Certified Office Administrator Learning Resources Dictaphone

Learning Resources


Dictaphone was an American company, a producer of dictation machines—sound recording devices most commonly used to record speech for later playback or to be typed into print. The name "Dictaphone" is a trademark, but in some places it has also become a common way to refer to all such devices, and is used as a genericized trademark. At present, Dictaphone is a division of Boston-based Nuance Communications.

How to use a Dictaphone
Dictaphone is a trademarked brand name for a dictation machine, a device much like a tape recorder. Managers often dictate letters using a Dictaphone. Meetings, lectures and seminars are often recorded, and secretaries or transcriptionists type the information while listening to the tape.

  • Plug the headphone to the Dictaphone and put it on your head.
  • Insert the tape in the Dictaphone and press "Play."
  • Place your foot on the pedal. Notice the two buttons on the pedal. One is to forward and the other is to rewind the tape. Some foot pedals also have a button to set the speed according to your typing speed.
  • Practice a few times so you can familiarize yourself with the process. You have to coordinate your hand, foot and ear, which may seem challenging at first.
  • Start typing what you hear on the tape. If you notice that you missed a word, rewind the tape and type in the word you missed. Transcribers must use correct punctuation and grammar. After you finish typing all the information on the tape, play it back while reading over the document to make sure you didn't miss any words.
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