Fields of application for a transcription

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Need for transcription



What are transcripts needed for?

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There are nowadays There are many ways and occasions to conduct an interview.. For example, interviews serve the Form of presentatione.g. in newspapers, or also as a Research tools in the fields of science and market research.

Interviews are usually conducted orally and can focus on people, facts or opinions. With the help of audio or video recording devices, interviews are recorded either in direct contact or via telephone or video conference.

For further processing and/or an analysis of interviews, the writing down, i.e. the Transcription is a necessary, albeit usually time-consuming, step in the process. (see also Transcription Definition) Since transcripts can be used in many ways and other aspects are accordingly in the foreground, the procedure depends on the purpose of use.

Interviews can be used in many ways, e.g. as a form of presentation or as a research tool - the transcription procedure depends on the purpose of use.

Transcription is particularly frequent in the context of interviews. The transcripts are the written documentation of what was said. On the one hand, they serve as an aid to memory and on the other hand, they form the basis for analysing and processing the data obtained.

Transcripts can be designed and used in many ways. They therefore have a wide range of uses Area of applicationThey have a wide range of uses, from science, market research and film productions to various media. Accordingly, there are very different transcription rules, the level of detail of which varies depending on the area of application and procedure.

Transcripts have many areas of application - depending on the area and procedure, the effort required to produce them differs.

The choice of a suitable transcription method depends on which aspects are to be focused on. These can be content-related, but also linguistic aspects. Even before conducting an interview, it is therefore advisable to be aware of the scope of application and in particular the Purpose of the data obtained.

The recipients are also important here. This also includes the question of how the transcripts will be used. Are they needed for internal research purposes, such as market research, or for public purposes, such as newspapers or film productions? Depending on this, further work steps can then be initiated.

Transcription procedures differ not only depending on the area of application, but are also determined in particular by the purpose of the data obtained.

Transcription in science

Transcription in science

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In science, many interviews are conducted, especially in the field of qualitative research. For subsequent coding, these would have to be written down beforehand.

The The necessity of transcription differs little from the concrete purpose of use.Whether it is a bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, doctoral thesis or an own research project at a research institute, university or college.

For theses and/or studies at universities, the choice of transcription method depends on the scientific field and focus. Transcripts are often used in the economic and social sciences.

In some cases, however, these are only used as a means of Research toolsto document expert or staff opinions on specific issues. In the analysis/evaluation, it is then primarily the content and less the type of statement that counts.

Transcripts are recommended as a means of research, and it is the content that counts most - in most cases, simple procedures are suitable.

Depending on the purpose of the evaluation, simple or more complex transcription procedures are used. In the case of simple transcription systems, the content is in the foreground, while in the case of more complex procedures, the content is also taken into account. Linguistic aspects such as intonation, speaker overlaps and other paraverbal aspects are taken into account.

In addition to content-related aspects, linguistic aspects can also be in the foreground. The more linguistic aspects are taken into account, the more complex the transcription process.

Unless a linguistic or otherwise linguistic aspect is the main focus, it is advisable to keep the transcript as simple as possible.

Additional information that is not relevant for an evaluation, such as speaking rate, pitch curves etc. should be neglected in these transcripts. The complexity of the transcription procedures is reflected in the Readability thus those transcripts can appear illegible and difficult to access for outsiders. Furthermore, with the focus on linguistic aspects, other aspects such as semantic content can be pushed into the background.

The more complex the transcription process, the more difficult it is to access and read.

Transcripts from the scientific field should reflect what was said as accurately as possible. Smoothing, i.e. an adjustment in favour of readability, should not be made, as this can distort the content.

For theses, it is also advisable to have the finished transcript Proofreader in order to achieve the highest possible quality of the transcript. For this purpose, offers the scientific transcription which checks the transcripts according to the four-eyes principle.

