What is Phonetic Transcription?

By Hammad Syed in Voiceover

March 28, 2023 11 min read
What is Phonetic Transcription?

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Phonetic Transcription plays a crucial role in revealing the accurate pronunciation of different words. It uses symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). 

There are diverse languages, and the pronunciation of words is also different. But all this doesn’t matter when it comes to Phonetic Transcription. It can transcribe any language quickly, ensuring a proper understanding of the word sounds. 

Big companies consider using Phonetic Transcription to interact with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. It ensures proper communication, increasing trust among the clients. Apart from that, companies also use it for conducting interviews, calling customers, promotional activities, etc. In short, there are numerous uses. 

Voice artists also require phonetic transcription to match the speech of a particular language. This way, their job becomes more convenient, and they attract more clients quickly. However, to achieve all this, you must learn about IPA symbols. 

What Is Phonetic Transcription?

Phonetic Transcription refers to articulating sounds used to pronounce a particular word. It ensures proper pronunciation in every language. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is the only source for transcribing phonetics. There are specific symbols in the IPA for every sound that make the transcription much more straightforward. Still, you need to have a proper understanding of the same.

Now, you can also use software applications that convert text to speech within a few minutes. All you have to do is research well before choosing any option.

Many businesses are now shifting towards digital applications rather than transcribing text alone. It saves a lot of time and effort. So it is beneficial for you as well.

What Is The Role Of Phonetic Transcription In A Business?

Phonetic Transcription matters a lot in a business as it streamlines various operations. From interviews to interacting with clients, everything becomes straightforward. The following points might help you understand the role of phonetic transcription in a business-

  • Building a brand: Every company aims at building its brand. But only a few of them become successful at it. So, what is the common cause behind the failure? Well, it can be because of improper pronunciation of your brand. It usually happens when employees aren’t aware of the phonetics used in the brand name. In this situation, only phonetic transcription can spread awareness among the employees. 

Your employees belong to different cultural backgrounds. Therefore, their pronunciation of certain words also varies. As a company owner, you must consider it a problem and solve it using phonetic transcription. Once you correct your employees, your brand won’t be unrecognizable for a long time. Why? Because they won’t repeat the same pronunciation mistake while promoting your company. So, phonetic transcription is the most significant thing while building a brand. 

  • Enhance the experience of interviewing candidates: Some businesses neglect the importance of hiring candidates worldwide. You will be surprised to know that companies with people from diverse cultures are doing pretty well in the industry. 

The reason behind not considering them is facing the language barrier in the interview. Both parties, the interviewer and the candidate, find it difficult to communicate appropriately. But you can overcome the difference in pronunciation with the help of phonetic transcription. Using it might help both parties to communicate without any issues. The only thing required to achieve such a thing is understanding the IPA symbols

Phonetic transcription allows businesses to broaden their search for potential candidates. Now, they don’t have to experience communication problems while interviewing anyone. 

  • Improve promotional activities: One of the most common methods is sales calling. While it seems irrelevant to some businesses, it has much more potential than any other method. The problem that often arises in this situation is due to the difference in language. 

Difference in languages has a significant impact on the individuals who rely on communication. It can make the experience extremely bad. But now, thanks to phonetic transcriptions. They help comprehend the speech sounds of various words quickly. After that, you can get your sales team ready for the sales call. They might attract new customers by providing the right information with the correct pronunciation. Simultaneously, they can work on improving communication with customers. And for that, the company has to take a step further. 

  • Effective communication with different clients: A business’s success depends on many things, including attracting more clients. It is better to expand your business to other geographical locations as the profits increase significantly. However, you must work on resolving the language barriers with them. 

Using Phonetic Transcription is the best way to improve interaction with diverse clients. It doesn’t matter what language they speak. The pronunciation issues won’t be there if you use phonetic transcription. This way, you can attract other clients and grow your business quickly. 

Don’t forget to train your employees regarding the same. They might handle business meetings even if you are not available. 

What Are The Challenges Of Using Phonetic Transcription?

The challenges of using phonetic transcription is something that is often overlooked. If you have already decided to use this method for your business, you must understand them. Otherwise, you won’t be able to resolve the issues.

Training Is Necessary

The knowledge of phonetic transcription is necessary to use it effectively. Many companies offer training to employees. You can also consider the same if you want the best results from using this tool. 

As you know, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is the source of phonetic transcription. The training must focus on reading and understanding IPA correctly. Some people with learning disabilities find it even more challenging. Well, in that case, you can hire professionals and give them sufficient time. 

Difficulty In Reading Transcriptions

Reading phonetic transcriptions is not as easy as it seems. One needs to practice a lot to become a professional. Some businesses don’t provide enough time for practicing the same. Therefore, many employees struggle a lot while working on them. 

Every company should take necessary action to improve the satisfaction of employees. In this case, giving enough time is valuable for the company and the workers.

A Lengthy Process Of Translating Symbols  

Everyone makes reports from phonetic transcription because it is convenient for meetings, interviews, or calls. But what comes as a challenge is translating the symbols while transforming the transcript into a report. The entire procedure is so lengthy that phonetic transcription adds no additional advantage.

