Get Smart: Understanding Intelligent Verbatim Transcription

Last Updated April 15, 2014

Verbatim, as you probably already know, means “word for word”. It’s one of multiple types of transcription that can be used depending on the goal of the document. Transcribers who are working straight verbatim take the audio and type absolutely everything that is said, regardless of its level of importance or usefulness.

You can imagine that verbatim transcription is indispensable in a legal setting, or if you’re trying to settle an argument after the fact. Wouldn’t we all love to have access to a verbatim transcript when we’re trying to figure out who agreed to do the dishes earlier.

Adding Intelligence to Verbatim Transcription

For most situations though, straight verbatim transcription isn’t actually that useful. For example, if you’re turning a presentation into a written report. Let’s say your CEO gave a talk at a conference with a big PowerPoint component. She’s an engaging speaker, but she does say “you see” quite a bit. At one point she clicked too far ahead in her slides accidentally and so stopped to apologize and get herself organized. Also she had a cold and spent about half a minute explaining her scratchy voice at the beginning of the presentation. This is where “intelligence” comes into the picture.

Things intelligent verbatim transcription will skip:

  • Filler words like ‘um’ ‘so’ and ‘you know’, which act like conversational grease but make your written content cluttered and confusing

  • Repeated sentences which might sound great when delivered live, for emphasis, but are unnecessary for reading

  • Digressions and other irrelevant or off-topic content which will lessen the impact on the page

Your priority with intelligent verbatim transcription is to get to the meaning, not the letter, of what was said. So the transcriber may also use their best judgement to do things like insert punctuation and correct obvious grammar errors to make the text more readable.

Are you looking for more information about verbatim transcription, or other ways of transcribing content? Shoot us a message. We would love to help you out.

Related Posts

Summa Linguae uses cookies to allow us to better understand how the site is used. By continuing to use this site, you consent to this policy.

Learn More