The finished complete transcript is then inserted into the version to be handed in in the Appendix of the thesis inserted. If the thesis is published as a book, for example, in the case of the doctoral thesis, the complete transcripts can often be omitted in the printed version.

In the case of scientific transcription, the transcript is additionally checked by a proofreader - this is recommended for theses.

Transcription is generally not considered a core element of scientific research. Outsourcing to a service provider is therefore also considered permissible for theses, but should be discussed with the responsible supervisor in individual cases.

Transcriptions with the aim of scientific content analysis

Transcription for scientific content analysis

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Content analysis usually focuses on what was actually said and less on the "how", i.e. with what emphasis and speed it was said. Content from interviews in the field of business and market research is often analysed.

For a pure Content analysis the transcript should be kept as simple as possible, since additional information, such as the number of pauses in speech, is irrelevant to the actual content. In addition, it is advisable to include line numbering or time stamps so that the transcript is citable. Scientific theses should also be checked by an editor.

In a pure content analysis, the transcript should be kept as simple as possible - in addition, line numbering and time stamps can be useful.

For scientific purposes, automatic speech recognition is not yet sufficient, or involves a great deal of effort in post-processing.

Transcription with the aim of linguistic analysis

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The extended procedures are particularly suitable for scientific analyses in which special linguistic phenomena, such as stuttering, but also stresses, are to be dealt with. Here, the focus is not on the content of what is said, but on the manner of utterance.

In the field of social sciences, extended procedures often offer themselves - The TIQ procedure is an alternative, but very complex.

A very elaborate procedure is the TIQ procedure. Here, among other things, speaker overlaps and intonation are also noted. However, this method should only be chosen if this information is absolutely necessary. Otherwise, the way TIQ and other complex procedures are presented impedes the flow of reading.

In the linguistic field, many parameters can be set. The complexity of the transcription procedure depends on the focus of the research question. Mostly, however, the procedures in linguistics are very complex. The focus of linguistic transcripts can be placed on how something is said, i.e. how an utterance is realised phonetically, but also on what was said (especially in the field of pragmatics). Possible research approaches in linguistic transcripts include dialect research, language acquisition research, sociolinguistic research and many more.

Transcription procedures in the field of linguistics are usually very complex.

For studies on dialect research and language acquisition, the IPA, i.e. phonetic transcription, can be used, as is usually the case in the university context. The disadvantage of this is the special characters of the IPA, which cannot be found on any common keyboard.

For this purpose, extensions are recommended with which the special characters can be easily inserted. This is possible, for example, via the following link from UCL (University College London):

For phonetic transcriptions and analyses, the free programme PRAAT is also recommended. The speech signal is displayed in a spectrogram and as an oscillogram and can be annotated on several levels (e.g. on sound, word or sentence level). In addition, the programme offers extensive functions, such as an object window in which graphical representations can be created.

Transcription for linguistic analysis

If the research goal is pragmatically oriented, complex procedures such as HIAT or GAT2 are suitable. These procedures are presented in chapter 3.3.3. Simple procedures and also linguistic smoothing are not suitable in this area.

For pragmatic or social science research objectives, HIAT or GAT2 are suitable.

Transcription in market research

Transcription in market research

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In market research, interviews are usually conducted for the purpose of data collection. This often takes the form of surveys - often as telephone interviews - or focus groups in the respective area. By evaluating the collected data, diagnoses and forecasts of future market and product development can be made and, in addition, strategic and operative marketing measures can be planned.

The focus is therefore mainly on content aspects, after all, the interest in the field of market research is on the optimisation of services and products. Therefore, aspects such as para- and non-verbal communication of the interview participants rarely play a role and transcription according to simple rules is usually sufficient. Often the data is strictly confidential, so that persons, places or institutions are anonymised. 

In the field of market research, what counts most is the content of the interviews - simple procedures are best suited for this.

In the case of international studies in different languages, transcription with immediate translation into a standard language (e.g. German or English) is recommended so that all files are then uniform and can be analysed.

