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How to Write a Transcript: A Definitive Guide to Interview Transcription [2022]

How to Write a Transcript: A Definitive Guide to Interview Transcription [2022]

This blog is for novice transcribers who have just started their career in interview transcription.  Also, for businesses trying to convert audio/video files into text on their own and looking for guidance in doing so accurately and in quick time, this blog may suffice to provide tips and nuggets of information on the subject? This guide will help you through the interview transcription process and help you write a perfect interview transcript like a pro. So without further ado, let us begin.

How to create an interview transcript; is that what you want to know? We wish to tell you right away that it’s a time-consuming process and complex as well. It takes strong language skills and years of experience to produce accurate transcripts that professional transcribers are so used to delivering.

But herein lies the secret.

It takes patience and plenty of time (and businesses don’t have much time) to get the hang of the process. To achieve speed and accuracy, you will have to become a vetted professional who knows to polish a mediocrely written transcript into a perfect interview transcript. That’s what professional transcriptionists do. 

Do you wish to do the same but don’t know where to begin or how to start? Not to worry, here’s our step by step guide on how to write a transcript of an interview. To simplify the transcription process and help you deliver accurate transcripts on time, read along.

You may also want to read: How to Transcribe an Interview: A Complete Guide to Transcribing Interviews

Running short on timefrown?

Don’t let paucity of time keep you from learning all there’s to know about how to write a transcript.

⇒ Just download the PDF version of this blog post, and take it with you to read at your own pace wherever you’re.

How to Write a Transcrip-Guide to Interview Transcription

Prepare beforehand as to what your goals are and what you try to accomplish from the interview transcription.

You have to be clear in your mind about what you try to accomplish before setting out to do something. It works wonders in transcription, as in any sphere of life. Setting clear and achievable goals helps discipline the process and yield great results. In that, the interview transcription is no different. 

So prepare in advance to achieve the kind of outcome you’ve set for yourself. The key to success, therefore, for transcript writing is preparation. That includes setting clear goals and outlining the process as to how you intend to go about transcription

These steps will help kickstart your written transcription process: 

Identify the purpose and factors that might affect your transcription process.

There is no set template as to what should be the purpose of writing a transcript. It varies from one interview transcript to another. Sometimes, the purpose may be to convert audio/video into bullet points. Other times, the client may want it accurately converted into text word for word.

Both ways, you have to adopt a different approach to written transcription. For businesses who want to transcribe interviews on their own, identifying the purpose is hard, so is drawing a roadmap. That’s where the relevance of agencies like Locate Translate lies. Not only have we mastered how to write a transcript, but we also help novices transcript interviews like professional transcriptionists.

Other factors come to play as well when it comes to transcription.

Is the transcript of the interview intended to serve as a resource for passing reference? Or do you want to use it as a repeated reference? In which case it will have to have the accuracy of the highest standard? That, in turn, is tied to the meticulous rendering of the audio/video recording in text format.

You may want to get in touch with our skilled transcribers to see how they can help. Email your request now!

? hello@locatetranslate.co.uk

Furthermore, the process of transcription varies from one industry to another. The transcriber doing a transcript of witness testimony has to account for legal terminology, while the one doing for market research may have to deal with consumer data. As the subject matter changes, so does the process. Therefore, linguistic expertise alone may not suffice to help you write a transcript. You have to be a subject matter expert, in addition.

Locate Translate houses linguistic and subject matter experts to carry out transcriptions. Leave transcription to us while you do what you do best: care for your business. Email your request at hello@locatetranslate.co.uk. 

The type of transcript one is doing determines how to transcribe. In addition, how to write an interview transcript and interview transcribing formats depend on it. 

ProTip: As a transcript writer, if at times you feel stuck, don’t shy away from asking your clients questions of the sort: what do you need the transcript for; who should access the transcript; do you need a verbatim script of the interview, etc.

Create a list of your top transcription requirements and stick to it to maximize your efficiency.

It’s clear that you now know how to identify the purpose of transcription. The next thing to learn about is creating a list of transcription requirements based on their priority. Doing so will lay the foundation for an efficient, time-bound, and accurate transcription process.

To begin with, go through the recording of the interview and try to identify parts you didn’t understand fully, hence demanding clarification. Choosing not to do so may later impede your transcription process, causing unnecessary delay. 

Second, on the priority list should be typing speed. If you’re not fast with typing, the sluggish pace may put you at odds with the speed of the recording, hampering the process. To type out transcription at the rate, which will see you through the deadlines, calculate your typing speed in advance and strategize accordingly. 

To clean up poor quality audio using software applications should be on the priority list, too. It will ensure timely and quality transcription. Poor audio may, otherwise, become an impediment to quality transcription. You have to overcome it at all costs.

