Correct Transcription

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Transcription in prokaryotes and in eukaryotes requires the DNA double helix to partially unwind in the region of RNA synthesis. The unwound region is called a transcription bubble. Transcription of a particular gene always proceeds from one of the two DNA strands that acts as a template, the so-called antisense strand. Transcription is the process of producing a strand of RNA from a strand of DNA. Similar to the way DNA is used as a template in DNA replication, it is again used as a template during transcription. The information that is stored in DNA molecules is rewritten or ‘transcribed’ into a new RNA molecule.

During the process of transcription, the information encoded within the DNA sequence of one or more genes is transcribed into a strand of RNA, also called an RNA transcript. The resulting single-stranded RNA molecule, composed of ribonucleotides containing the bases adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and uracil (U), acts as a mobile molecular copy of the original DNA sequence. Transcription factors are proteins that control the rate of transcription. They too bind to the promoter sequences with RNA polymerase. They too bind to the promoter sequences with RNA polymerase. Once bound to the promotor sequence, RNA polymerase unwinds a portion of the DNA double helix, exposing the bases on each of the two DNA strands. Convert English text to IPA transcription or phonetic spelling (for native speakers). Audio/video recordings of 20,000 words. Free pronunciation trainer.

Interview Transcription is the process of documenting a conversation between two or more people.

This can be done real-time or from an audio/video recording.

Now that sounds simple enough, but beginners often get bogged down by the tediousness of the process.

While there’s no denying that transcription is time-consuming, the process can be simplified with a little preparation.

In this post we’ll take a look at the different methods one can use to transcribe an interview and provide a step-by-step guide to interview transcription.

First, it’s good to know that you don’t have to transcribe yourself.

Transcription can be done in several different ways:

  1. Using Audio-to-Text Converters
  2. Hiring a Freelance Transcriptionist

Which method you use would depend on factors like the number of speakers on the recording, audio clarity, subject matter, time and budget, and your typing speed.

So which method should you choose? Let’s take a look at each:

Using Audio-to-Text Converters

If a recording has just one speaker doing most of the talking at a steady rate of speech and at a decent volume, then audio to text converters are a good choice.

A transcript created via automation would not be perfect, i.e. you would still have to proofread it, but that is easier than transcribing the full recording manually.

The thing to watch out for though is that not all audio-to-text converters can transcribe from a recorded file i.e. some are meant for live dictations only. Check this post for more on this topic.

Transcribing Manually

When the recording has two or more speakers (which is usually the case with interviews), then manual transcription is be a better option because audio-to-text converters cannot transcribe multi-speaker recordings accurately.

This is also true for interviews with technical content, strong accents, or high-rates-of-speech.

You can do manual transcription yourself or outsource it to experts.

Outsourcing to a Transcription Agency

If the recording is in a language you don’t understand, or if you don’t have time to do the transcription yourself, then outsourcing to a transcription agency is a good idea.

All you have to do is send them your recording with detailed instructions and they will return a neatly formatted and time-coded transcript to you in a fairly short period of time.

Hiring a Freelance Transcriptionist

If you can’t afford the services of a transcription agency (or can’t find one that you like), then it’s best to use the services of a freelance transcriptionist. Sites like,, and have a good pool of service providers who can help.

The good part about hiring a freelancer is that they can do the work relatively cheaply with almost the same turnaround time as a transcription company. The downside is that you have to experiment a little to find the right transcriber.

In the rest of this post we’ll discuss Option #2, i.e. how to transcribe an interview manually – yourself.

Let’s dive in.

Correct transcription for went

Here are the 8 steps to follow to transcribe an interview from start to finish:

  1. Listen to the full recording before transcribing.
  2. Calculate how long it will take
  3. Pick the right tools
  4. Transcribe a draft
  5. Use short-cuts to save time
  6. Proofread
  7. Find-and-Replace placeholder text
  8. Format the transcript

1. Listen to the full recording before transcribing

Most people dive straight into transcription without first analyzing the recording’s complexity. This is a mistake because if the audio is complex, it can cause you much frustration later.

So before beginning transcription, always listen to the audio end-to-end. Check for things like:

  • The exact length of the recording.
  • Number of speakers.
  • Rate of speech.
  • Languages and accents.
  • Technical terminology.
  • Whether you want to transcribe the full recording or just some parts of it, etc.