Transcription in film production

Transcription in film production

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Films, interviews, image videos and other files - mostly in video format - are transcribed for film production. Since the transcripts are often intended for the public, it is important that the transcript is easy to read and written in fluent language . In this respect, a transcription according to simple rules, which can be supplemented with smoothing, is suitable for this purpose.

Transcripts in the field of film production are often for the public - it is therefore important to have good readability and fluent language.

Transcripts are made in film production for several reasons. On the one hand, they help in the sifting, i.e. editing of the raw material, since uninteresting and unplanned sequences can be found more quickly and easily on the basis of the transcript and, if necessary, edited.

For this purpose, it is also useful to set time stamps in order to be able to track exactly who says what at what time and at what intervals this happens. Time stamps thus help to filter the relevant material.

In transcripts for films, time stamps should be set in order to be able to allocate the speaker contributions.

Transcripts can also be made first for the creation of subtitles. These often serve as the basis for translations into other languages.

Transcription in media and journalism

Transcription in media and journalism

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In the field of media, interviews and individual lectures, such as podcasts, are often transcribed. The finished transcripts are published on websites or in newspapers, accordingly the content is what counts here.

Usually, such transcripts are additionally smoothed to make the text readable and to screen out passages that are irrelevant to the content. For podcasts, e.g. on YouTube, transcripts are also used for subtitles. Here, too, time stamps must be set.

Subtitles, and thus also time stamps, are also useful in other areas of the media, such as podcasts.

Transcription of speeches, meetings and lectures

Transcription of speeches, meetings and lectures

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Speeches, meetings and lectures can be recorded and transcribed under different conditions and for various purposes. In general, there are some points that need to be considered:

On the one hand, there are sometimes preliminary conversations and subsequent discussions that do not always have to be transcribed. Before transcribing, it therefore makes sense to consider which section of the recording is relevant for the subsequent analysis. On the other hand, it is important to consider that in meetings several speakers may speak at the same time. This is similar to group interviews. Different people can also speak at lectures and speeches.

Accordingly, the transcription procedure should clearly designate the speakers and take into account speaker changes, including overlaps if necessary. In most cases, however, a simple procedure is recommended. The transcripts are then easily understandable for all participants or possible readers.

In speeches, meetings and lectures, there are often several speakers - accordingly, the speakers should be clearly designated and speaker changes marked.

Transcription for biographies

Transcription for biographies

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Biographies document a life or a period of life. Often biographies that focus on the lives of famous or interesting personalities are made available to the public , so the aspect of readability plays an overriding role. It is even advisable to subject the biography to smoothing, as stutters or repeated words impair readability.

Especially when biographies are published, transcripts should be kept simple - only for characterisation can extended procedures be useful.

At the same time, for a transcript in the area of biography, it can be useful in special cases to take para- and non-verbal communication into account. This applies, for example, to a precise characterisation of the person: Does the person act annoyed, silly or reserved in certain situations?

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Further questions and answers

✅ What do you need a transcription for?

A Transcription is always needed when one needs the content of an audio or video recording for a later analysis.

This can be, for example, for a social science content analysis or a linguistic analysis. But transcriptions are also needed in market research or journalism for further evaluation and use of the spoken word.

✅ Is a full transcription really necessary?

The considerable effort involved in a complete transcription of interviews sometimes leads to the question of whether this is actually necessary. Transcribe is actually necessary.

For scientific interviews, a complete transcription is indispensable, as this is the only way to verify the sources used. In other fields of application of transcriptions, e.g. in market research, a summary transcript without a complete transcription can sometimes be sufficient.

✅ What is the difference between transcripts for science, market research and journalism?

Basically, the transcriptions differ above all with regard to the used Transcription rules.

For a Transcript for market research or journalism, simple transcription rules are actually always used. With a scientific Transcript sometimes simple rules are used (e.g. for a content analysis) and sometimes advanced rules (e.g. for a linguistic analysis).

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