Transcription goals vary from one client or project to the other. Some transcribe for more comfortable filing, while others want to use the materials on other platforms that cannot support audio files, among other reasons. It is the reason for transcribing that will determine the type of transcription you will order. Sometimes, you would want a full verbatim transcript.

By definition, transcription is converting audio files into text. However, one client may want all details in the audio file captured in the text script, while another’s interested in the general information. As a result, the same audio file produces two or more types of transcripts.

Well, a client or the instructions provided determine the approach you will give to a transcription project. It means that you now have to think beyond general transcription. Full verbatim transcription is one of the styles. Let’s look at what it means and how you can execute this transcription style.

What is Full Verbatim Transcription?

To understand what full verbatim transcription means, take the example of an audio recording scenario.

You are in a boardroom for an interview or board meeting. There is a rapporteur typing the minutes in the background. Similarly, participants and facilitators walk in and out of the meeting. And as expected, speakers will pause somewhere in the middle, repeat words, interject, and cause other noises.

In one instance, all these details taking place during the meeting are necessary. In another instance, you only require pieces that capture the meeting’s core business, for example, for distribution as minutes. It is these two scenarios that result in a full verbatim transcript and an intelligent transcript.

So, what is full verbatim transcription?

The word Verbatim comes from Latin and means’ word for word.’ The expectation of a transcriber is to capture each story or sound audible in the file. There is no room for translation or paraphrasing.

Such a transcript is crucial for research, negotiations, and court proceedings, among other sensitive situations. Any missing element in such a conversation would change the direction of the resolution or decision made.

The transcript captures even the tone of people speaking and other sounds that are not related to the main dialogue.

Types of Verbatim Transcription

Verbatim transcription then splits into two other varieties; full verbatim and intelligent verbatim. You will know the type of transcription you need by understanding the thin line that separates these two types of transcripts.

Let’s explore these two varieties of verbatim transcription.

Full Verbatim Transcription

A full verbatim transcript is one where you transcribe everything you hear as you hear it. If a speaker stammers, your script should capture that. If there are speech errors and corrections, capture them as they appear in the audio exactly.

If a person reads through your script and wants to listen to a timestamp like 1 min 27 seconds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear somebody cough, yet it is not in the script.

If you transcribe everything you hear in the audio, what should you expect to see in the transcript?

  • False starts– the person begins to speak but runs out of words in the middle. An example is, “I wanted to uuh ask all, sorry, request your presence tomorrow.
  • Speech errors– speakers are correcting themselves in the middle of sentences. “I visited Ann on Tuesday, no Wednesday.”
  • Filler Words– These are words that a grammar editor would kick out of a script. “You tell them to try. You know, as in, come earlier.”
  • Slang– words outside the English language or the primary language used in the audio file. “I kinda like his zing.”
  • Repetitions– These occur in sentences, phrases, and words with similar meanings in the same sentence. “I will come. I will come to see the baby.”
  • Stutters– incomplete sentences and phrases. “I will… well, let’s say I will request him to join us next time.”

Affirmative and negative responses also form a part of the full verbatim transcript. You hear affirmative responses during dialogue when the listening party says, “mmh or ooh,” among other sounds.

A negative response would be, “Ah-ah” or “Mm-mm.” The sounds may be in the foreground or faintly heard in the background. Thus, a full verbatim transcript is anchored on exactness and precision.

·        Clean or Intelligent Transcription

The name suggests that some editing has taken place. The cleaning involves editing to make the transcript more comfortable to read. The original message and intention will still be maintained. However, extra distractions like unnecessary sounds are removed.

Do not confuse editing for paraphrasing. A listener following the transcript with the audio will still hear the same words and order. However, the transcript is straightforward and focuses on the subject of discussion.

Do not expect to see filler words on verbatim transcripts. Stutters and coughs are also removed because they do not add value to the dialogue. You also remove false starts and interjections. Transcriptionists delivering a clean or intelligent transcription will also eliminate unintentional word repetition as well as background noises and repetitions.

Ideally, the transcript will capture precise words that capture the subject of discussion. The emotions of speakers or the presence of other activities are never recorded. The resulting transcript is perfect for an environment where the focus is the message and not how it was captured or events surrounding its capture.

How to Choose the Right Type of Transcription

The choice of a transcription style does not appear like a big deal. But by the end of this segment, you will understand why you should choose one type over the other.