Once you understand the complexity of the recording, you’ll know whether you should use an audio-to-text converter, transcribe it youself, or outsource it to an agency/freelancer.

2. Calculate how long it will take

If you decide to transcribe the recording yourself, first calculate how long it will take you.

With a decent typing speed of 50-60 w.p.m. you can transcribe a simple 1-hour recording in approximately 4-6 hours.

Complex recordings with multiple speakers, poor audio quality, strong accents, or technical content can take 9-10 hours to transcribe.

You should also account for time-coding and formatting, as those will take extra time.

Medically correct transcription

(If you’re transcribing for the first time, you should probably set aside a full day).

Read more: How long does it take to transcribe a recording?

Tip: If you need to transcribe frequently, then investing some time in improving your typing speed may be a good idea.

3. Pick the right tools

After understanding the time commitment, think about the tools you will use.

These should include:

An Audio Player (no not iTunes or Media Player)

Install a free transcription audio player on your computer for audio/video playback (for e.g. Express Scribe, Transcription Buddy, or InqScribe).

Unlike regular audio players like iTunes and Windows Media Player, these players are built for transcription and allow you to use hot-keys for play/pause/rewind/fast-forward/time-coding functions without having to take your hands off the keyboard.

This can be a HUGE time-saver when transcribing’ long recordings.

Legally Correct Transcription

Word Processor

To type the document, you can use the in-built text editor that your transcription software offers or use an external one like MS Word or Pages.

Be sure to learn how to save the document while transcribing because you don’t want to lose all your hard work in the event of software crashing or battery failure!


Get a good pair of headphones or earplugs to listen to the recording. You can use speakers too, but we don’t recommend that unless the audio is studio quality with a single speaker.

You will be able to capture words far more accurately and in greater detail if you use a headphone.

A Foot Pedal (optional)

If you have many hour of audio to transcribe, then you might want to invest in a foot pedal.


This tool basically allows you to play/pause/rewind/fast-forward a recording using your foot rather than hot-keys, saving you extra keystrokes while transcribing (almost all professional transcribers have one).

Videos For Correct Transcription

4. Transcribe a draft

With the right tools in place, you can now load files onto your chosen transcription software and begin transcribing.

In the first pass, transcribe quickly without worrying about getting everything right.

You may stop now and then to research something online, but remember that you’ll be proofreading the full transcript later, so it doesn’t make sense to waste time checking everything at this point.

Also, don’t try to transcribe the complete file in one shot. Transcribing in 5-10 minute segments will help you stay focused and not feel exhausted.

5. Use short-cuts to save time

There are some simple yet effective ways you can save time while typing your draft transcript.


Microsoft Word comes with an in-built feature called auto-correct that can help you type faster.

Auto-correct is great for correcting words that are inadvertently typed correctly while typing. For example, if you typed WLAKING, it will automatically by changed to WALKING. You can also add other words that you know you often type incorrectly.

The great thing about auto-correct is that it can also be used as Auto-Complete. For example, you can add YK=YOU KNOW in auto-correct, so that whenever you type yk in your document, it is automatically converted to ‘you know’, saving extra keystrokes.

To activate auto-correct in Windows 10, click the Office Button > Word Options > Proofing.


When you transcribe an interview, you will invariably come across parts that are difficult to decipher.

Instead of re-playing these parts over and over to get everything right, simply insert a time code such as [hh:mm:ss xxx] or [or hh:mm:ss unclear] and move on. You can come back to these time codes later during proofreading.

Time codes are particularly important in qualitative research transcripts as they help readers easily find specific parts of the transcript on the actual recording. They also let the reader know which parts of the transcript have missing or doubtful words.

You can also add general time codes every 3-5 minutes in the transcript to facilitate editing/proofreading later.

Placeholder text

Another tip for saving time while transcribing is to add placeholder text for speaker names and speech habits.

This text can later be replaced with full spellings using the ‘find & replace’ function.

For e.g. while typing up your draft, you can use S1 and S2 for Speaker 1 and Speaker 2 or imo for in my opinion. After finishing transcription, you can quickly find and replace these placeholders with the correct spelling.

6. Proofread

Once you have the first draft ready with time codes in place, replay the recording from the beginning and proofread the entire file.

In this process, you check accuracy of the transcript and add missing words, fillers, false starts, ambient sounds etc.

How much detail you add would depend on whether the transcription is meant to be verbatim, intelligent verbatim, or true verbatim.

