What is Verbatim Transcription?

Verbatim transcription is a style of transcription.

Verbatim transcription is the art of capturing every verbal sound and more in a recording in to text.

In verbatim transcription, we transcribe everything that’s said they way it is said, without editing or changing anything.  That means we capture audio contents as is, whether they are grammatically correct or not, whether they are easy to read or not.

The idea is to translate the audio content into text form without losing the integrity of the content.

Therefore, verbatim transcription is generally used in court deposition transcription or legal transcription, medical transcription where it is of vital importance to transcribe accurately.

An Example of Verbatim Transcription

Male 1:  How — how do you differentiate be — be — between the two verbatim transcription styles?

Male 2:  We use strict verbatim transcription style for subtitles of videos and shows.  Intelligent verbatim style is used in court transcription or transcripts that are used in legal proceedings.


Types of verbatim transcription

There are basically two main types of verbatim transcription.

One being strict verbatim and the other being intelligent verbatim transcription.

As the name suggests, strict verbatim style of transcription means:

  • Capture slangs as is. Do not change a ‘wanna’ to ‘want to’, ‘gonna’ to ‘going to’.
  • Capture words as they are pronounced.  Tryin’, goin’, gotcha!
  • Capture stutters, change of thoughts and interruptions.
  • Capture also all non-verbal sounds [For example, a ringing phone in the room, the door opening or closing]

The strict verbatim transcription is useful for video transcript production or film transcript production or creating subtitles for movies and films.

The intelligent verbatim style of transcription is the edited style of verbatim transcription.  It is really up to the customers to choose and decide what they want on their transcripts.

  • Change all slangs into proper words or not [Ex: wanna, gonna into want to, going to]
  • Capture words as they are written.  Tryin’ to tring, goin’ to going, gotcha to got you!
  • Capture stutters, change of thoughts and interruptions or not; it’s up to the customer.
  • Do not capture non-verbal sounds.  However, court transcripts may have notations that are inserted into transcripts to mark events within the proceeding.

Customer is King…  or Queen!

While verbatim transcription is one of the transcription styles, it is important to remember that transcription styles are really up to the customers’ desires, needs, and requirements.

It’s simply for convenience that these styles are so differentiated and defined here or by transcribers.

It is the customer to decide how their transcripts look and read. Because customers, we assume, know how they would like to use or not use the transcripts that they order from us.

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