What are the Types of Transcription?

So you have hundreds of hours of audio files waiting to be transcribed and you’re ready to send it out to a professional transcription company so they can work their magic.

But then they ask you this question: What type of transcription do you require?

What? There’s more than one?

Up to that point, you may not be aware that there are different types of transcription and that each one of them serves a specific purpose.

To know which type of transcription to choose, you must first know what the options are. Whether it’s audio or video files, you still have to determine the transcription style of transcription that best suits your needs.

Here are the different types of transcription explained.

1. Strict Verbatim Transcription

The verbatim style of transcription captures all of the spoken words that can be heard from the audio file or the video.

This includes filler words like ah, uh, hmm, and other sounds coming from the speakers.

Even stutters, repetitions, and interjections are included in the transcription. Transcribers transcribe exactly what they hear word per word.

Long pauses, laughter, and other utterances by the speakers are also included in verbatim transcription.

In verbatim transcription projects, completeness is necessary. Every reaction, response, and verbal tics are captured as they are. There should be no omissions or selective hearing.

When to use Verbatim Transcription?

The verbatim type of transcription is typically favored by certain industries, including Legal, Police and Law Enforcement, Market Research, Film, Advertising, and Human Resources Recruitment, among others.

Why do these industries need verbatim transcripts? It’s because they need accurate and complete information in their daily operations. For instance, the police need transcripts of witnesses’ account of a crime. Legal firms need transcripts of courtroom proceedings, meetings, legal briefs, depositions, and conference calls.

If you are operating in any of these industries, it would be beneficial for your company to use verbatim transcription. It will help your processes run smoothly because there’s always a document that you can refer to and you can be assured that they are accurate and complete.

2. Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

Also known as clean verbatim or non-verbatim, intelligent verbatim transcription is a style of transcription that omits filler words, stutters, false starts, self-corrections, repetitions, verbal tics, speaker repetitiveness, interjections, and non-speech sounds. (Whew! That’s a lot of omissions).

This doesn’t mean that the final transcript is incomplete. The message and essence of the audio file are still intact. Only the elements that distract the reader are removed. Again, the point is to give a clean and clear version of the otherwise chaotic audio or video file for conciseness and readability.

Transcribers have a little more leeway in the way they transcribe the audio files. The purpose of intelligent verbatim transcription is to provide a clear transcript for easy readability.

When to use Intelligent Verbatim or Non-Verbatim Transcription?

Intelligent verbatim is typically used in the business and medical fields. The transcripts don’t need to include non-speech sounds and filler words. They are straightforward transcripts that are quick to read, easy to understand, and do not distract the reader.

This type of transcription is also typically used in podcasts, speeches, meetings, and conferences. People who read transcripts should be able to digest the message without being distracted by non-speech sounds and utterances.

3. Edited Transcription

Edited transcription omits some parts of the audio or video file that are not necessary, unimportant, or repetitive. But be reminded that even though certain parts are removed, the meaning or message of the recording does not change.

One important thing to consider here is the skill and expertise of the transcriber. The transcriber must be able to understand the purpose and message of the audio file so that he or she can extract what’s important and discard the unimportant ones.

In edited transcription, the transcriber cleans up the clutter and presents a clear text version with the meaning and message intact. The integrity of the audio or video file is maintained so you don’t have to worry about inadvertent omissions.

When to use Edited Transcription?

Edited Transcription is often used in publishing, academia, speeches, and conferences. In these fields, transcripts that are edited and formalized are favored because they are typically shared with the public or with specific users. Clarity and readability are important elements that they look for when they read the transcripts.

Making The Decision

Ultimately, the decision on which type of transcription depends on your purpose. Intelligent Verbatim is somewhat the default choice because it strikes a balance between clarity and completeness. However, there are situations that call for a strict verbatim or edited transcript.

If you need assistance, we’re more than happy to help. Contact us and we’ll help you decide on the type of transcription that fits your needs.

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