How Justin Timberlake Can Help You Understand Why Transcription Is Hard

How Justin Timberlake Can Help You Understand Why Transcription Is Hard

Tricky Timberlake Transcription


Transcription is not an easy task. If you don’t believe me, try the following experiment.

Above is a video of Justin Timberlake shedding light on why taking selfies in a voting booth is frowned upon. The video is less than 2 minutes long. Your objective is to see how many words you can transcribe accurately in 5 minutes.

The Experiment

Step 1: You can either pull up your favorite word processor or use our free in-browser editor that our professional transcribers use—we highly recommend using our editor! 

Step 2: If using our editor, import the video by copy and pasting the following link in the import field:

Step 3: Set your timer for 5 mins and click “Transcribe” as seen below.

Step 4: GO!



Ok. Time’s up!

How many words were you able to type? I hen-pecked my way to a whopping total of 118 words in five minutes. That puts me at about 23.6 words per minute (wpm.) This is well below average and I should probably stick to my current vocation.justin_timberlake_transcription

The point of this little experiment is to call attention to how hard transcribing can be. It takes a lot of time and skill to be able to transcribe spoken English efficiently.

I got hung up on the whole, “yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…” part. Honestly, I’m still unsure on how many times Justin muttered it (it was more than twenty…I think?) Deciphering who says what can also be a taxing task, especially if the voices sound similar.

Another problem is if a speaker has an accent. I grew up in a small town in Virginia where everyone had southern accents. I remember certain people whom I could only understand about 50% of what they said. Imagine how hard that would be for someone who’s never encountered an accent like that? It would probably sound a lot like this young lady.



The quality of the audio is another problem many transcribers face. Sometimes we receive files that were recorded in noisy coffee shops or a game of musical chairs was occurring while a professor tried to record his lecture,  or sometimes, it sounds like the audio was recorded via a string phone.


This all makes it hard for the transcribers and adds to the amount of time they spend deciphering the noise.


This Was Easy For Me!

On the flip side, was this easy for you? Did you type over 300 words (or 60 wpm)? If so, you may have a bright future in transcription—apply here if you want a job! Scribie offers jobs to myriad types of people. Whether you’re a work-at-home mom, aspiring transcriber, or just someone that needs some extra cash, transcription might be for you. You too can enjoy the freedom of setting your own hours and working from anywhere in the world.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.