Other things like coughing, filler words, repetition and stuttering may also create problems. You cannot know about these things without going through the audio/video recording in full in advance to identify and overcome them. In short, identifying barriers is key to accurate, timely, and quality transcription.

You may also be interested in: Subtitles Vs. Closed Captioning: All You Need To Know

Deploy transcription tools whenever and wherever necessary to accelerate and make the process easier.

To save time, transcribers use several tools, such as transcription software, computers, noise-cancelling headphones, etc. These tools help streamline the entire transcription process and make it easier, accurate, and faster. 

Transcription Software – You can use free and paid software solutions to type out interview transcripts. There are tools to help you control recordings without switching between different programs. Deploying tools like Express Scribe, InqScribe, oTranscribe, you may no longer need to transcribe using one computer program and play the recording on another.

Computer – Using the computer for audio transcription is as definite as using Netflix to watch movies! The more advanced the computer with heavier processing power to switch between programs, the better it is. A simple one will do just fine when transcribing audio. But it should have a solid keyboard, optimal processing power so that there is no lag when working on Google Docs to transcribe audio files. Just in case you did not know: Google Docs is a web-based word processor from Google. Transcribers use Google Docs for audio to text transcription.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones – As a transcriber, all your attention should rest on words, not the background noise. If you find that the audio recording is replete with background noise, making it hard to discern words, use noise-cancelling headphones to eliminate noise to concentrate more intently on words spoken.

How detailed should your transcription be, the purpose of your transcription determines it?

First things first, identify what purpose should the transcript serve. Later in the transcription process, it will help you determine how detailed your written transcript should be. Transcribers pay maximum attention to the purpose before beginning to write a transcript.

Depending on the level of detail, you may have:

Full-Verbatim Transcription –  In full-verbatim interview writing, the interview script includes every word from the recording, excludes nothing from the text transcript. Verbal tics, such as repetition, stuttering, coughing, filler words, as well as the pauses the speaker has taken while speaking, everything features in the interview transcript.

Intelligent Verbatim Transcription – This type of transcript is cleaner and refined done on a word-for-word basis. The elimination of unwanted noise and extras that have nothing to do with the conversation make the intelligent verbatim script more refined, making it, therefore, easier to read compared to full-verbatim.

Detailed Notes Transcription – This transcription involves the conversion of the whole interview into bits of detailed notes. All the information gleaned from the audio file is converted into text format, which is easier to sift through.

The transcript must account for speaker identification and timestamps beforehand.

Parsing information from the interview becomes easy if you can identify speakers and timestamps. It will help you gather relevant information about a particular speaker, which you cannot do if you are already in the middle of the process. Doing it in advance is imperative. 

Now that you have received the necessary information about the transcription process, it is time for you to start writing your first transcript. We will help you master the art of interview transcription in 4 easy steps.

Kickstarting interview transcription in 4 easy steps

This definitive guide to transcription will prepare you for professional interview transcript writing. Had you followed what we discussed above, you should face no difficulty whatsoever in writing an interview transcript. Let’s begin the process.

Step 1: Do not rush to transcribe on the go. Listen to the interview recording first, from start to finish.

If you are new to transcription, you are bound to make the oft-repeated mistake of rushing to transcribe right away without listening to the recording first. Listening to the interview recording to get a good grasp of its content in its entirety is crucial.

Get familiar with the whole recording of the interview. It will provide a contextual basis for your transcripts to be accurate and never lose sight of the complete picture. As said earlier, identifying obstacles early on in the process is pertinent to a smooth transcription process. You can’t figure any such error if you don’t listen to the recording before starting to transcribe it.

Eventually, it will slow you down when obstacles crop up, forcing transcribers to start over, which isn’t feasible at all. 

While listening to the audio, it’s better to take notes, identify speakers, jot down words that sound unfamiliar as you listen to the audio. That is how professional transcribers at Locate Translate approach transcription when delivering accurate and error-proof transcript documents. At the same time, the added benefit is that you get familiar with technical jargon, terminology, etc. And that is reason enough to include it in your transcription strategy. 

Step 2: Type out a rough first draft of the interview transcript.

Only professional transcribers can go full swing transcribing right away. For someone who is not a professional, there is no substitute to treading mildly. That would include writing the first draft, rough version of the transcript. You can always revisit the first draft to furnish it, polish it and work on it. Edit, keeping in mind whether you need a full-verbatim, verbatim or detailed notes transcript of the interview. 

No matter how simple we make it sound, it is not. You have to be great with typing and accurate with language. That is the reason we recommend using the professional transcription service offered by Locate Translate. Our transcribers will bring clarity to your transcript, making it as accurate as possible.

To achieve speed, add shortcuts, abbreviations for words, such as bc for because, in the first draft. Pause whenever and wherever you feel the need during the first draft. But don’t rewind the clip. 

