Transcribing Conversation

See Chapter 3 in the book - ‘Transcribing Conversation’.

Transcription Exercise 1: Transcribing an Audio Recording

View the transcript and listen to the recording a few times. Consider what is missing from the transcript and how you would make it more complete.

Transcription 1
Audio File

Once you have listened to the recording a few times, begin to develop a more complete transcription. There’s no right way to do this, but include information such as:

• lengthened sounds
• features of pronunciation or word delivery (modifying spelling)
• intonation and pitch
• stress
• loudness
• pauses
• overlapping talk
• laughter
• audible breathing

Revise the transcript given here to include the additional information you can hear on the transcript. You could use a software program here to help you transcribe, or simply listen to the recording through headphones and add the information to the transcript. Once you are satisfied that you have a complete transcript of the talk, compare it with the completed transcript and note similarities and differences. Where there are differences, listen to the recording and compare the transcripts with what you hear. Different transcribers may hear things in slightly different ways or transcribe them in slightly different ways.

You can find a summary of transcription conventions here:

Transcription Conventions

Transcription Exercise 2: Transcribing an Audio Recording

This time, you will make a transcription from scratch using the sound file provided. Begin by making a less detailed transcription and add more information as you go. When you have finished, check your transcription with the one provided.

Audio File 

When you have finished the transcript, check it against this version: Transcription 2. Identify similarities and differences between the two transcripts. Listen again to the recording and check it against the transcriptions.

Some Applications to Help When Transcribing

There are a number of applications available online free of charge that can help with transcription. Some of these applications enable more control over the play-back of a recording than is available in regular media players and need to be used with another application to create the transcript, such as a word processing program. Others combine playback and the creation of the transcript in the same application. Some are designed for audio files; others allow for using video. All of them provide some help for transcribers, but they also have their limitations, and none is specifically designed for transcribing for Conversation Analysis. This is far from a complete list and new applications are being developed all the time, so check out what’s available that might work for you. There are also commercial applications available that have more functions.

Audacity: https://www.audacityteam.org/

CLAN: http://childes.psy.cmu.edu/clan/

EasyTranscript: https://e-werkzeug.eu/index.php/en/products/easytranscript

Express Scribe: https://express-scribe.en.softonic.com/

HyperTRANSCRIBE: http://www.researchware.com/downloads/downloads-hypertranscribe.html

Insqribe: https://www.inqscribe.com/

Parlatype: https://launchpad.net/parlatype

SoundScriber: https://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Audio/Audio-Players/SoundScriber.shtml

Transcriber: http://trans.sourceforge.net/en/presentation.php