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Voice Captioning and Punctuation

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Julie Balog CCR 1

>> Mark, where did you say the new meeting was going to be?

>> If I remember correctly, Tom, we decided either in the conference room, the lunch room, or in Mr. Smith's office.

>> On the first Monday in July, correct?

>> Yes, that is correct, I believe.

What you see above is a typical exchange that I might have to caption for a weekly meeting for one of our clients at Vitac.  If you were a machine captioner, you would key in your punctuation as you do your words. Voice captioners, however, as they do their captions, also "voice" in our punctuation. Our voice recognition software we use, Dragon, allows you to come up with any word you want for your marks of punctuation. You can just use: comma, period, question mark, semicolon. But....when captioning, perhaps we need the actual word "period" for something, like: "I want to have this by the 3rd period of our day."  So we as voice captioners come up with shortcuts for our punctuation. I use "shorthand" words to substitute for my punctuation. Kah= comma, peerk= period, quex= question mark, and so on. I also say "spak" to show that a new speaker is starting and my software moves me to the next line with the double chevron to start that new dialogue.

So the exchange above? I would VOICE it like this to come up in realtime as you see above:


Mark kah where did you say the new meeting was going to be quex spak

If I remember correctly kah Tom kah we decided either in the conference room kah the lunch room kah or in Mr. Smith's office peerk spak

On the first Monday in July kah correct quex spak

Yes kah that is correct kah I believe peerk

So how do you do all this AND at the same time try to stay a few words behind to get everything in while people are conducting their meeting at a WPM rate of about 160-200? You HAVE to be a very proficient punctuator! This means that your English skills need to polished, practiced, and top notch! The ability to "hear" and/or anticipate what mark of punctuation is needed in the sentence you are voicing is so important for the readability on the other end for our deaf and hard of hearing participants. New captioners sometime leave out much of the needed punctuation until they practice and gain experience. Someone reading our captions in realtime will find it much easier to follow along in their meeting, webinar, or class if the punctuation is put in at the right moments and is grammatically correct.

So if you have mad skills in English and/or a love of our language, voice captioning may be for you! If you feel a career in captioning is for you, and maybe your skills aren't as "mad" as some, College of Court Reporting prepares you for that as well, as the English classes are part of our program. You will take a Court Reporting English class (CR100) as part of your curriculum in our Voice program, as well as learn how to use all the punctuation shortcuts in your captioning classes. This skill is practiced regularly then throughout your 4 semesters in our program.

If you would like information on our Voice Captioning program at College of Court Reporting,

please contact Nicky Rodriquez Toll Free: 866-294-3974 ext. 222

Feel free to reach out to me if you ever need anything! julie.balog@ccr.edu



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