Transcribing is a process analogous to ‘writing out’ or ‘typing out.’ The linguistic connotations of transcription relate to the systematic representation of spoken language in written form. The source ‘text’ of transcription can either be verbal or written. In simple words,transcription is a document crafted by typing everything uttered either in an audio or video.
The entire transcription procedure entails a word-to-word conversion of the source text, or the transcriptor may take liberties and tweak certain parts of the text. The vitality of transcription is paramount in the discipline of linguistics, wherein it is an essential part of the methodologies, phonetics, conversation analysis, dialects, etc.
Types of Transcription
Transcription services have become an indispensable part of businesses and professional ventures. They have evolved over time to transcend beyond academia. Nowadays, transcription has become a potent way of communication between clients and business personnel. The Internet and its revolutionary entailments need no introduction.
Since the 1990s, with the rise of the World Wide Web and social media platforms, we can see a boom in audio and video content. This shift from written video to audio-video media has made transcription all the more critical. We can gauge the paramount importance of the transcription industry from the fact that it is currently valued at USD 19.8 billion and is expected to grow at an annual rate of 6 percent from 2020 to 2027.
Strict Verbatim Transcription – This transcription style encapsulates all spoken words that the transcriber can hear from an audio file or video file. The filler words like ‘ah,’ ‘ahm,’ ‘oh,’ etc., are included in the transcript document. Stutters, repetitions, interjections are all a lively part of the transcription.
Moreover, long pauses, laughers, and other utterances by the speaker are meticulously captured by the transcriber. The exponential details are what make verbatim transcription unique. Selective hearing and omissions are absolutely frowned upon in this type of transcription.
We can witness the supremacy and widespread popularity of strict verbatim transcription in domains of Law, Police and Legal Enforcement, Market Research, Films, Advertising, Human Resources, Recruitment, and so on. You may be interrogating the relevance of strict verbatim transcription.
Why is such a massive onus put on filler words and utterances? Well, specific industries heavily rely on complete and accurate information for their daily operations. For example, the law requires transcription of proceedings, hearings, and so on. Similarly, the police force needs the immaculate transcription of witnesses.
Intelligent Verbatim Transcription – Alternately known as non-verbatim transcription, intelligent verbatim transcription is a style of transcription that involves omissions. The transcriber has some degree of independence to omit laughter, utterances, and filler words.
The transcriber can also polish incomplete sentences of the audio or video file whenever they deem fit. The exclusions associated with non-verbatim transcription do not mean that the final transcript is incomplete. The thumb rule in intelligent verbatim transcription is to capture the message and essence of the video’s audio and keep them intact.
The transcriber removes the ostensibly distracting aspects of the source document. The motivation behind the non-verbatim transcription is to present a clean version of the otherwise chaotic audio or video for readability and preciseness.
We can observe that non-verbatim transcription is most commonly utilized in businesses and medical spheres. In such fields, the utterances, pauses, and filler words do not have much significance, and they are easily ignored. Moreover, non-verbatim transcription is also used in podcasts, speeches, meetings, and conferences.
Edited Transcription – In this transcription style, certain parts of the audio or video file that are unimportant or non-essential can be excluded. The transcriber has considerable leeway to remove aspects of the source file that they deem repetitive or trivial.
But, it is noteworthy that despite the lacuna in edited transcriptions, the document’s original message, essence, and intent must remain intact. A transcriber involved in edited transcription must swiftly de-clutter the chaos of the source audio or video and present a clean and polished version of the same.
They need to possess the expertise and skill of grasping the purpose and intent of the audio or video file’s message and take stringent decisions on what is essential and what is not. Edited transcription is commonly used in publishing houses, academia, speeches, and conferences. These are the domains that have the luxury to omit unnecessary parts of the source file. Clarity, conciseness, and readability are the crucial aspects of edited transcription.
Phonetic Transcription – This type of transcription notes the way spoken words are pronounced using phonetic symbols. We know that the English language has 26 alphabets, but approximately 44 unique sounds are called phonemes. Well, the pertinent question now is what a phoneme is? It is the smallest unit of speech that can make one word different from another.
The phonetic translation is used when the aim is to retain the dialect in which the original words were spoken. For example, if a transcriber engages with a period movie wherein the dialogues are not in modern English and the word ‘quandary’ is often used, the transcriber would exercise phonetic transcription on the word’ quandary.’
Transcription and the Types of Document
The transcription process can be embedded into a variety of texts, such as an audio file or a video.
Audio files – Audio files like recordings and podcasts are commonly transcribed into readable, written texts. In addition, recorded legal proceedings are routinely transcribed to be easily accessible to lawyers, judges, and juries.
Video files – Video transcription involves converting a video or a film’s audio track into a written document. A typical example is the transcription of video interviews into blogs and news articles. Also, documentary films are often transcribed into eBooks.
Written materials – Written PDFs and hand-written matters like notes, letters, manuscripts, etc., are a regular part of the transcription process. Transcribing hand-written materials entails converting multiple messages into a single, readable text for the reader’s convenience.
Transcription is a process that needs utmost patience and perseverance. Although, in hindsight, it seems simple and easy, transcribing a file is challenging.
If you are looking to transcribe a document, make sure to opt for specialists who are distinctly trained to transcribe long audio and video files with phenomenal competency. If you hunt for an agency that offers transcription services, make sure to hire one that understands your specific needs and can suggest the type of transcription required – edited, verbatim, non-verbatim or phonetic.
Please search for a transcription agency with genuine positive reviews on their website, transparent policies, accommodative practices, and open communication. Also, it is imperative for the transcriber to have ample experience in the particular type of transcription you are looking for.
Credible certification and a confident outlook are qualities that you should be searching for in a transcriber. Doing some background research and making price comparisons is vital before deciding on any transcription services.