- Transcription should represent all words as spoken – including hesitations, filler words, and false starts.
- Transcription must be orthographic, not phonetic. Refer to American Heritage Dictionary for reference: https://ahdictionary.com/
- Transcription should include only upper and lowercase letters, apostrophes, tildes, hyphens, periods, question marks, commas, and spaces. No numbers or other special characters.
- If you cannot understand what the speaker says and the speech is unintelligible, use the footnote [INAUDIBLE hh:mm:ss] as described in this article.
Speech event transcription
Use orthographic spelling
Stumbled speech and corrections
- Use end-punctuations (full stop, question mark) to indicate the end of a complete sentence.
- Use punctuation symbols that are essential part of the word, such as apostrophes and hyphens.
- Use commas to break up long stretches of speech. This is to facilitate reader comprehension.
- AVOID semi-colons.
Acronyms or Spelled Out Words
- To separate items in a list of three or more, using the serial (aka Oxford) comma (i.e., the comma before the conjunction that joins the last two elements:
- To set off a direct address:
- To break up compound and complex sentences:
- To set off introductory words and phrases:
- Around parenthetical phrases:
- ex-boyfriend, ex-drummer, ex-girlfriend, ex-husband, ex-wife
Unintelligible words and phrases
Non-speech (acoustic event) transcription
Non-speech sound inventory
- [lipsmack] -- Lipsmacks, tongue-clicks.
- [breath] -- Inhalation and exhalation between words, yawning.
- [cough] -- Coughing, throat clearing, sneezing.
- [laugh] -- Laughing, chuckling.
- [click] -- Machine or phone click.
- [ring] -- Telephone ring.
- [dtmf] -- Noise made by pressing a telephone keypad.
- [sta] -- At the start of continuous background noise (static)
- [cry] -- Crying/sobbing
- [applause] -- Applause, clapping, cheering
- [prompt] -- IVR prompts or voice recordings commonly found at the beginning of calls
- [music] -- Music or singing
For any other foreground noise, use [noise hh:mm:ss].