Understanding Transcription Styles

Outsourced Typing

What is Transcription?

In a nutshell, transcription is taking an audio or video recorded dictation and turning this into text. The format that this is put into could vary greatly dependent upon the needs of the client and could be anything from a simple word document, spreadsheet, database, etc to more complex bespoke systems and computer programmes. There are a few ways in which this audio can be transcribed which are discussed below.


Verbatim Transcription

If  a client asks for a verbatim transcription service then this means they would like every single word or noise or mumble within the recording to be documented. This will include the ummm’s, errr’s, mmmmm, gotcha, kinda and so on. In these cases a transcribed text could look like this:

“Well, ummm, I did go to the errr, I did go to the office on Wednesday but errr I can’t remember who I spoke to hmmmm it could have been errr Susan”

So in this case any repeated words are typed, any noises and often any mumbles (if the typist cannot hear the words) could be popped in as [mumbled words] or [crying] or in any way which the client wishes these to be noted. Excitement, fear and voice tremors can also be put into the document.

Many clients do not need verbatim transcription, particularly if the typing is a professional report or document, however it can be useful and may be used more often in interviews and for legal clients such as the police service particularly if the transcription is needed for legal proceedings. Verbatim transcription can take a few forms itself in that clients may require stutters and repetition to be removed (Clean/Intelligent Verbatim) or perhaps just stutters and pauses to make reading more fluent (True Verbatim) or as in the above example everything is left in (Full Verbatim).


Edited Transcription

Edited transcription requires the typist completing the transcription to have a deeper understanding of the content of what is on the audio file. They will remove any noises/interjections (err, umm etc) and repetition but also choose which bits of the audio are the most relevant ensuring that the typed document still follows what the speaker is saying, makes sense and is keeping all important subject matter. The transcriber will need to comprehend the subject matter well so they know which bits can be left out without altering the meaning.

Edited transcription is most commonly used for conferences, speeches, seminars (or webinars) and meeting minutes. It takes longer than a standard transcription as the typist will be thinking about context and paragraphs rather than just concentrating on each word being said.


Intelligent Transcription

This method of transcription takes out all the interjections (umm’s, mmmm, etc) and any stutters or emotion. It also allows the typist to intelligently change sentences to appropriate written text. So for example, if the speaker say’s ‘gonna’ this will be typed as ‘going to’. Punctuation will be added where necessary and the audio is typed so that it can be read smoothly and easily and makes complete sense.

This form of transcription is probably one of the most requested. Reports for example for surveyors need to be completed in Intelligent Transcription so that the customer has a report that they can read about their property that makes sense, does not contain any places where the speaker has stuttered or repeated a word and does not have those noises and emotions associated with verbatim transcription.



All three of these transcription types have their pros and cons and it depends upon the client’s requirements and preferences as to which they need. If you wish to discuss your typing and transcription needs, please contact WWY Ltd by clicking here.

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