Verbatim TranscriptionVerbatim transcription is the art of capturing each verbal sound in an audio recording into a text format. It transfers everything on an audio file exactly the way it is delivered, including the pauses, non-verbal utterances and even silence. Therefore it requires a keen ear and great attention to detail. So seeking the assistance of a general transcription service or online transcription service is the best solution for accurate and efficient verbatim transcription of the recording. Let us consider some important rules to be followed when attempting verbatim transcription.

4 Rules of Verbatim Transcription

  1. Get all the words correct: Paraphrasing statements to convey the general idea instead of typing every word said is not the correct method of verbatim transcription. This method of transcription is acceptable for business transcription but when it comes to researchers and academic analysts, they need to know exactly what is being said and the process of transcription must be congruent with the practical design and theoretical foundation of each investigation.  Therefore it is important to type each and every word accurately.
  2. Do not miss out any non-verbal communication: Communication is not just exchanging of information. It also includes non-verbal communication such as laughter, pauses, hand gestures, etc and verbatim transcription should capture even the false starts, grammatical errors, and repetition of words. This helps the readers of the transcript to receive a true account of the event exactly as spoken. It also conveys the thought process behind the words easily.
  3. Mention the external sounds also: For qualitative researches and market researches a detailed transcript is required of what is happening in the surroundings when the interviewee is speaking. The external sounds may include opening a door, people walking, a side conversation between fellow participants etc. All these external sounds can be duly noted in the transcript with time stamps if required.
  4. Include fillers and false starts: Fillers like “um..,” “ah..,” “you know” etc are often used by speakers when they take time to think. False starts are incomplete sentences spoken by the speaker. Fillers and false starts can break the flow of speaking but it provides insights into the thinking process of a speaker. Verbatim transcription should include all false starts and fillers.

Ideal for Qualitative Research

Verbatim transcription of research data not only attempts to capture the meaning and perception or record the interview, but also records the context in which these were created. Text versions of audio recordings are easy to read and skim through much faster than listening to the audio. Academic researchers and students prefer text versions of qualitative interviews for the following reasons:

  • Easier to code text than multimedia data
  • Majority of the students refer to text-based data, so a text version of qualitative interviews is easier to understand
  • Easy for statistical and automated sentiment analysis.

Accurate verbatim transcription of any interview is essential and immensely helpful for qualitative research. When a number of interviews and other audio recordings are involved that require verbatim transcription, researchers can rely on providers of general transcription services that ensure customized turnaround time and affordable rates.