Transcription definition

Transcription definition

Transcription literally means "writing over". Depending on the context, the term has different meanings for linguistics, music, and biology. 

The word first used in French at the end of the 16th century. transcription derives from the Latin "trans" (across) and "scribere" (to write). Today it means to transcribe, transfer or transform.

The definition of the term is broad and different scientific fields understand it differently:

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Transcription of interviews, lectures, podcasts, videos and films

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Most commonly today, transcription is found to be the Transcription of audio and video files. There is a whole range of applications for this, such as science, market research, film production, media, journalism and biographies. Transcripts are then created from recordings of interviews, speeches, meetings, podcasts, videos and lectures.

Transcription of audio files is sometimes referred to as Audio transcription but there is generally no difference between the meaning of the word and transcription.

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Transcription in linguistics

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Especially in the field of linguistics, the term transcription is further differentiated.

In the field of language acquisition, conversational and Conversational research transcripts, in this case transcripts of conversations, are used for later scientific analysis. The transcription can be phonetic (in phonetic transcription), phonological (facial expressions and gestures, laughter, pauses in speech, sighs), orthographic (reproduction of dialects and mispronounced words), discourse-analytical (content) and conversationally analytical (semantics). Depending on the aim of the study, not only the spoken words are transcribed, but all phenomena of orality.

Transcription definition

There are different Transcription rules are distinguished. The IPA (international phonetic alphabet) is often used. If intonation and syllable stress as well as facial expressions and gestures are to be taken into account, the HIAT (semi-interpretative working transcript) is used. For the analysis of conversations in terms of structure and prosody, the GAT (conversation analytical transcription system) is used. The resulting transcripts can be used in court transcription, in psychological reports, in linguistic research and for printed interviews.

Transcription of foreign languages

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Pupils see transcribed texts every day in their English book and even adults use them from the guidebook from time to time when hand and foot are no longer sufficient for understanding. In the Foreign languages the phonetic transcription is used to make the pronunciation of a vocabulary easier for the non-native speaker.

Transcription foreign language

For this purpose, an internationally valid phonetic alphabet (IPA) is used, which helps to render the acoustics of a word deviating from the spelling sufficiently accurately so that it can be understood by a native speaker.

In phonetic transcription, thank you is given as [θæŋk juː], for example. If a language is to become that cannot be rendered with the letters of the German alphabet, another type of transcription takes place, called a transcription. Thus the Greek name Ἀλέξανδρος becomes Alexander in German.

Transcription in Edition Studies

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Humanities scholar and Historian know transcription as a exact transcription or copying of a text into a new form. Transcription in science can by no means be understood as mere typing, for the editor faces a number of problems: For one thing, an original must first be located. If there is no original - as is actually always the case in the ancient languages Latin, Ancient Greek or Hebrew - the editor has to stick to the already existing transcriptions.

Source: Georg Vogeler

Time-consuming and more than cumbersome here is the fact that ancient texts in particular were copied by monks in their little chambers by candlelight, some of whom did not understand the language itself. The result is many different false copies of the original, spoiled with water stains, wrong words, incomplete lines.

The editor must then create a Stemma create. One Family tree, based on which the different versions are derived and the edition closest to the original is found. This is what he tries to reconstruct. Since this is sometimes impossible, some book editions contain a critical apparatus that marks all words that differ from other versions of the text.

For linguists and historians, this transcription is of great value for their research. Editors of recent works are faced with the question of how far a text may be changed without losing its original intention. They therefore decide whether the text should be modernised for better readability and how far the intervention in the source may go. Readers of an edition must be aware that every changed word creates a "text that never was" and thus fundamentally falsifies source information.

Transcription in music

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In the Music transcription is a Written composition of a piece of music according to one's own ear.. This means that not every note has to be perfectly recognised and written down, for the transcription may well contain certain deviations. Usually, the transcription is used to transform works into other keys or to have them played by other instruments.

Music students are familiar with Musicology the transcription as "melodic dictation", the writing down of notes played in front of them. Outside the music conservatoire, transcription is simply used to help musicians compose and replay pieces of music.

Transcription music
Source: Digital Music Mentor

This is how the imagined melodies become a song in written form - transcribed from memory and again for the different instruments of the band to create a complete artistic work. Cover bands listen to every passage of music until they can meticulously write down every single note for every instrument so that the original song can be copied as faithfully as possible.

For others, it is enough to use basic chord symbols (e.g. C, F, Am) to reproduce a piece similar enough to the original to recognise it in the new composition. To learn transcription, it helps to use the appropriate software to tune your own ear.

Transcription in biology

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Only in biological context transcription has nothing to do with language. In protein biosynthesis, the Transcription of first step to convert DNA into RNA. RNA does not consist of a double helix like DNA and is used to transport genetic material instead of storing it. RNA has the same information as DNA, but can leave the cell nucleus with it. Although RNA contains some of the genetic information of DNA, it is not identical to it.

Transcription Meaning
Source: Khanacademy

In order to synthesise RNA, the enzyme RNA polymerase is required in addition to various proteins (also called Transcription factors called), are required. Together they initiate transcription by the enzyme binding to a part of the gene, the promoter. This signals the DNA to break its structure of a double helix so that the enzyme can read the bases (adenine, guanine, cytosine, thymine) on the DNA strand.

Then, in the second step of the process, the RNA polymerase can create a sequence from the complementary bases. In this process, an mRNA strand (messenger RNA) is built from nucleotides. At the end of the process, the RNA polymerase sends its stop signal to the gene and the strand detaches from the DNA part. The finished mRNA is now transported to a ribosome where the genetic information it contains is translated. The ribosomes combine the mRNA with individual amino acids to form chains and finally proteins and enzymes that are vital for digestion and growth.

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Further questions and answers

What does transcription mean?

The term transcription, taken from the Latin term transcription is a combination of the words "trans" and "scribere". It means "written across" and refers to the transfer of a spoken text into writing. This process is called by the person in charge of a transcription "transcribe"

In biology and musicology, there are other quite different uses of the word transcription.

What is the definition of transcription?

The definition of transcription is the transcription of audio and video files. Literally, the term, which comes from Latin, means something like "written over" and refers to the transfer of a spoken text into writing.

There are other word meanings of transcription in biology and musicology.

What is a synonym for transcription?

A Synonym for transcription is transcription. Accordingly, transcribe can then be equated with transcribe. Other less obvious synomymes for the activity are typing or writing down.

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