The type of transcription ordered affects the details captured in a transcript. As mentioned above, a clean transcript is necessary when all components of the audio capturing environment are essential.

So, what should guide your choice of a clean or full verbatim transcript?

Majorly, the purpose of ordering the transcription project will determine the type of transcript. Take the example of a legal situation where evidence of dialogue and activities are essential to the case. A full verbatim transcript is required.

The transcription format also affects the choice of a transcript. The interview audio that is to be filed alongside the interviewee’s academic papers or converted into data for research will do with a clean transcript.

Moreover, the need to preserve the audio and its materials in their original form determine the type of transcription you order. An organization, researcher, or search party may want to share details of a scenario. In other cases, the details are preserved for future reference. In such a case, a clean verbatim transcription script will not work.

By its very nature, a clean verbatim transcript is usually stripped of life and would be misleading to anyone who returns to the text in search of clues in the future.

The best way to preserve the full details of a recording environment is to use the full verbatim. It captures the nuance around the recording environment.

full verbatim

When Do You Need Full Verbatim Transcription?

You never appreciate a full verbatim transcript until you find some details missing after transcription. While the clean verbatim style helps you stick to the subject, the full verbatim version immerses you in the recording environment.

In what situations, therefore, should you order a full verbatim transcript?

  • When stating directly or quoting a source: It happens in a criminal or medical situation where every word used counts. You can read the mood of the speakers and their responses from the written text.
  • Conducting a focus group discussion or research: The responses obtained, interjections, and tone, among other speech elements, are crucial in decoding the message.
  • Transcribing a research interview for data analysis purposes: Interviewees do not always give straightforward answers. Paraphrasing messages and ignoring the surrounding environment cause a researcher to miss the point.
  • Preparing legal documents– transcripts of videos and audio files obtained from CCTV cameras and other recording devices cannot ignore any activity that was taking place in and around the scene of a crime. The apprehension of some criminals can happen because of background noise ignored years ago.
  • Delivering a legal statement– it happens to be in a judicial process as well. When police officers or investigators interrogate a suspect or have a witness, every word and the way it was said matter. Because the focus goes beyond the general subject, a full verbatim transcript is required.

A clean verbatim transcript may be easy to read and serve formal documentation situations, but nothing will beat the full verbatim transcript in some cases. The non-speech sounds of affirmative and negative-mmh, uuh- give life to a recording environment. They make the environment more comfortable with decoding and understanding.

Ultimately, you achieve recording audio or transcribing it by choosing the right transcription style.

Cost of Full Verbatim Transcription

By now, it is evident that the transcription style will demand different skills and resources. Consequently, you will pay different fees depending on the type you choose.

As part of your preparation, how much will clean or full verbatim cost, and how can you circumvent pricing? Here is a guide.

1)    The Length of the Audio File

An extended audio file is more expensive to transcribe. The principle stands whether you are transcribing in full or clean verbatim.

However, the need to capture every sound and activity in the recording environment makes the full verbatim script more expensive than the clean verbatim.

2)    Clarity of Your Audio Recording

Interjections, background noises, foreign language, and slang, among other impurities, make a full verbatim script heavy.

Consequently, it will take more time and effort to deliver the script. Prepare to pay a higher amount for this kind of transcript.

3)    Special Instructions

Each client may issue particular instructions based on transcription to fit his transcription needs.

For instance, a client may require two scripts, one in full and another clean verbatim. In some cases, the project may involve captioning or translation.

Submission of some projects is within a short time, causing the transcriber to work extra time. Such unique instructions and circumstances around projects make them more expensive.

Effect of Full Verbatim Transcription on Turn-around Time

There is no saying which transcription version is faster to complete. The truth is, writing a full script could take less time because you are not thinking about the words to ignore. In other words, the process of cleaning may mean that you take more time.

Consequently, a clean verbatim script will take more time as you weed out the unnecessary words.

Final Thoughts on Full Verbatim

The reason for transcribing an audio file should guide you when choosing the format. With a full verbatim transcript, you can always extract a clean verbatim and create a context around the recording.

On the other hand, a clean verbatim is easier to read and understand. Choose a transcription style that fits your project needs.

Therefore, do not struggle with the transcription style to choose while we can solve that and many other transcription needs.

At Bunny Studio, we have the expertise to handle all transcription projects. Call us today for a personalized transcription package.