languages.

If you’re interested in learning more about the services we provide and the relationships we form with our partners – reach out!

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The Impact Behind the Numbers

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A Positive Attitude Sets You Up for Success

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At Multilingual Connections, we work with talented linguists from across the globe who are experts in translation, transcription, and/or multimedia localization. Our linguists also have industry knowledge and experience – some have spent years doing legal and law enforcement transcription, while others were subtitling movies, and more. We leverage our linguists’ expertise and pair each …

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Transcreation: Getting Your Message Across

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To connect and engage with your multilingual audience, you have to communicate with them in meaningful ways. This means that the copy you write needs to be professionally translated and, in some cases, transcreated to resonate with your audience. But, wait, what is transcreation and how is it different from translation?  Transcreation is a type …

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One Thousand and One Dialects: On the Varieties of Arabic

November 5, 2019

Arabic may be the sixth most commonly spoken language in the world, but Arabic<>English transcription, translation, and multimedia services currently make up the second-largest volume of work that we do here at Multilingual Connections behind Spanish<>English. To support our growth in this language pair, we even have a bilingual Arabic- and English-speaking team that provides …

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When Opportunity Knocks, You Answer

October 24, 2019

Multilingual Connections works with talented linguists from across the globe who are specialists in translation, transcription and/or multimedia localization. Our linguists also have industry knowledge and experience – some have spent years doing legal and law enforcement transcription, while others were subtitling movies, and more. We pair each project with the best linguist for the …

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Celebrating Five Years of Growth and Leadership

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At Multilingual Connections, it’s our international team of passionate and curious professionals that makes us who we are. Each team member brings their unique perspective and experience – both professional and personal.

The Many Metaphors of Translation

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It may be tempting to think of translation as a simple conversion of one language to another. But for those who are inclined to roll up their sleeves and take on the tricky business of translation, there is certainly no shortage of challenges to keep them second-guessing their choices on the page. Different languages contain …

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Translating with Style: The Benefits of Using a Style Guide

September 24, 2019

Translation is far more complex than a simple mechanical conversion from one language to another – and without a clear set of guidelines for translators, it can be very tricky to produce a translation that satisfies a client’s expectations. With that being said, it’s important to solidify and communicate these expectations in a written translation …

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“Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way”

September 20, 2019

Multilingual Connections works with talented linguists from across the globe who are experts at translation, transcription and/or multimedia localization. Our linguists are also industry professionals – some have spent years doing movie subtitling, others legal and law enforcement transcription, while others specialize in marketing translation, and more. We pair each project with the best linguist …

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Our Clients

Your Success is Our Success

We succeed when we help you understand, engage and grow your audience – and accomplish your business goals.

Relationships, Not Just Transactions

Sometimes you’re going to want to pick up the phone with questions, schedule a video chat or meet in person, and we welcome it!

Let us be your trusted partner

We believe in building long-term partnerships and finding the right solutions for your needs. We value our clients as partners and appreciate the trust they place in us.

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Office Location

Multilingual Connections
847 Chicago Ave Ste 250
Evanston, IL 60202, USA

Tel: +1-877-292-5264
Tel: +1-773-292-5500
Email: contact@mlconnections.com

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