SIL Transcriber

Type your audio recordings with ease.


Type your audio recordings with ease and as a team. Oral translation projects must take extra steps to ensure quality and consistency because primary tools that we use to ensure quality—Paratext and FLEx—are focused on text, not audio. SIL Transcriber makes it clear and simple to get audio translation drafts typed, checked, and into Paratext.

Fingers on a keyboard

Type as you listen

You’ve got a lot of typing to do. SIL Transcriber helps you listen and type more efficiently, with audio controls optimized for transcription—not music! Control speed so you don’t get behind, or skip back to catch a word you missed. Keyboard shortcuts and—even better—a foot pedal, let you make one pass through the audio file without ever taking your hands off the keyboard.

Work as a team

SIL Transcriber’s simple design makes it possible to include native speakers with beginner computer skills. Everyone has a role to play: administrators manage audio files as tasks. transcribers type them, and reviewers check for quality. By working as a team, you can include more people and make gradual progress on big undertakings.

Screenshot of Paratext

Send to Paratext

Once you’ve typed and reviewed a passage, send it directly to Paratext. SIL Transcriber keeps track of book, chapter, and verse ranges, and it links directly to a Paratext project on your computer.

Need to send it somewhere else? Copy a transcription to your clipboard and paste it into an app of your choice.

Questions and Answers

Do I need a foot pedal?

No, but you can use one to enhance your performance. Audio controls like start, stop, skip (forward/back), and speed can be controlled with keyboard shortcuts or buttons in the app. Start, stop, and skip can also be controlled with a USB or bluetooth foot pedal. 

A pedal is the industry standard tool for controlling audio in transcription. It may take some time to get used to, but using your foot to control audio lets you keep your fingers on alphabetical keys so that you don’t have to keep resetting them every time you control the audio.

Language Support

Transcriptions can be typed in any language, as long as you have a font and keyboard for that language installed.

Interface available in  Arabic, English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Hausa, Russian, Swahili, and Tamil. Request or offer to translate additional languages on the community forum.

System requirements

Requires Windows 10+ or Linux.

To use SIL Transcriber on macOS, you need to run it within a virtual machine with Windows or Linux. Not available for Android or iOS. 

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