Step 3: Revisit the first draft of the transcript and edit it and polish its content.

With the hard part done, now you have a readable first draft of the interview transcript. The thing to go for now is repeated edits, polishing the content as fits your needs. 

First thing first, make sure to get rid of typos. Do not leave everything to spell checkers but manually track and remove misspellings by going through the transcript word for word and line by line. 

In addition to that, listen to the audio again after you’ve finished transcribing it. Listening and reading through the transcript is your way to work with inconsistencies in the transcript text and the best chance to add any missed parts. There may be words you may have misheard.  That may have distorted the meaning of the whole sentence. At this stage, you can remove any such inconsistencies.

Step 4: Shape your transcript layout according to client needs, transcription template or format.

Do you know how to format your transcript? If not, you will need professional help. You are required to have a fair sense of transcription guidelines. To format transcripts in a particular template requires experience and knowledge. Irrespective of the type of transcript, or template, or format, accuracy is a prerequisite.

Any transcript done has to serve the purpose. In addition, adjusting font size is imperative.  So is titles, subheadings and paragraphs to make it easier to read through the document. 

Congrats, you can now transcribe like a professional! 

You have reached the level where you can transcribe like a pro. But remember transcribing is a sophisticated art and a skill that’s demanding. It needs constant practice to master the art of interview transcription.

To forge a lasting balance between accuracy and speed, quality and quantity, make sure you follow our guide, How to Write a Transcript: A Definitive Guide to Interview Transcription, verbatim.

Did you know: At Locate Translate, we can offer transcription in 30+ languages, including German Transcription, Japanese Transcription, Arabic to English Transcription, English to English Transcription, etc. Also, working in domains like Legal, Medical, Media, Marketing, Market Research, etc.

A word with businesses, market research agencies, healthcare professionals, law firms, and media houses

Given the complex and time-consuming nature of the transcription process, and no matter how lucidly we explain its workings and steps to follow, you may at some point want to outsource your transcription projects. For that, you may need the support of a reliable transcription agency to achieve its objectives in record time and with unmatched accuracy. In that case, we are proud to introduce ourselves as one of the UK’s most trusted full-service language solutions providers. At Locate Translate, we specialise in providing businesses, market research agencies, healthcare professionals, law firms, media houses top-quality transcription services and English to English transcription services.

Should you need any help with transcription or want us to explain how transcription works in a more detailed manner, feel free to contact at hello@locatetranslate.co.uk or call us at +44 208 609 4852. You can also fill our contact form. Let us know your requirements. Our transcribers will get back to you within 30 minutes to assist with interview transcripts.

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Transcription Services UK The perks of partnering with the UK’s best transcription company are many. Especially when it comes to legal or court transcription and market research transcription. Since legal and market research companies constantly require support from...

Notarised Translation Services: All Your Questions Answered

All your doubts or questions that you may have regarding notarised translation services will be cleared in this blog. So keep reading till the end! The basic translation process remains the same where text from one language is converted into another language. However,...

What is a Tender [and What are Tenders Translation Services]

Tenders Translation Services If you’re eyeing international bidders to bid on your tenders, you may require our document translation services to translate your tenders into multiple languages in order to attract companies worldwide. Without a doubt, effective...

How to Choose the Right Market Research Transcription Services

You’re a market research company, you’re well aware of the importance of transcription services in getting insights from studies. Whether in the form of interviews or surveys, market research companies rely on transcription to store, analyse and drive results from...

How Do I Get a Document Translated?

Send Scan Document and Translate it to English It doesn’t matter who you are: a business or an individual. If you’re moving overseas you will need to get your documents translated from your native language to the official language of your target country. If you’re an...

Top Slovakian Translation Service Provider in the UK

If you're looking for a Slovakian translation service provider but couldn't find one that would satisfactorily carry it out, this post might help.  From a business point of view, the Slovak language is important. And in the age of globalisation, we've seen how...

An Introduction to Contract Translation Services

Out of all documents, contracts are a bit difficult to translate from one language to another. Not just do contracts require utmost linguistic accuracy, but business terminology that contracts are so profuse with has to be incorporated into the translated version...

NARIC (UK ENIC) Translation of Documents for UK University Applications

Translation Requirements For UK University Applications For students whose academic certificates aren’t in English, certified translation of education-related documents is essential when processing applications for UK universities. So if you’re an international...

Translate and Transcribe Interviews in 30+ Languages

Different industries, from market research to academics, rely on qualitative and quantitative research in their respective fields to identify opportunities for growth, record expert opinions on clinical trials and understand customers’ views.  Needless to say, in...

Locate Translate Offers Marketing Transcreation in Over 30 Languages

Right words are hard to identify in the target language to replace words from the source language when the intention is not to sacrifice, but to preserve, the original meaning. In other words, finding an exact replacement for words in the native tongue that...

