When it comes to verbatim transcription there are two main types. Knowing the difference between these man types is very important, as this ensures you get the correct transcribed outcome for your requirements.

This article will outline the difference between clean verbatim and true verbatim transcription services, and discuss which industries rely on these different styles of transcription.

What Is A Clean Verbatim Transcription Service?

Clean verbatim transcription is the name given to a transcription service where the audio file or video has been adjusted during the transcription process to make transcripts easier to read and understand.

This is due to the fact that certain aspects of the audio file are not transcribed word for word. Some examples include filler words and non speech sounds speakers might make, such as ‘hmmm hmm, hmm and uh-huh’ and any throat clearing. This makes each sentence easier to read.

Edited transcription, or intelligent verbatim are also names given to the transcription services which follow these clean verbatim rules.

Verbatim transcription is important in the legal sector.

Why Do Certain Industries Rely On Clean Verbatim Transcription Services?

For many different industries using clean verbatim transcription is the preferred method of transcribing. This is because with clean verbatim you can get the main, necessary points, without having to read filler words and irrelevant words. Clean verbatim also removes any slang words and grammatical errors making them easy to understand what is being said.

Academic transcription and medical transcription are just two transcription types where it is acceptable to use clean verbatim. Focus groups and workshops may also benefit from these clean verbatim rules depending on their desired context.

What Are The Regular Verbatim Transcription Rules?

Regular verbatim, also known as true verbatim, is a word for word transcription service. When transcribing in this way everything is transcribed exactly as it is within the audio or video file.

This means any run on sentences, false starts and incomplete sentences are all included. With this type of strict verbatim any background noise and any other talking you can hear in the background of the audio are often also transcribed.

An example of where this full verbatim transcription rules are used, is for legal transcription.

This is because it is very important that the audio or video files are transcribed using the exact words. This includes filler words such as ‘uh-huh’ as well as any false starts.

In legal documents these non speech sounds can be analysed in numerous ways. For example, if an interviewer asks a potential suspect a question and in their answers they pause, stutter or have trouble forming sentences, as a lawyer you can use this language to help build up a case against them.

This transcript can then be presented to the jury in a court case and used as evidence alongside the original audio file.

At Alphabet our transcriptionists can also add time stamps when questions are asked and answered. Time stamping is a great feature as you can analyse the pause between the questions and when the answer was given.

Transcriptionists who transcribe this type of verbatim have to have great concentration skills and have to be able to pay attention to every sound that can be heard. This includes any other speakers that can be heard in the audio or video. This is to ensure nothing is missed, as this can affect the context of the transcribed text.

Why Is True Verbatim Transcription So Important?

With clean verbatim the words are not featured in the transcript exactly the same way as they are spoken by the speaker in the audio, meaning important information or context could be missed. This is why at Alphabet we strongly believe that true verbatim is the best type of transcribed verbatim.

The type of sounds edited out of these file types can be very important when it comes to deeper analysis of the speech and language. These hmmm hmm sounds, throat clearing and even laughter can often adjust the spoken meaning, so having these present in the sentence is something we feel is really important.

How to transcribe audio word for word.

How To Transcribe Audio Word For Word

In some audios there are features which are transcribed differently to the way in which they are spoken. This includes numbers, times, and even spoken sounds such as laughter. These are often common factors of interview recordings. 

At Alphabet we make sure that every detail is transcribed correctly to ensure your file is 100% accurate. The next part of this article will discuss how to transcribe an interview, or any type of audio so that it is typed out correctly.

How To Transcribe Laughter

When it comes to transcribing an interview, there are often breaks where speakers laugh. With clean verbatim rules, this laughter would not be transcribed. But with true verbatim this laughter is included in the final transcript. 

The best way to transcribe laughter is by using square brackets. [Laughs] is the best way to indicate a speaker laughing. However, if someone is laughing in the background it would be transcribed as [laughter].

How To Transcribe Numbers

When it comes to transcribing numbers there is a very simple rule. Numbers 1-9 should be written out and numbers past nine should be written in numerals. 

The only time this rule does not apply is when we transcribe data like measurements and time. When transcribing measurements and time all numbers should be typed out in their numerical form.

How To Transcribe Hours

When it comes to transcribing time to the hour there are two different ways that this can be done. 

The first way to do this is to simply write the time followed by ‘o clock.’ As previously mentioned all numbers of time are typed out in their numerical form. 

Alternatively you can type time out using AM and PM followed by the numerical numbers. 

How To Transcribe A Spelled Word

In some audio files, speakers introduce themselves by their name and then spell it out. With clean verbatim rules, this part would probably be edited out of the transcribed document.

However at Alphabet we would include this. The way we would transcribe this is by simply adding dashes in-between each letter as it is spelled out. For example A-m-a-n-d-a.

To Summarise

To conclude, even though clean verbatim rules give you a transcribed outcome which is not only easier to read, but also easier to understand, it has many limits. Clean verbatim is ideal for industries such as the academic industry, however the legal industry, as well as others, rely heavily on the irrelevant speech and sounds which would be removed in this process. 

This is why more companies lean towards the use of true verbatim as you do not risk missing out any important information.

Here at Alphabet Secretarial we are happy to assist you with your transcription enquiries. Contact us today to find out about our transcription services.