Types of Transcription

By: Speechpad Team

Generally, transcription means converting an audio or video file into a written format. However, transcription involves much more than that. The type of transcription entirely depends on a client’s need. The client’s need depends on how the transcription is going to be used. There are essentially three types of transcriptions for audio and video files.

The first kind is the verbatim transcription. This type of transcription is the most difficult, complicated and time-consuming. It is also the most expensive type of transcription because it involves ensuring that each spoken word, every laugh, every emotion, background noise, mumbled or garbled sentences or words is transcribed and time-coded in the written format. In short, the written format of a verbatim transcription must be an exact replica of the audio or video file as recorded. It is of the utmost importance the transcriber pays very close attention to all of the sounds in the audio or video file. This includes the emotions expressed, the spoken words, the mumbled, garbled or half sentences in the audio or video file, (which may or may not be grammatically correct), and where the transcriber is unable to understand what the speaker is saying, or is not 100% sure. This type of transcription is most often used for legal proceedings or movies, films, videos, commercials, etc.

The second type of transcription is edited transcriptions. Edited transcriptions are when the transcriber can omit parts of the audio or video file, so long as the meaning of the recording does not change. This type of transcription is also quite time-consuming because the transcriber must be able to differentiate between what is important and what is not important in the audio or video file. Edited transcriptions require the transcriber understand the meaning and purpose of the audio or video file and basically, clean up the clutter, while still retaining the integrity of the audio or video file. These types of transcriptions are generally used for speeches, conferences, seminars, classes, etc.
The third type of transcription is the intelligent transcription. These transcriptions do not need to include the emotions, half-sentences, mumbled or garbled speech in the written format. The end result of this transcription is that it is straightforward and the final written product reads intelligently. This transcription actually costs more and takes more time due to the “intelligent” nature of the transcription. It requires a more highly qualified, trained and experienced transcriber to do this kind of work, because they need to have a complete understanding of what the speaker is trying to convey. It is a lot more about editing and less about the transcription itself.
Each of the three transcription formats has their positives and negatives. Therefore, it is important to assess the needs of the client to determine which type of transcription the client requires. The determination of the type of transcription required by the client, will largely affect the TAT (turn-around-time) of the transcription project, as well as the price of transcribing the audio or video file. Speechpad provides all three types of these transcription services. These professionals can assist you in determining which type of transcription best suits the requirements of your project.