• CJ

When To Use Strict Verbatim Transcription

Updated: Sep 25, 2019




If you have been looking around for a transcription company to do all the transcription work for you, you probably have encountered the term verbatim transcription. You have an idea what it is, but you may be wondering if the term has the same meaning across transcription companies. The answer is that yes, the term means the same across companies, however, the style and format could vary.


What is Verbatim Transcription?

Verbatim is a transcription style where every word and utterance are transcribed. Generally, there are two types of verbatim transcription:


Strict Verbatim

Audio is captured word-for-word including false starts, filler words, crutch words and stutters.


Filler words are uh, uh-uh um, er, hmm, or ​mm-hmm.

False starts happen when speakers make mistakes or change their train of thought, so they will start over again to correct themselves.


Crutch words are words and phrases that speakers use when they're trying to search for the right words to say. They are verbal tics that don't really add meaning or value to the conversation. Examples of crutch words are like, right, you know.


In strict verbatim there will be a lot of repetitions and pauses. As a result, transcripts are usually long and hard to read.



Clean Verbatim

This type of verbatim transcription removes the filler words, crutch words, and stutters to ensure that the transcript is easy to read. Even though it's the clean version of the strict verbatim, the integrity of the transcript is preserved. No essential information is removed.



What transcription type to use?


Many people choose strict verbatim because they want to capture everything that was uttered by the speakers. The downside to this is that the transcript is a little more difficult to read.


Your choice should depend on what you're using the transcripts for. Generally, strict verbatim are used for legal interviews, psychology reports, medical profile, and police interviews.


Clean verbatim is ideal if you'll use the transcript as a reference or as a supplement to your notes when you write your article or blog post. It's also recommended if you'll be using it to create materials that you'll distribute to clients, seminar participants, or students. This is because you can just copy the content without the need to do massive edits.


If readability is a huge factor, then clean verbatim is the best choice. If completeness is preferred, strict verbatim is recommended.


If you'd like more information about our audio and video transcription services or the transcription styles or templates we use, feel free to contact us.