Need Audio Transcription Help? 4 Transcription Types Explained And Which Is Right For You

If you have an audio file or recording that you need transcribed, then you may be looking into transcription services and feel overwhelmed with all that they offer. While some transcription services offer a little bit of every type of transcription, others specialize in just one type; this makes it important to understand what type of transcription you need before you order it. However, don't worry, because once you learn how transcription types differ, it will likely be very easy for you to choose which is best for your audio recording. 

Read on to learn about four types of transcription so you can decide which is best for you. 

Genealogy Transcription

Before you learn about the types of audio transcription, it is important to learn what genealogy transcription is, since you may find services offering it when looking for a transcription company. If you are looking to turn an audio recording into a document, then genealogy transcription is not what you need. 

Put simply, genealogy transcription involves copying the words from an old document written in cursive or another format that is difficult to read into a typed, digital-friendly document. This type of transcription is useful for historians and anyone else who would like to create a clear, concise replica of an older, hard-to-read document. 

Verbatim Transcription

The first type of transcription you want to consider for your audio file is a verbatim transcription. As you may guess from the word "verbatim," this type of transcription involves typing every word from the audio file into a document exactly as it is spoken. Not only is every word captured, but also every sound in the audio file (such as the sound of a door opening or a cough), and every "um," "hmm," or other noise a speaker makes that is not actually a word.

In addition, professional transcribers also use text markings to help indicate how much time passes between words that are spoken, such as indicating a pause in the middle of a sentence or a sentence spoken very rapidly. 

This type of transcription is meant to capture not just the words spoken, but also the mood of the room and even the emotions of the speakers in the audio file. 

Intelligent Transcription

While a verbatim transcription is the most accurate, highly detailed type of transcription available, intelligent transcription eliminates some of the fine details that are recorded in verbatim transcription, but without sacrificing the specific word choices of speakers in an audio file. 

While in a verbatim transcription, every noise in the room is recorded in the final document and every sound a speaker makes is also recorded, an intelligent transcription typically includes just the full words that are spoken and not the "background" noise that you may not need in your transcription. Half-words spoken by speakers, such as when beginning a sentence and then stopping, "ums," and other "filler" words are also typically omitted in intelligent transcriptions. 

When ordering an intelligent transcription, be sure to ask the transcription service what is included in the service. Some transcription services offer intelligent-verbatim transcription, which omits transcription of background noise while still recording "ums" and other noises made by speakers. 

Edited Transcriptions

Unlike verbatim and intelligent transcriptions that record what every speaker in an audio file says word-for-word, edited transcriptions are meant to capture the meaning of the words each speaker uses in an audio file; while capturing the full meaning of something said by a speaker often relies on transcribing a sentence word-for-word, if the sentence is spoken relatively concisely, full sentences can often be shortened to convey the same meaning in fewer words. 

With this type of transcription service, background noise is not recorded and any "umms" or noises made by speakers are not recorded. To get an idea of what an edited transcription includes, think of taking notes taken during a class lecture and turning those notes into full, well-written sentences that convey the exact message the teacher or professor was teaching during a lesson. 

If you need audio transcription help, then the first step is deciding what type of transcription you need. Remember these four types of transcription and what each includes, so you know what type of transcription service you need to keep on hand to have those important audio files transformed into hand-typed documents.