What is transcription anyway?

what is transcription

What is transcription anyway?

You may have heard the word floating around in the world of language, research or journalism but what exactly does it mean? What is transcription?

Well, simply put, transcription is the process of turning speech to text so you have an exact written account of a piece of spoken language.

Now, we all know that the spoken word can be beautiful, lively, engaging and powerful. You only need to listen to Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream…’ speech to understand this.

However, on the flip side, as words tumble out of the minds of humans across the world, the spoken word can also be overwhelming, muddled, hurried and unmanageable.

Full of pauses, repetitions, false starts, ‘ums’, ‘ers’ and goodness knows what else, we very often speak the way that we think. Which is fine day to day because as listeners our brains have adapted beautifully to accommodate this scramble and make sense of what we hear.

But when it comes to actually capturing those words?

Well, unfortunately our brains aren’t quite so smart (which is just as well really, because if we remembered every detail of every word that was ever spoken to us I think it’s fair to say we’d be all be insane by now).

In short, transcription is a process that allows you to record those spoken words on paper.

Whether the words are needed for research purposes, legal requirements or business reasons, having an exact written account of a speech or conversation has huge advantages. It means you can keep the words forever, return to them again and again, share them, highlight them, quote them, analyse them, cut and paste them, scan them, and use them in other formats as needed.

It’s all about making life easier for you. And we all like a bit of that, right?!


Need some transcription support? If you record audio or video as part of your work then you’re in the right place.

Whether you run a podcast, speak at live events, or interview others to create written articles, I can take your audio files and provide you with accurate and intelligently transcribed material so you can reach more people, create even more content, and focus on the tasks where you really shine. Learn more about my services here or get in touch to find out more.

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