Transcription Guideline: How should you transcribe numbers?

آپ فی الحال دیکھ رہے ہیں۔ Transcription Guideline: How should you transcribe numbers?
How Should You Transcribe Numbers

If you’re new to the rules of transcribing, transcribing numbers from audio to text can often pose unique challenges due to their diverse formats and potential for error. Whether you’re transcribing financial reports, scientific data, or contact information, precision is key. To ensure accuracy and efficiency in number transcription, it’s crucial to adhere to best practices. Let’s explore some essential tips to master this skill.

The Basics on How to Transcribe Numbers

There are some general rules to follow when transcribing numbers:

  • User numerals for percentages (eg. “10%” instead of “ten percent”).
  • One to nine should be written in words, while number above 10 can be written in digits.
  • When two numbers are said side by side, write only as a numeral (eg. “Four 10-year old boys”)

Understand Number Formats

Different cultures and have different numbering systems, and usage of decimals and commas. For example, the terms lakh and crore are commonly used terms in Indian English to express large numbers. This differs from the international system that uses millions and billions.

For decimals and commas, the US may write “1,000” to represent one thousand, while some European countries may use “1.000,00”instead. Before you start transcribing, it is important to understand the context in which the audio is spoken, and familiarise yourself with the different formats and their respective conventions. Having done this familiarisation beforehand will save you time in achieving consistency and accuracy in your transcription.

Maintain Consistency

While there are some basic rules in transcribing numbers, certain organisations might require you to follow a certain transcription style guide. What is important is keeping your transcription style throughout consistent. Consistency is paramount in number transcription. Stick to a consistent style guide, especially when dealing with large datasets or collaborative projects. Establish conventions for decimal points, commas, and currency symbols to avoid confusion and errors.

Use Clear Notation

When transcribing numbers, clarity is essential. Use clear notation to distinguish between similar-looking characters like 0 (zero) and O (letter ‘O’) or 1 (one) and l (letter ‘L’). Employing distinct fonts or emphasizing certain characters can enhance readability and minimize misinterpretation.

Proofread Diligently

Always double-check your transcriptions for accuracy. Even minor errors can have significant consequences, especially in financial or scientific contexts. Utilize spell-checking tools and enlist the help of colleagues or proofreaders to ensure precision.

Utilise Automation Tools

Leverage technology to streamline number transcription processes. Spreadsheets and accounting software often offer built-in features for numerical data entry, reducing manual errors and saving time. Additionally, consider employing Optical Character Recognition (OCR) tools for converting printed or handwritten numbers into digital format accurately.

To save even more time, consider using AI-powered tools such as اوریس اے آئی to automate getting the first draft of your transcription. Upload your audio to get your automated transcription. Following that, you can then spend time more efficiently to edit your transcript to ensure it follows the best practices.

Other Best Practices to Follow

Following these best practices can help you effectively transcribe numbers:


Always check what is the recommended format when transcribing time. If you are writing time on the hour, it should always be followed by “o’clock”, “p.m.”, or “a.m.”.

Phone Numbers

When transcribing a telephone sequence, the number must be written with relevant punctuation marks added. Including the appropriate dashes will help your reader with clarity when reading your transcription.

Cardinal vs Ordinal Numbers

  • Convert cardinal numbers followed by units such as “million” to numerals (eg. “one million” can be written as “1 million”)
  • Convert ordinal numbers greater than 10 to numbers (eg. “fifty sixth” can be written as “56th”)

In conclusion, there are a few basic rules you’ll need to follow to transcribe numbers. By adhering to best practices, leveraging technology, and staying mindful of context, you can ensure accurate and efficient transcriptions in any setting. Remember to prioritise clarity, consistency, and continuous improvement to excel in this essential skill.