CastingWords Transcription Jobs: Apply Now!

CastingWords Transcription Jobs: Apply Now!

This is a good place to get started in transcription if you don’t have any previous experience in transcription. Workers report that the company provides good support.

Requirements

  • No transcription experience is required.
  • They offer transcription jobs online in many countries through their website.
  • You need to follow their style guide.
  • You download the audio to your computer and can use free transcription software.

Pay

  • Pay varies widely based on a number of factors, including what type of job you do, what level you have reached, and what grade you earn, and ranges between 8.5 cents and a bit over one dollar per audio minute.
  • You’ll have to work your way up to become eligible for the top-paying work.
  • They have different categories of jobs, including grading, editing, and transcription. Within each category, jobs at different skill levels have different pay rates.
  • CastingWords offers bonuses for good quality work and these bonuses often put you over the $1 per audio minute. Editing jobs and most transcription jobs are bonus-based, and the better you do, the more you get paid. Below gives you an idea of how the bonuses can increase your pay:
    Work graded 5 gets the base pay amount. Work graded 6 gets a total of 1.5 times the base pay amount. Work graded 7 gets a total of 2.0 times the base pay amount. Work graded 8 gets a total of 2.5 times the base pay amount. Work graded 9 gets a total of 3 times the base pay amount.
  • Rejected work (grade 0-4) is discarded and redone, so it is not paid (I haven’t seen anyone complain about this so they probably don’t reject work without good reasons).
  • When working through the CastingWords site, payments are made through Paypal once a week.
  • Mturk payments are deposited to your bank account and you can request your pay any time you have at least $1 in your Mturk account.
  • Mturk takes 20% so you get 20% more if working through the CastingWords web site.

No experience transcription jobs vs jobs requiring transcription experience

Transcription jobs that require no previous transcription experience at transcription companies like CastingWords and others that recruit beginners don’t pay well but you have to start somewhere. And working for those companies when getting started will give you some experience and build your confidence. But after you’ve acquired some experience, you’ll be able to move onto better-paying companies, or better yet, you’ll be able to work directly with your own clients.

My Comments

  • Very flexible schedule.
  • You’ll be an independent contractor and set your own schedule, hours, and frequency. You can work whenever you want when there is work available. When claiming a file, you’ll have to do the work within the required deadline.
  • The pay is low – especially at the beginning. As a new transcriber, you have to start at the bottom and work your way up but you can move up to better jobs quickly.
  • After a transcription assignment is completed by a worker, the transcript goes through several editors.
  • They have other workers grade your work and you’ll see the final edit. This is a great way to learn and improve.
  • They typically have a lot of work but beginning transcription jobs are more competitive.
  • The staff is supportive. CastingWords will give you a second chance if you request it. The Facebook group is very useful to get support.

How to Apply

Wondering how to pass the CastingWords Audio test?

The CastingWords test is a transcribers’ task that gauges an applicant’s competence. CastingWords will then hire or send a message indicating otherwise to the individual who has sat the test depending on their results.

Transcribing is a job where individuals receive work in audio form and are asked to note it down in written format. Below we will share tips on how to pass the CastingWords transcribing test. 

The Test

Prior to working with CastingWords however, one has to sit for a test. This tasks is usually a simple one.

Most people that use English as their first language or have attained a reasonable degree of education will pass it.

Generally, the text examines one’s grammatical skills, writing, as well as their punctuation.

One should note however, that not all individuals that log in to the company’s website will be required to do a test.

In most cases, individuals from countries that use English as their first language will be accepted as transcribers right away.

It is also the case that the company doesn’t allow applications all the time. The website will display a remark that informs an applicant that it doesn’t admit new transcribers if they login at such a time.

This phenomenon isn’t permanent though and so one who checks with the portal again will soon find a window in which to proceed with the test.

General Instructions

The surest way to pass the test is by studying the guidelines available to you on the CastingWords website.

Reading through allows you to know what it is that is exactly expected of you as you attempt the question.

This is important even for individuals who might have worked as transcribers already in other places since various channels emphasize different aspects of writing.

As an extra benefit to those that read the guidelines, the test can serve as practice for when their application succeeds since the instructions that apply to the test don’t differ from expectations in real assignments.

The guidelines are titled “Quick-start style guide” at this stage.