How to Get Transcripts of Podcasts?

Hey, podcasters! Transcribing podcast audio to text offers the following benefits. A podcast transcript connects you with a larger audience. Transcribing podcasts helps you create blog posts, infographics, emails, and other informative content. Search engines can...

Zoom Simultaneous Interpretation for Webinars: How Locate Translate Helps Host Multilingual Webinars?

Although the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic has declined in most parts of the world. The remote work, which was almost a compulsion when it was first introduced as a measure for physical distancing, is here to stay. Professionals seem to have accustomed to remote...

Top 3 Benefits of Subtitling

Any content that you produce you do so with the sole aim of connecting to your international audience.  In today's day and age, consumers, especially the millennials, are social media savvy and want regular video content from brands they follow.  For brands with an...

One-Stop-Shop for Interpreting Services [Remote to Onsite]

Times have changed dramatically since the arrival of the unwanted guest: CORONAVIRUS. Especially the way we conduct our businesses and offer services. Pandemic transitioned our day to day mundane life from offline to the realm of digital, forced businesses of all...

Artificial Intelligence vs Human Translation: Pros and Cons

Language glues us together and we need it to communicate intelligently. We set the outcome we wish to achieve from a communicated idea, whether that be the emotive or intellectual response.  No wonder then artificial intelligence makes concerted efforts to...

Global Expansion of Business: The Ultimate Guide

As a foreign languages translation partner, we're equipped to fuel the extension of your global reach. When new horizons await you ahead, it makes no sense to not cash in. All successful people have one thing in common: they don't sit on past laurels. They push...

Easily Accessible Ukrainian Translation Services for Refugees

Easily Accessible Ukrainian Translation Services for Refugees In the hour of unprecedented circumstances, we don’t want language barriers to cause further problems to the Ukrainian refugees who continue to leave war-torn Ukraine in droves for safer countries. Let the...

30 Funny German Words With Hilarious Literal Translations

Funny German Translations of Weird German Words in English Some words lose their humour when translated into another language and don’t sound funny enough to evoke the kind of boisterous laughter one had intended for it. However, there are German words that are funny...

Buying Property in Spain? Here’s How Legal Translation Services Can Help!

If you’re aiming to buy property in a foreign country, know that Spain is an ideal location. Buying property in Spain is ideal owing to its verdant landscapes, pleasant weather, and its amazingly enriching and cost-effective way of life. All in all, it makes sense to...

Translation Service is Inevitable for Legal and Nine Other Industries

Businesses wanting to serve multilingual and multicultural audiences have a challenge in language barriers. It’s an impediment you’d want to get rid of at the earliest. That’s why translation comes to play such an important role in streamlining foreign expansion.  One...

50 German Words With No English Translation

German Words With No English Equivalent Working in a translation agency has its benefits – you come across so many languages as translators mumble in multiple tongues. I’ve been at Locate Translate for many months now. During my tenure, I’d discuss languages with...

6 Reasons Financial Translation is Imperative for your Business

Financial Translation Facilitates Global Expansion With the internet’s proliferation on a massive scale, borders and cultures no longer hinder the business’s expansion plans. Just about anywhere a business can move and access a pool of potential customers. Help, along...

Ten Reasons Businesses Need Translation Services

Ten Reasons Businesses Need Translation Services Here are ten reasons that explain why businesses need human-done translation services to legally translate business documents. Preference for Native Language Lacking Required English Proficiency Need for Localisation...

Why you Should Hire Professional Translators for Legal Translation

Come legal translation of documents, complexity reaches its apex. In particular, the complexity owes to two things. One is the complex legal terminology associated with preparing legal documents. Another is to ensure the accuracy of the translated version at par with...

Audio Transcripts: Guide to Transcript File Formats

Audio transcripts come in many transcript file formats. This blog will provide knowledge that will help you identify the format that will work best for you. So let's begin. Some of the most common transcript formats are: Plain Text Transcription Formats Plain Text...

Indispensable Medical Interpretation in the Covid Era

Healthcare & Medical Interpretation Services in Situations Like COVID-19 A 2013 National Institutes of Health report suggests some 25.5 million people, which is about 8.5% of the US population, were LEP or Limited English Proficient. The same report reveals that...

How to Write a Transcript: A Definitive Guide to Interview Transcription [2022]

This blog is for novice transcribers who have just started their career in interview transcription.  Also, for businesses trying to convert audio/video files into text on their own and looking for guidance in doing so accurately and in quick time, this blog may...

Subtitles Vs. Closed Captioning: All You Need To Know

Captions vs subtitles give the impression that they are identical. A facade of resemblance hides from view the web of differences between the two. But there's more to it than meets the eye.  Closed captioning is for one type of audience while subtitling is for...