The Difference Between Strict Verbatim and Clean Verbatim Transcription

The Difference Between Strict Verbatim and Clean Verbatim Transcription

Transcription services play a crucial role in converting audio or video recordings into written format. However, not all transcription styles are created equal.

Two commonly used approaches are strict verbatim transcription and clean (or “edited”) verbatim transcription. While they both serve the purpose of accurately capturing spoken content, they differ in the level of detail included and the manner in which the transcription is presented.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between strict verbatim transcription and clean verbatim transcription to help you understand when each style is appropriate and how it impacts the final transcript.

An explanation of strict verbatim transcription

Strict verbatim transcription involves capturing every utterance, including all speech elements, filler words, repetitions, stutters, and non-verbal sounds, exactly as they occur. This method seeks to replicate the original audio or video content faithfully, ensuring an accurate representation of the speaker’s words and delivery.

Strict Verbatim

“Um, I don’t think so. I mean like okay she said okay, but I don’t think she wants to go, you know?”

Clean Verbatim

“I don’t think so. She said okay, but I don’t think she wants to go.”

Strict verbatim transcription maintains a high level of detail and preserves the nuances and idiosyncrasies of speech patterns, making it suitable for certain contexts:

  • Legal Proceedings: In courtrooms or depositions, strict verbatim transcription ensures an accurate record of testimonies, providing an unfiltered account that includes all speech elements, pauses, and interruptions.
  • Research: In qualitative research and academic research, strict verbatim transcription captures the speaker’s tone, hesitations, and non-verbal cues, providing insights into emotional states or psychological dynamics.

“Atomic Scribe works with companies and individuals in the legal, entertainment, market research, police, government, radio, church, and other fields to make their content easily accessible to all.”

“Atomic Scribe works with companies and individuals in the legal, entertainment, market research, police, government, radio, church, and other fields to make their content easily accessible to all.”

An explanation of clean (or edited) verbatim transcription

Clean verbatim transcription, on the other hand, involves omitting certain elements from the transcript to enhance readability and focus on the core content. While striving to maintain accuracy, clean verbatim transcription removes filler words, repetitions, false starts, stutters, and non-verbal sounds, streamlining the transcript without altering the speaker’s intended meaning.

Clean verbatim transcription is preferred in situations where readability and clarity take precedence:

  • Market Research: In focus groups or customer surveys, clean verbatim transcription eliminates irrelevant speech elements, allowing researchers to extract meaningful insights efficiently.
  • Business Presentations: When transcribing meetings or conferences, clean verbatim transcription ensures a clear and concise record, omitting minor speech disfluencies or non-essential dialogue for better readability.
  • Podcasts or Webinars: Clean verbatim transcription is often employed in podcast production or webinars to provide accurate and polished transcripts for publication or reference purposes, removing unnecessary verbal fillers or background noise.

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Strict verbatim transcription and clean verbatim transcription serve distinct purposes, catering to different needs in various domains. While strict verbatim transcription maintains a comprehensive account of all speech elements, clean verbatim transcription focuses on enhancing readability and clarity by omitting certain non-essential elements.

Understanding the differences between these two approaches is crucial for choosing the appropriate transcription style to suit specific requirements, ensuring the accuracy and usability of the final transcripts.

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