How Do Transcripts Work?

Transcripts are an effective way of converting information from one media file into readable text. Although various businesses and institutions require transcribing large volumes of audio, video, or even PDFs daily, they often fail to achieve their desired results. Why? Simply because they don’t understand how different transcripts work. This article strives to remove any confusion you may have about the functioning of various forms of transcripts.

What Are the Different Types of Transcripts?

In this section, we’ll look at different types of transcription and how they work. Each of them has specific qualities that are useful in various industries.

#1. Edited Transcripts

Edited transcription standardizes and edits a complete, accurate script for readability, coherence, and clarity. This type of speech-to-text transformation fix problems like grammar errors, slang, and incomplete sentences. Edited transcripts aim to fix spelling and punctuation while enhancing spoken words’ formality.


  • Unedited: My little bro doesn’t like eating veggies.
  • Edited: My little brother does not like eating vegetables.


  • Film: Movie scripts, subtitles
  • Podcast: Descriptions

#2. Verbatim Transcripts

Verbatim transcripts are of two types: Full-verbatim and clear-verbatim. Full verbatim transcription converts spoken language from audio and video files into written form. Every sound in the audio gets documented, including gulps, laughter, sobbing, background noises, and other verbal pauses like “ah,” “um,” and “uh.” It comes in handy when transcribing a video or audio recording made in a particular context.

In contrast, clear verbatim transcripts may remove background noises, pauses in speech, throat clearing, and sentence fragments.


  • Raw: I uh don’t like to go to parties (coughs). Call me an introvert (sighs), but gatherings really give me butterflies.
  • Full verbatim: I, uh, don’t like to go to parties (coughs). Call me an introvert (sighs), but gatherings really give me butterflies.
  • Clear verbatim: I don’t like to go to parties. Call me an introvert, but gatherings really give me butterflies.
  • Edited: I don’t like to go to parties. Call me an introvert, but gatherings make me really nervous.


  • Legal: Police statements, Court witness testimony
  • Medical: Guidelines, Patients history

#3. Intelligent Verbatim Transcripts

Intelligent verbatim transcription removes repetitive and unsuitable filler from the spoken word. Yes, the way it works is pretty interesting. The goal is to convey the participants’ voices and emotions or expressions in a more precise, readable manner.


  • In this type of transcript, long, rambling sentences are shortened by being divided into multiple sentences to increase the content’s readability.
  • Intelligent verbatim transcripts clear these off-topic conversations, spontaneous remarks, and anything irrelevant to the topic, such as awkward pauses, redundant sentences, stuttering sounds, coughing, and background noises.


  • Business: Training, Courses
  • Academic: Research
  • Publishing: News

#4. Phonetic Transcripts

In the English language, there are roughly 44 distinct sounds, or phonemes (the smallest unit of speech that can distinguish one word from another). Today, all languages use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), a standard way to represent speech sounds in writing. Phonetic transcripts capture the pronunciation of spoken words as it is by using the phonetic symbols from IPA.

  • When it’s necessary to record how a word’s pronunciation has changed over time, phonetic transcripts can be helpful. It can be beneficial when transcribing a historical drama devoid of any modern pronunciations.
  • Transcripts of speeches delivered in different dialects work effectively to preserve the authentic essence of that dialect and associated accents.


  • The word fish has four letters that use one of the 26 letters from the standard English alphabet. However, the IPA presents this word as three sounds: fiʃ, where ‘ʃ’ stands for the ‘sh’ sound.


  • Linguistic research
  • Speech transcripts

How to Know What Transcript Will Work for Your Use Case?

The target audience and intended use play a huge role in determining the standardized type of transcript you will need. Here is how to decide.

  • Identify the source material: First, examine the material thoroughly to understand whether the recording or film contains fast-talking characters or individuals with heavy accents. Also, notice how often background noise distracts attention from the recorded media.
  • Get professional help: Transcribing is complex, and choosing the best course of action may require expertise or specialized knowledge. Hire talented and highly skilled transcriptionists online if you’re still unsure how to handle the transcriptions.


Remember, every transcription has a specific application, and transcription projects are frequently much trickier than they first seem. A successful project needs a thorough understanding of several factors, such as the audience, purpose, usage, etc. An incorrect assumption or step can lead to a final product that is off-course or may not be acceptable to the readers. Consider outsourcing your work if you lack the workforce or the necessary expertise to complete transcriptions. With GoTranscript, you can now obtain high-quality transcriptions without any hassles. So, go for it!