Tips to Enhance the Quality of Verbatim Transcription

by | Published on Dec 12, 2013 | Verbatim Transcription

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A small error made in verbatim transcription can have a serious impact. For instance, in legal transcripts, nonverbal cues such as silences and body language as well as emotional sounds such as crying, coughs, and sighs should be incorporated into transcribed text as they can have implications for the case. Here are some tips to improve the quality of your verbatim transcripts:

  • Pick Up Non-Verbal Sounds – Verbatim transcripts should not only include the exact spoken words but also the non-verbal sounds such as pauses, sighs, laughter, and more, especially in the case of court proceedings. You need to also transcribe non-verbal communication including hand gestures. Listen to and view the audio/video recordings carefully to pick up such things.
  • Don’t Leave Out External Sounds – Do not overlook the sounds which are not the part of the conversation such as the sound of ringing phone, blowing wind, and more. You should transcribe these external sounds accurately. They are very important for court hearing transcripts, media transcripts, research transcripts and more. Imagine that you are transcribing a commercial film and there is a scene in which sound of banging doors is heard. Unless you transcribe ‘sound of banging doors is heard’, your film transcript will be incomplete.
  • Avoid Paraphrasing Words – If you are not familiar with or get confused about a particular word in the recording, do not base your transcription on pure imagination. Consider the context and use a proper dictionary to find out the word and its correct spelling.
  • Double Check the Transcripts – Once you finish the transcription, check your verbatim transcript for spelling, punctuation, grammatical or other errors. You can correct mistakes by double checking your work.
  • Hire Skilled Transcriptionists – When you hire transcriptionists, make sure that they have exceptional listening, spelling and typing skills. Professional transcriptionists can pick up every sound in the recordings and transcribe them accurately within required turnaround time. You should keep in mind that the manner in which interview content is both heard and understood by the transcriber plays an important role in determining the format and accuracy of the verbatim transcript.

If you are a busy business professional, lawyer or researcher, it may not be easy to transcribe all your data on your own. Consider outsourcing the task to a transcription company that offers verbatim transcription services. This will ensure that both verbal and nonverbal exchanges are transcribed accurately and in a timely manner. Reliable companies also provide services at surprisingly affordable rates.

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