Below we explore some of this content.

a) Against paraphrasing

In attempting the test, one shouldn’t paraphrase. This means that you should write the sentences as articulated in the audio.

Words should also be written in the order they are spoken including instances when sentences contain grammatical errors.

At no point should a transcriber adopt words that were never mentioned in the clip or deduct words used.

An applicant may however, live out filler words as well as false starts. Filler words are those that speakers will use as mannerisms rather than conscious behaviour.

False starts are sentences that a speaker begins on but doesn’t conclude. Consequently, they add no meaning to what he/she already said.

Words like “um” and “uh” should be omitted too.  And so should words employed as prompts. Prompts are used to lead a speaker to concluding a sentence.

This happens in audios made-up of more than one person. Examples of prompts pointed out in the guidelines are “okay” and “mm-hmm.”

b) Labeling Speakers

Labeling refers to attaching an identifier on the individuals involved in an audio. This must be done as you attempt the test regardless of whether the audio has more than one speaker or not.

There are several ways to do this so one has the liberty to choose that which is most convenient for them so long as it doesn’t fall outside what is stipulated.

Generally, labels take the form of speakers’ names, roles as well as their gender. Examples here are Announcer, Interviewer, Woman 1, Man 2 etc.

These are to be used every time when someone is speaking for the first time, every after the use of a descriptive tag (further details to be discussed), and at points when an individual starts speaking after someone else.

The last part also applies to cases where the person speaking next had previously spoken.

In such instances however, only one of their names is used even when both of them are known. In effect, you should use full names for speakers that are appearing in the audio for the first time.

Where you can’t establish all of a speaker’s names, then you can use the one you know.

Labels should be written in the standard conversation style i.e. in capital case and ending with a colon at the end.

c) Paragraphing

All work should be written in paragraphs. As much as possible, your paragraphs should not exceed four hundred words.

You are allowed to shorten unnecessarily long sentences. In doing so, however, fragmentation should be avoided.

Tags should occupy a paragraph of their own i.e. skip one line prior to using a tag and skip one more after using it.

d) Descriptive tags

Descriptive tags are twofold. Sometimes, they are used to indicate sounds that appear in the audio on top of the spoken words.

In this case, they help to give context to editors especially in reading the mood. The sounds may be made by the speakers themselves, objects, animals, other individuals etc.

Examples include; laughter, breaking objects, and birds chirping.

In other instances, tags serve as short remarks that indicate an issue in the submitted work that a transcriber is unable to workaround on their own. 

CastingWords has a uniform way of capturing these tags. Use [SP] to indicate a word whose spelling you have failed to find. You shouldn’t rush to use this tag though.

Your first instinct should be to try to find out the right spelling through means like dictionaries. You’re likely to score very low marks in the test if you adopt the tag for a word you would have otherwise found.

Use [xx] to indicate instances when a speaker becomes inaudible or cases where you are not sure about the words being used.

Again, you should try as much as possible to understand the word (s) in question first before you use this tag. [xx] can be used to replace one word or an entire sentence.

Punctuations should be adopted in these cases just like it would have been if the real words were used.

Use [?] before a word or sentence that you have transcribed but are not certain about it. Tags should always be written in lowercase and enclosed in square brackets.

Use [crosstalk] to indicate a time in the audio that involved speakers speak at the same time.

e) American English

CastingWords is an American-based company. As such, the test should be written in this style. There are not very many distinctions between American English (AE) and British English.

Usually, the only difference concerns spellings Applicants who can’t tell the difference should always run their work through apps set in the language upon completion but before submission.

Examples of words that carry different spellings are “OK” (AE for “okay”), “behavior” (AE for behaviour”) and “all right” (AE for alright).

f) Others

If the audio contains numbers from zero up to nine, they should be written in words. Numbers starting from ten upwards, decimals, as well as negatives should be written numerically.

Once one opens an account, there is a sample script that they can use to compare with all the descriptions above.

Perusing through will help you to have an idea of how your final template should look like upon completion. This is especially so for people who are not good readers.

Punctuations applying to the test are those that are general used in English. A transcriber can you quotation marks for instance, if a speaker in the audio appears to quote words that are not originally their own.

Exclamation marks can also be used in the case of use of strong emotions.


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