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Tigerfish Blog: what you should know, and more

Click to close this case study audio transcript ipa chart

Audio Transcript: Pure Verbal Transcription

What would be a pure audio transcript?  I mean just a transcription of sound?  How do you transcribe a language […]

What would be a pure audio transcript?  I mean just a transcription of sound?  How do you transcribe a language if you don’t know it?  How do you convey in written form the pronunciation of an unfamiliar word?  For some kinds of transcription (especially in the field of linguistics) these are real questions.

This is one of a series of posts on the myriad uses and types of transcription, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, provider of finest Seattle transcription, Chicago transcription, New York Transcription, and of course San Francisco transcription.

An Audio Transcript That’s Pronounceable

How do you create an audio transcript that shows pronunciation?  You’ve probably seen versions of this in some dictionaries.  It’s called the International Phonetic Alphabet.

trænˈskrɪpʃən

That’s how the word ‘transcription’ is shown.

Verbal Transcription:  The International Phonetic Alphabet

To help create audio transcripts that would help linguists and learners, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) was invented in the late 19th Century by a group of language teachers from England and France.  Their aim was to create a single alphabet that was usable across different languages for the study of language.  It would be able to transcribe the sounds of any language, without the messiness of word origin making spelling illogical, and without the transcriber needing to know the language.  In general it assigns one letter to each sound, and it uses primarily Latin letters.

The IPA is used in verbal transcription by language students and educators, writers of dictionaries, linguists, speech pathologists, singers, actors, and translators.  The Oxford English Dictionary uses it to represent the pronunciation of words, while most American dictionaries use some other respelling system which is more intuitively understood by readers of English.

The IPA is widely used by classical singers, especially to sing in languages other than their own.  Opera makes good use of transcription!   You may have read an English transcript at the opera in the form of surtitles, but maybe you didn’t know that the soprano singing the aria used an IPA transcript to get the right Italian pronunciations.

 

Carmen Perry

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Video Transcription and Closed Captions

When producing a video, seeking video transcription services, or doing your own transcribing from video to text, you might be […]

When producing a video, seeking video transcription services, or doing your own transcribing from video to text, you might be wondering about the relationship between closed captioning and video transcription.  What is the difference between video transcription and the creation of closed captions?  (And if you’re wondering about subtitling, read this.)

Both transcription and closed captioning convert speech (and sometimes other sounds) into text.

 

A transcript exists independently.  Closed captions are displayed with the video.  Video transcription produces a text document which can be read independently, on paper or screen.  Closed captions are a visual representation of the soundtrack which appears on the screen as the video plays.

A transcript may or may not include time coding.  Closed captions must use time codes and be synchronized with the sound and visuals.  In order to create closed captions, you need a time coded transcript. Then you must divide up the text to match particular moments in the video, and display the words just as they are being spoken.

Purposes of Video Transcription and Closed Captions

Transcripts have many purposes.  Just a few examples:  a creative aid, a historical document, a searchable document, a legal record.  Closed captions are made to aid communication of audio information in ‘real time’ to people with hearing difficulties, language barriers, and in environments where the audio must be muted, or where there is background noise which makes hearing difficult. In practice, captioning is also used widely by people learning languages and improving their reading skills.

Transcripts can be verbatim, or they can be edited.  Closed captioning might use a verbatim transcript or an edited transcript.

Both might include non-speech sounds, or they might be limited to spoken language.

In television, film, and other video production, video transcription services are essential for creating all varieties of text from audio visual material.  Among other things, this can include transcripts from initial footage, research interviews, rehearsals, final scripts, as well as closed captions and subtitles.

 
Jason Avery

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Transcribing Audio: Visible Speech

Did you know there was a way of transcribing audio that does not require the transcriber to know the language […]

Did you know there was a way of transcribing audio that does not require the transcriber to know the language he or she is hearing?  Surprising, but true.  There is a kind of audio transcription developed to symbolize sounds based on how the sounds are made.

Picturing Sound, Transcribing Audio

This is part of a series of posts on the myriad uses and types of transcription, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing, audio and video transcribers, provider of corporate transcription, academic transcription, financial transcription, verbatim transcripts, edited transcripts, audio to text, mp3 to text, and all transcription services.

Certainly you’ve heard of Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.  Not exactly the one in your pocket that you use for texting, but the one you used to hold up to your ear.  (Yup, it’s audio to text on a historic scale.)

Graham’s father, Alexander Melville Bell, researched and taught the physiology of phonetics, and was a renowned teacher of elocution, and of speech education for deaf people.  In 1864 he developed a system of transcribing audio by notating the movements of the tongue, throat, and lips during talking in order to help deaf people learn to speak.  Called Visible Speech, it is a kind of phonetic notation.  All vocal sounds are conveyed using a set of specific symbols.  This could give visual feedback to profoundly deaf people about the sounds they were making.

Melville also saw great potential for his system as a kind of universal alphabet that transcended language barriers.  It was subtle enough that someone reading a transcript made using Visible Speech would reproduce the regional accent of the original speaker.  Bell employed his son to demonstrate this, leaving audiences flabbergasted.

Visible speech was the first system of transcription of phonetic sounds that was not specific to a particular language.  And it is unusual as a dream for an international language, in that it is based on sound, not meaning.  It was the precursor to the International Phonetic Alphabet, which uses the Roman alphabet.

