Which Transcription Service Do You Need?

Transcription services

Transcription converts audio into text. The audio can be in a number of formats and on any topic, as long as words are distinguishable. Whichever type of transcription service you choose, the aim is to produce an accurate, written account of the speech.

Types of transcription services

  • Verbatim transcription

Verbatim transcriptions capture all aspects of spoken language. Transcribers write down all details they hear, including filler words such as “um” and “err”, hesitations, interjections, laughter, false starts, and grammatical errors.

This type of transcription service is particularly useful when you need an accurate account of what happened, primarily in legal settings such as police interviews or court hearings.

Here’s an example of a verbatim transcript:

Yeah well, I was, um, looking for a book…and er I couldn’t, I couldn’t remember the exact title so I read several…what are they called?…book b- blurbs. In the end, I had to just ask the assistant for help.

  • Intelligent transcription

Intelligent transcription, also referred to as intelligent verbatim transcription, creates texts that are more readable than standard verbatim texts. Transcribers are given a certain amount of freedom to edit parts of the speech that don’t communicate meaning. So, they might remove repeated words or stutters.

Exactly what’s left in is at the discretion of the transcriber, but as experienced professionals, they should always work to a client’s brief. Transcription companies can advise on whether verbatim or intelligent transcription services are better for your needs.

  • Edited transcription

This is one of the most commonly requested transcription services. The aim is to produce a clear version of the speech, removing irrelevant words and noises.  The core message remains the same, but the transcription is easy to read and flows well.

While all transcribers aim to deliver high-quality documents, edited transcriptions allow them to tidy up the final text. As such, these transcription services are best suited to situations where the information is more important than how it’s said. This might be recordings of lectures, internal meetings, or interviews intended for publication.

Here’s an example of a verbatim transcript:

I was looking for a book and I couldn’t remember the exact title, so I read several book blurbs. In the end, I had to ask the assistant for help.

  • Phonetic transcription

This type of transcription differs from the other forms. The aim is to produce a visual representation of speech sounds for linguistic analysis. Usually, this is done via symbols such as the phonetic alphabet.

As such, phonetic transcribers don’t only write down the words spoken, but also how they are spoken. Aspects of speech such as pronunciation, intonation, and overlapping sounds are recorded.

Transcription challenges

A short section of audio can seem straightforward until you try to write it down. Suddenly, it becomes clear that people are talking over each other, mispronouncing words, and running long sentences together. One person might have a very distinct accent or mumble almost incoherently at times.

When it comes to multilingual transcription, expert transcription companies are able to navigate local dialects and understand specialist terminology. They are also trained to distinguish between speakers, recognize homophones (words that sound the same but are spelled differently), and note down all information accurately.

At Future Trans, we have extensive experience in transcription. We know how to achieve the best results and deliver accurate, well-presented documents. Our professional transcribers are skilled at working with complex audio files, including those with several speakers and different languages.

As a language services provider, we regularly translate and transcribe MENA documents. For information, please get in touch.

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