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Verbatim Transcripts vs. Clean Verbatim: What’s the Difference?

Transcribing video and audio files is important because it gives you a written account of discussions, lectures, summons, and other conversation forms. Transcripts are useful for different functions, such as analyzing dialogues and note-taking. However, if you have ever come across different transcripts in the past, chances are you’ve noticed that not all of them are the same.

Some transcripts contain every detail the speaker utters, including filler words, pauses, and stutters. However, other transcripts only retain the gist of the speech and leave out all fillers. One of the transcripts is known as a verbatim transcript, while the other is called a clean transcript. Knowing the difference between the two types of transcripts could mean either satisfaction or disappointment with the transcription services you engage with.

How Verbatim and Clean Transcripts Differ

Below, we share the differences between verbatim and clean transcripts. We also offer insight as to when either of them can be helpful. Lastly, we guide you on where to get the best transcription services. 

What Is Verbatim Transcription?

As the name suggests, verbatim transcription means transcribing everything a speaker says, word for word. A transcriber records the speakers’ filler words, where they stutter, and doesn’t correct the mistakes they make. If the speaker clears their throat while talking, the transcriber also captures that in the transcript.

An excellent example of when a verbatim transcript is necessary is during a court proceeding when a witness testifies. Capturing every detail of the testimony is vital because it helps readers understand the speaker’s mood. Sometimes, verbatim transcripts help to determine if the speaker is being truthful.

Verbatim transcription has the benefit of capturing all details, making it easy for one to reference it in the future. However, most people find this type of transcript hard to understand. The stutters and fillers interfere with the flow of the reading.

Situations where you might require verbatim transcription include:

  • Witness testimony in court
  • Interview during a police investigation
  • When word-for-word analysis of a conversation is necessary

What Is Clean Transcription?

Clean transcription occurs when the transcriber leaves out unwarranted parts of a speech. The transcript cuts to the chase and gives the reader the necessary information.

Some of the parts that a clean transcript leaves out include:

  • Throat clearing
  • False starts
  • Stuttering
  • Background noise
  • Unintentional repetition

Excluding these elements makes the transcript easy to read and understand. Still, the transcript maintains the speaker’s core message. A clean transcript is suitable for transcribing notes and other conversations where fillers are not necessary.

Where to Get Clean and Verbatim Transcripts

When you have video and audio files to transcribe, two transcriptions options become available to you. One way to transcribe your files is by using computer software that automatically converts audio files to text. An advantage of using automated transcription is that it is fast. While the speed may seem attractive, the other aspects might not be worthwhile.

For instance, the automation software is highly likely to be inaccurate or confuse some words and sounds. It is also hard for some transcription tools to accurately capture heavy accents. As a result, a human transcriber has to go through the whole recording and make the necessary corrections later.

The other transcription option is a human-based service. This method involves having real people listen to your audio or video file and manually transcribe what they hear. The process requires a high level of focus on what the speaker says and typing out the words. When it comes to clean transcription, human listening is the best option because of the ability to judge what fillers entail and choose what to leave out.

Similarly, human transcription is the right path for verbatim transcription. Human transcribers have a sharp ear for accurate listening. It’s also easy for them to note when a speaker has an accent that can distort the pronunciation of certain words. 

Know the Difference

Verbatim and clean transcriptions are distinct. The latter excludes filler words from the transcript, making it easy to read. In contrast, the former records every word and sound a speaker utters, making the transcript a bit hard to comprehend. 

Consider verbatim transcription when you need the complete details of the conversation. However, go for clean transcription when you only need the words said during a conversation without any fillers, false starts, background noise, etc. Whichever transcription mode you pick, understand that only human transcribers deliver the highest quality. Visit https://gotranscript.com/transcription-services/verbatim-transcription to get the most accurate transcripts for your business and personal use.

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