 

Carmen Perry

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Make a Statement with Business Transcription

What are some of the best reasons to hire a business transcription service to transcribe your corporate event? Are you […]

What are some of the best reasons to hire a business transcription service to transcribe your corporate event?

Are you sponsoring a trade show in Seattle?  Hire a transcription service!  Are you giving a keynote in Chicago?  Transcribe it!  Will you be participating in a development meeting in New York?  You guessed it – get it transcribed.

 

Business Transcription Can Help You!  Here are Five Ways

When you are hosting a business event such as a seminar, organizing a business conference or trade show, or launching a new product or service, you want to maximize the take-home for your efforts. You want your clients, colleagues, and collaborators to reap the best of what you have to offer.  You want the effects of the seminar to reverberate, and continue to generate business long after the live event is over. With this in mind,  I’ve put together a small list of some of the potential benefits of business transcription.  Here are five top reasons to use a quality business transcription service to provide transcripts of your business seminar:

 

  1. Make a statement:  With a transcript, it is easy to publish excerpts of keynote speeches, new product presentations,  and Q and A sessions on your website as part of a report about the event.
  2. Share:  You can efficiently share content from the seminar with team members who were not present.
  3. Evaluate:  Use transcripts to review what was said and evaluate effectiveness.
  4. Publish:  Reuse parts of speeches and discussions in your business blog.
  5. Market the event:  Hand over the transcripts of relevant presentations to your marketing department for use when planning next year’s event.  Find out what excited people, why they came – it will all be there in writing!

Well, there you have it.  Not all of it though – more on this topic next time!

 

Ellen Park

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Click to close this case study Gail Jefferson speech Transcription Scholar

Speech Transcription: Sounds of Conversation

  How can you make an accurate speech transcription?  Usually when transcribing talk, transcribers stick to the basics, and make […]

 

How can you make an accurate speech transcription?  Usually when transcribing talk, transcribers stick to the basics, and make a verbatim transcript, or one that is edited for clarity.  But sometimes there is a need for more detail, and various transcription systems have been developed for particular uses.  At one end of the detail spectrum might be some transcripts used in an area of academic study called Conversational Analysis, an approach to the study of social interaction.

This is one of a series of posts on the myriad uses and types of transcription, brought to you by Tigerfish Transcribing (transcription services SF, transcription Seattle, transcribing NYC, providing interview transcripts, legal transcription, conference call transcription, focus group transcription, and general transcription services for businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies.)

 

Speech Transcription and Jefferson Notation

A transcriber named Gail Jefferson (also a scholar, but partly known for the system of transcribing she invented) came up with a system of notation which conveys an enormous amount of detail about not just what is said but how it is said – you might call it enhanced speech transcription.  Jefferson Notation designates symbols to denote pauses, micropauses, rises and falls in intonation, slowing of speech, quickening of speech, stretched sound, among other things.  This makes it possible to create documents from audio recordings and video recordings which can be analyzed, tabulated, and searched.

According to Wikipedia,  “The distinctiveness of Jefferson’s research…was to focus on the machineries through which interaction is constructed and how they are deployed in the moment-by-moment shaping and reshaping of interaction. Her special contribution was to reveal how interaction is endlessly contingent.”

She spent her later years transcribing the Watergate Tapes. To see some examples of her speech transcription and the symbols she developed for transcribing pauses, changes in pitch and volume of speech, and other aspects of conversation, take a look here.

 

Carmen Perry

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Meeting Transcription: Brainstorming the Brainstorm

How can meeting transcription help you optimize your brainstorming sessions? Part 1:  Before the storm You’ve scheduled a brainstorming meeting […]

How can meeting transcription help you optimize your brainstorming sessions?

Part 1:  Before the storm

You’ve scheduled a brainstorming meeting to generate ideas for your next project.  Your goal is to generate copious quantities of ideas, because that’s the route to better ideas.

How can you lay the groundwork for abundance?

Use meeting transcription to generate questions

If you already have previous meeting transcriptions on the topic at hand, peruse your transcripts to generate the most apt topics for your current meeting.  The more specific you can be in your phrasing, the more stimulating your prompts can be.

How can meeting transcription help with group dynamics?

Transcription services have transcribers who are trained to identify speakers in a group situation, and can provide the name of each speaker along with what each person said.  If you are supplied with transcripts of previous meetings where the speakers are named, a good facilitator can identify conversational dynamics, intervene helpfully to redirect ineffective patterns, and even choose groups of people who work especially well together in the brainstorm format.

Make it playful

Choose a friendly, quiet room.  Provide coffee, food, and doodling paper.  Bring toys!  Having things to fiddle with quietly, like Lego or magnet toys, and markers and paper, will free up thinking.

Brainwrite

Begin initial ‘storming’ in writing.  Studies have shown that this helps to generate more original ideas, and allows greater participation by more minds.  (In a group discussion sometimes the dominant speakers will shape the conversation, and the ideas of quieter people may never see the light.)

Brainwrite to Brainstorm

With the list of topics generated in writing, you can schedule brainstorming meetings on each one.  More meetings, more ideas!  And please don’t forget to transcribe the meetings.

Check out future posts for more on making brainstorming work!

 

Jason Avery

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