Audio Transcription Styles

September 24, 2018

 ‘Which transcription style would you like us to use?’ – most people would be forgiven for staring blankly at this point… but don’t panic! We’ve put together a simple guide that should make everything clear.

There are three commonly referenced styles of transcription – intelligent verbatim, verbatim and discourse analysis.

 

Transcribe This House Style

Transcribe This uses a house style that is ‘almost verbatim’, where dialogue is typed as spoken, but decluttered a little by removing uhms and ahs and similar:

Includes Excludes
All fillers such as ‘you know’, ‘know what I mean?, ‘kind of’ All ums, ahs, ehs
All repetitions up to a maximum of three. E.g. the, the, the… All stutters
All interruptions, laughter, coughing etc. E.g. ‘I told him not to do it but he fell flat on his face! [laughter] All pauses
Time stamps averaging one per page of transcript
All non-standard/slang language typed as heard. E.g. ‘cos’, ‘shoulda’ etc.
Inaudible passages marked with time stamp. E.g. ‘I went to see [inaudible 00:00:00] parked my car’

 


Intelligent Verbatim

Intelligent verbatim is a transcription style where recorded speech is cleaned up and distractions are removed, therefore capturing what was said rather than how it was said.

 

 

Includes Excludes
Time stamps averaging one per page of transcript All ums, ahs, ehs
All non-standard/slang language replaced with more standard versions. E.g. ‘cos’ will be transcribed as ‘cause, ‘shoulda’ will be transcribed as should have etc. All repetitions, unless repeated for emphasis. E.g. “I am very, very happy with it”
Inaudible passages marked with time stamp. E.g. ‘I went to see [inaudible 00:00:00] parked my car’ All stutters
All pauses
All interruptions, laughter, coughing etc.
All fillers such as ‘you know’, ‘know what I mean?, ‘kind of’

 

 

Strict Verbatim

Strict verbatim is a transcription style where every word, sound and non-verbal communication is captured, therefore capturing how a person speaks as well as what they are saying.

 

Includes
All fillers such as ‘you know’, ‘know what I mean?, ‘kind of’
All repetitions up to a maximum of three. E.g. the, the, the…
All interruptions, laughter, coughing etc. E.g. ‘I told him not to do it, but he fell flat on his face! [laughter]
Time stamps averaging one per page of transcript
All pauses. E.g. ‘I can’t remember [pause] but I think it was two.’
All non-standard/slang language typed as heard. E.g. ‘cos’, ‘shoulda’
Inaudible passages marked with time stamp. E.g. ‘I went to see [inaudible 00:00:00] parked my car’
All stutters
All ums, ahs, ehs

 

Discourse Analysis

Discourse analysis is an umbrella term that includes a number of approaches to analysing the spoken (or written) word and seeks to record information beyond the spoken word, for instance tone of voice, any sounds in the room, interruptions, pauses. It’s widely used in qualitative research. It’s common for the client to ask the transcriber to work to a bespoke set of guidelines when using discourse analysis.

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