There is only one solution to this issue. Instead of transforming the transcript yourself, you can use AI tools. You can easily find them online or by asking for references from a professional. These tools can either be paid or free. Choose whatever suits your needs the best. 

Inconsistency Is Common

Even though using phonetic transcription is the best for various reasons, inconsistency is a common issue. It creates a lot of confusion among people. Still, you can find some solutions to this problem. For instance, you are using only accurate transcriptions, checking them several times, etc. And all of this needs much more time than usual. So if you are ready for it, you can consider these solutions. 

Hiring Experts

No one can master phonetic transcriptions quickly. It takes a lot more time and effort than you imagine. That is why businesses consider hiring transcribers for this work. They always charge a fee to complete the tasks. Many businesses claim that hiring them is better than spending time on making yourself or others learn everything. 

Your company only requires a sufficient budget to add up this expense. If you can afford this service, go for it. If you cannot, you can look for other options. Whatever decision you make, consider all the necessary things beforehand. There is a possibility that you might get into trouble otherwise. 

Also, make sure to find the best professionals available. Some of them are not good at their work. So choose wisely. 

Phonemic Transcription Vs. Phonetic Transcription

Many people often get confused between phonemic transcription and phonetic transcription. Do you also think that they are similar? If yes, you must understand that they are two completely different things. 

Phonetic transcription is always more comprehensive. It includes every symbol of the word sound. Even though it is a bit detailed, complexities are a common thing. 

On the contrary, phonemic transcription is usually short in terms of length. Because it contains fewer symbols for every word sound, there won’t be any new symbols for similar-sounding syllables and words. Reducing symbols is advantageous as it decreases the complexities and confusion. Beginners should use phonemic transcriptions. They are readable and convenient to comprehend. 

Business professionals have one question: Which type of transcription to use? Well, it solely depends on your needs. You must specify the goals you wish to achieve using phonetic or phonemic transcription. It might assist you in making the right decision. But otherwise, both of them work pretty well in streamlining the business operations. 

How Can You Get Phonetic Transcription?

There are plenty of methods that you can use to get phonetic transcriptions. You can select what is most convenient for you. They are as follows-

Find Text-To-Speech Software

You can easily find various text-to-speech software applications online. Every software has unique features. It is crucial to know them in detail before choosing a particular one. Also, don’t forget to go through customer reviews. 

An excellent text-to-speech software will provide you with a detailed phonetic transcription quickly. And the best part is the results are always accurate. You can use the finalized transcript for different purposes.   

Get Help From The IPA Chart

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) chart is easily accessible to everyone. All you have to do is search for it online. It is better to check if the chart is reliable or not. You can compare two or more charts to find out the issues. 

The transformation of words into symbols might take some time using IPA. Sometimes, people face difficulties while comprehending it. Therefore, you should first consider the overall time you can spend on making the report. 

Use Phonetic Transcription Software

Like text-to-speech converters, you can find applications that automatically provide phonetic transcription. These are brilliant as they only take a few minutes. 

You have to follow the same steps while choosing a phonetic transcription tool. Research in detail and read customer reviews to get more insight into the quality of their service. 

Hire A Professional Transcriber

Another method to get phonetic transcription is hiring a professional transcriber. These professionals are experts at changing the words into IPA symbols. So your overall work won’t take so long. They also help people learn everything about the process. If you are into learning, you can opt for this method.    

Many platforms offer professional transcribers. You can check them out to know more. Otherwise, you can consider asking for references from your contacts. 

Language Learning Applications

You might already be familiar with some language learning applications if you are learning a new language. Well, these applications also provide people with phonetic transcription. That is how you can reduce your burden of transcribing the words. 

Read Articles And Research Papers

Some websites contain articles and research papers on different topics. You can also go through them to find phonetic transcription resources. These might further help you create phonetic transcription manually.   

The Takeaway

Using phonetic transcription has improved businesses in many aspects. Operations like interviewing, interacting with clients, building a brand, etc., have become effective and efficient. You can reduce the language barrier by using these transcripts. 

As for creating phonetic transcriptions, you can use different methods. The ones mentioned above are pretty beneficial if you want them quickly. 


What Is The Use Of IPA In Phonetic Transcription?

The use of IPA in phonetic transcription provides symbols for each word sound. These symbols denote the correct sound of the words for proper pronunciation.

How To Select The Right Software For Phonetic Transcription?

You can select the right software for phonetic transcription through extensive research. This includes reading about the features, customer reviews, and other necessary details. 

Is Phonetic Transcription Important To Use In A Business?

Yes, phonetic transcription is essential to use in a business. It ensures effective communication among employees and clients. Apart from that, it streamlines various business operations like interviews and meetings.

Can You Create Phonetic Transcription Yourself?

Yes, you can create phonetic transcriptions yourself with the help of the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) Chart. It is readily available online for the users.

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Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed

Hammad Syed holds a Bachelor of Engineering - BE, Electrical, Electronics and Communications and is one of the leading voices in the AI voice revolution. He is the co-founder and CEO of PlayHT, now known as PlayAI.

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