Guidelines for Audio Transcription Work
Style Choices for Audio Transcription
At Wordsworth we have found that our clients have many different transcription needs, depending upon the purpose of their project. For example, while it is important for some clients to have every word uttered -- or stuttered -- transcribed, for others that would only get in the way.
If you already have specific transcription and formatting needs spelled out for your project, simply send them to us. However, if you have not thought about how you want your transcriptions formatted, take a look at our options below.
Most of our clients want one of three levels of detail in their transcripts: Exact verbatim, near verbatim or content only.
At this level of detail, we will transcribe everything that the speakers say. Stuttering or unfinished words or sentences will be transcribed, as well as superfluous speech such as "umm", "ah", "you know", and nonverbal sounds (laughter, sighing). Any pauses or interruptions will be included, as well as remarks (yeah, OK) by the interviewer that the interviewee does not respond to. Verbatim transcription is usually required only by researchers interested in speech patterns.
Intelligent Verbatim Transcription
Many of our clients are interested in some of the verbatim content, but not all of it. We can omit or include whichever details are of use to your project. Typically at this level we would include laughter, slang words, improper grammar and some indication of unfinished words or stuttering. However we would not transcribe every "umm" or "ahh" or include superfluous remarks from people other than the speaker. Intelligent transcription is used by most of our clients who require accurate recordings of their subjects, yet are not studying exact speech patterns.
Content Only Transcription
This level of detail is appropriate for any project where the content of the speech is the main priority. At this level of detail, anything irrelevant to the content will be ignored, including most non-verbal sounds, stuttering, incomplete or revised sentences and superfluous speech by the speaker or others. In many cases we would also edit the text to remove incorrect grammar or slang words (editing yup into yes for example). Content-only transcription is often used by those publishing their transcript, such as in the case of a conference lecture or a Congressional hearing. If you are looking for a transcript of the content of the talk and are not interested in how exactly it was presented, this level is appropriate for your project.
About Wordsworth Typing and Transcription Services
Wordsworth is a cooperative business. Its partners have worked together on typing, transcription and data entry projects since October of 2000.
Thanks for your consideration,
Amanda and Ken