After proofreading if there are still words that are blanks in the transcript, you can leave the time codes in place to warn readers that there’s a word missing at that point. You can insert a phonetic transcription of the word, but still leaving a time code alongside is a good practice.

Again, do this in 5 or 10-minute segments so that you can focus better.

Read more: Types of Verbatim Transcription

7. Find & Replace the placeholder text

After proofreading the file, add in speaker names (simply ‘find and replace’ the placeholders you added earlier with actual names).

If names are not available or if you want to maintain anonymity, generic identifiers like Interviewer: and Interviewee: can be used.

Correct Transcription For Mood

8. Format the document

Now you are ready for the final step in the process of interview transcription, which is formatting.

Unless you have specific requirements like formatting for NVivo or video editing, you can limit formatting to adding paragraphs, adjusting the font size, and adding headers, titles, page numbers etc.

Here’s an example of an intelligent verbatim transcript formatted for easy reading –

Transcription Tutorial For Beginners - Correct Use Of Punctuation

Interview transcription is an interesting exercise, but it can feel tedious if you’re new to process. It may initially take you a full day to transcribe an interview even if the file is perfectly clear.

Words With Correct Pronunciation And Phonetic Transcription. - 10

Read more: How long does it take to transcribe a recording?

But don’t worry, it gets better with time as you become familiar with the tools and shortcuts available.


If you run into challenges or have questions, leave a comment below and we’ll do our best to help.

Read Next:

Words With Correct Pronunciation And Phonetic Transcription. - 8

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  • Resources
  • Transcription Rules-Terms
  • Common Transcription Rules


Spacing With Punctuation Marks

    Do Not Type a Space ...
  • before or after a hyphen
  • before or after a slash
  • before or after a dash
  • between a number and percent sign
  • between parentheses and the enclosed material
  • between any word and the punctuation following it.
  • between the number and the colon used to indicate a dilutesolution or ratio, e.g. 1:4
  • on either side of the colon when expressing the time of day
  • before an apostrophe
  • before or after a comma used within numbers
  • before or after an ampersand in abbreviations, e.g., C&S
  • on either side of the colon when expressing ratios e.g. 1:1
  • after the closing parenthesis if another mark of punctuationfollows
  • when using the word “times” as x – e.g.,x3

    Type One Space...

  • between words
  • after a comma
  • after a semicolon
  • after a period following an initial
  • after the closing parenthesis
  • on each side of the x in an expression of dimension, e.g.4 x 4 type 2 spaces...
  • after punctuation at the end of a sentence
  • after a colon except when expressing time or a dilution ratio



  • Spell out WHOLE numbers zero through nine, use numeralsfor 10 and above (this may change in the near future as theAAMT is trying to standardize using numerals only.
  • Use numerals when numbers are directly used with symbols.
  • Use numerals when expressing ages.
  • If it is an approximate age, spell it out.
  • Use numerals to express size and measurements.
  • Use numerals for everything metric. Centimeters, millimeters,liters, etc.
  • Use numerals in all expressions pertaining to drugs - thisincludes strength, dosage and directions. Z-PAK 2 daily onday 1, then 1 daily on days 2-5.
  • Spell out and hyphenate fractions standing alone. He drankone-half a gallon of apple juice.
  • Use numerals to express mixed fractions. 1 1/2 years.
  • Use commas only if there are 5 or more digits when expressingnumbers. e.g. 10,000, 4000.
  • Use numerals when expressing vital statistics including height,weight, blood pressure, pulse and respiration.
  • Substitute a hyphen for the word 'to'. He is totake 1-2 tablets of Tylenol every 4-6 hours p.r.n.
  • Leave a space between numerals and measurements unless theyform a compound modifier. It is 6 cm below the ...... It is1200 mL....... A 4-cm nevus....... A 2 x 2-mm lesion.......
  • Always use 0 in front of the decimal point if the number isnot a whole number. 0.75 mg
  • Use decimal fractions with metric measurements. 1.5 cm
  • Use mixed fractions with English system measurements. 1 1/2inch
  • Use numerals for: Ages, units of measure, vital statistics,lab values and in other instances where it is important tocommunicate clearly the number referenced. Examples: 4 inches,3-year-old. She has three dogs who have eight fleas each.A total of 7 basal cell carcinomas removed from his left arm.(7 for clarity)
  • Do not start a sentence using a number. Spell out the numberor recast the sentence.
  • Dictated as: 10 milligrams of Reglan was administered stat.Transcribe as: Reglan 10 mg was administered stat.
  • Exception - It is acceptable to begin a sentence with a date.Example - 2004 is going to be a prosperous year.
  • Plurals - do not use an apostrophe to form plural numbers.
  • 4 x 4s
  • She was in her 20s or twenties (this is acceptable becauseit is not a definite number).
  • She was born in the 1970s.
  • Series of numbers - Use numerals if at least one is greaterthan nine or if there is a mixed or decimal fraction.
  • Example - Jeff has 1 job, 1 place of employment and 18 hoursa day to do the work.
  • Cranial nerves - Preferred: Roman numerals I-XII
  • Diabetes type 1 and type 2, not Roman numerals I and II -this was recently standardized by the American Diabetes Association.
  • Apgar scores - Use numerals for ratings and spell out numbersrelating to minutes. Rationale - to draw attention to thescores. Example: The Apgar scores were 6 and 9 at one andfive minutes. Apgar is not an acronym.
  • Time Examples
  • 8:30 a.m. - morning
  • 8:30 p.m. - evening
  • noon, not 12:00 noon
  • midnight, not 12:00 midnight or 12 'o'clock or 12:00 p.m.



