Tips in Transcribing ESL Dictation

by Jennifer on May 4, 2011

Here are 6 tips sent in by Sara J. to help when transcribing ESL (English as a second language) dictation:

1. English is the most complex language to understand.  The best thing you can arm yourself with against problematic dictation or ESL dictation is your attitude. 

2. At the end of some words, ESL dictators add “ed” in an attempt to emphasize a final consonant or as a separate syllable.  This is called extra syllables.

3. ESL dictators sometimes pronounce abbreviations as words similar to how acronyms are pronounced.

4. ESL dictators may pronounce a verb incorrectly by ending in an open sound.  They may drop the consonants at the end of the English words.  This is evident with some English plurals and singular verbs ending in “s.”

5. Sounds that are difficult for ESL dictators are “w” and “v,” the lack of an “r” sound, the two “I” sounds, substitutions from Spanish letters, and problem sounds combined in words.

6. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet.  There are 21 consonants but 24 consonant sounds.  ESL dictators may be confused because letters are combined to make sounds that do not exist in the second language.

Hope this helps!

If anyone has any other tips to add to Sara’s, please do!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Peggy November 27, 2011 at 10:16 pm

I just got a job where there are more ESL dictators. I find the list very helpful, especially #3.

Connie December 22, 2011 at 12:23 am

I just completed my training a few months ago. I found these tips very helpful. Thank you!

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