3 Transcription Styles for Your Transcripts
Have you ever stopped in the middle of a transcript and gone ‘Why don’t they just get to the point!’ or ‘Hey wait a minute, this isn’t what the guy said…’
A transcript can be annoyingly hard to read, intelligently edited, or very, very detailed depending on the transcription style used.
There are three basic styles of transcription:
The intelligent verbatim style of transcription uses editing and paraphrasing to create an easy-to-read and ready-to-print transcript. For example:
“There are so many different requirements within each one of those different segments that if you can hone in on each one of those… and gosh there are a lot of needs within the 25 to 54! I mean, you’re getting families and…”
In this method the transcriptionist first transcribes the audio verbatim and then an editor conducts detailed editing to remove fillers, paraphrase or removed false starts (incomplete sentences), remove repetitions, corrects minor grammatical errors and presents the text in short, easy-to-read paragraphs.
This is the preferred style of transcription for business-related recordings and is also called business transcription.
Verbatim transcription is word-for-word transcription of the audio with light editing. For example:
“…’Cause I think there are so many uh… different requirements within each one of those many and different um… segments that if you can hone in on each one of those segments… and gosh there’s a lot of needs within the 25 to 54 . I mean you’re getting families and…”
In this style an editor removes the false start (irrelevant incomplete sentences) and repetitions to create a neater transcript but doesn’t paraphrase or correct grammatical errors.
This is the default style of transcription used by transcription services unless you ask for something different.
True Verbatim is the most detailed account of a recording, including every word, sound and non-verbal communication (like laughter and pauses) on the recording. Here’s an example:
“…’Cause I mean…I think there are so many different needs er… different requirements within each one of those you know, those many and different segments that er… if you can hone in on each one of those segments um… and gosh there’s a lot of needs within the 25 to 54 [laughs]. I mean you know you’re getting families and…”
In this style the recording is transcribed without deleting or editing anything.
Verbatim transcription is used for research and analysis where every little detail counts.
Which one is best for you? Think of how you plan to use your transcript. The common practice is to use verbatim for market research or writing-related projects, true verbatim for PhD research and clean read for business.
It’s a good idea to let your transcription service know your preferred style of transcription so that you get the right level of detail in your transcripts.