What’s the Difference Between Verbatim and Non-Verbatim Transcription?
Many think that transcription is a process of just writing down everything that someone says in a recording or a video or a speech. Simple, right? Just listen, write, and boom! You have your content.
Golly, if it were only that easy.
In fact, in many cases, you want much more than just what the other person is saying. You may need to hear what’s going on in the room at the time. Every cough, sneeze, background wheeze, and mumble may be necessary for your project. And that’s where verbatim transcription comes in.
Verbatim Transcription: A Definition
Verbatim transcription takes every single noise that was recorded and places it in the transcription. That means not only what is being said, but the ums, ahs, false starts, stutters, even coughs!
Verbatim transcription is essential for the type of projects that need to not only know what’s been said, but the behavior of the person speaking. For example, an attorney may need to understand how a witness is acting while making a statement. Was the witness coughing a lot at the time of the deposition? Were there one too many pauses during the testimony? Important stuff for your case!
Verbatim transcription can be broken down into two parts: Intelligent and strict. So what’s the difference?
Strict Verbatim: Leave it Alone!
Strict verbatim, also known as true verbatim, is the most time consuming of the two types. It captures every single utterance without changing a single word or noise. There’s no editing here!
Instead, your transcript will include:
- Stuttering: “Sharon said we needed t-to go to the store.”
- False starts: “I was on my way there and….wait, I first went to the mailbox to get the mail.”
- Repeated words: “Right, right. Then I headed over to meet her.”
- Filler speech: “It was, uh, around 10.”
- Interruptions: “I was right in front of the store’s window…” “Uh-huh, and?”
- Repetitive use of specific phrases: “And I saw her, like, already going into the store.”
- Run-on sentences: “So I called her to tell her I was there and to meet me outside, but she went to grab the bread before she came out to meet me even though I told her the bread wasn’t important, but she insisted that we needed bread, so I just let her do her thing because it wasn’t worth arguing with her about it.”
- Non-speech sounds: “We were walking away from the (cough) store when I saw the defendant enter. Later, (cough) I found out he robbed the store soon after we left.”
Why are all the extraneous words and sounds so crucial in this case? Because it may play a vital role in a legal proceeding or marketing research report. For instance, a false start could show the attorney that the witness may not be as reliable a source as first suspected. Further inquiry may be needed.
Intelligent Verbatim: Let’s Clean It Up!
But sometimes, all those noises can be more of a distraction. Sometimes you want to know what was said and don’t need the coughs, the ums, and the run-on sentences. In cases such as that, intelligent verbatim transcription is for you!
Intelligent verbatim, also known as clean verbatim, removes all the unnecessary noises and text. Intelligent verbatim is not a summary of the transcript! Instead, it cleans up what was said and creates a narrative that is easier to read. This type of transcript is best for medical and business communications, where you need to know what was said and not the behavior of the person who said it.
So using the example phrases above, an intelligent transcript would sound like this:
Sharon said we needed to go to the store. I first went to the mailbox to get the mail then I headed over to meet her. It was around 10. I was right in front of the store’s window, and I saw her already going into the store. I called her to tell her I was there and to meet me outside. She went to grab the bread before she came out to meet me, even though I told her the bread wasn’t important. But she insisted that we needed bread, so I just let her do her thing because it wasn’t worth arguing with her about it. We were walking away from the store when I saw the defendant enter. Later, I found out he robbed the store soon after we left.
Makes sense, right?
Need a Verbatim Transcription? We Can Help!
As you can see, verbatim transcription is not the easiest to handle. So instead of trying to figure it out on your own, why don’t you contact FFTranscription? Since 2003, we’ve been helping businesses around the nation with their transcription needs. Don’t wait another second! It’s time to focus forward by contacting us today!