  • Spell out all nonmetric measurements. Feet, inches, pounds,ounces, yards, grain, dram, etc.
  • Exceptions:
  • Use tsp for teaspoon
  • Use tbsp for tablespoon
  • Abbreviate all metric measurements.
  • Use F for Fahrenheit IF accompanied by the symbol for degree.98.6°F
  • Spell out Fahrenheit IF degree is spelled out. 98.6 degreesFahrenheit.
  • Use C for Celsius IF accompanied by the symbol for degree.36°C
  • Spell out Celsius IF degree is spelled out. 36 degrees Celsius.
  • In tables and technical documents:
  • Use ft or ' for feet
  • Use ' for inches
  • Use yd for yard
  • Use pt for pint
  • Use oz for ounce
  • Use fl oz for fluid ounce
  • Abbreviate most unusual units of measure when accompaniedby numerals Dictated as Transcribed as:
  • 0.8 centimeters squared 0.8 sq cm
  • 22 millimeters of mercury 22 mmHg
  • 3.0 liters per minute 3.0 L/min
  • 40 millimeters per hour 40 mm/h
  • 8 grams percent 8 gm%



  • Spell out a symbol when used alone (with no number).
  • Use symbols when they are used with numbers
  • Common Symbols
    Dictated as Transcribed as:
  • Four to five 4-5
  • Number 3 0 #3-0
  • Twenty-twenty vision 20/20
  • BP 120 over 80 120/80
  • Grade two over six 2/6
  • A positive A+
  • Three point five centimeters 3.5 cm
  • Point five centimeters 0.5 cm




  • Abbreviations when the words they represent are capitalized
  • The first word following a colon if it begins a complete sentenceor is part of an outline entry
  • Most abbreviations of English words
  • The first letter of chemical elements
  • The names of the days of the week, months, holidays, historicevents and religious festivals
  • The names of specific departments or sections in the institutiononly when the institution name is included
  • The names of diseases that include proper nouns, eponyms orgenus names
  • The trade or brand names of drugs
  • A quote when it is a complete sentence
  • The names of races, peoples, religions and languages. Black,as a race designation would be capitalized, however clientpreferences may differ.
    Do Not Capitalize...
  • The spelled out names of the chemical elements
  • The seasons of the year
  • The common names of diseases
  • The names of viruses unless they include a proper noun
  • Generic drug names
  • The common noun following the brand name. Example - Tylenoltablets
  • The names of medical or surgical specialties
  • Designations based on skin color, like 'a tall whiteman.'



  • These prefixes do not require the use of a connecting hyphenin compound terms:
  • ante intra semi
  • anti micro sub
  • bi mid super
  • co non supra
  • contra over trans


Stage, Type, and Fracture Classifications

  • Lowercase the words 'stage' and 'type,'and use roman numerals. For subdivisions of stages, followThe AAMT Book of Style rules for cancer classifications, andadd on-line capital letters without spaces or hyphens:
  • Examples
  • complex regional pain syndrome stage I
  • stage II-III
  • type I radioulnar synostosis
  • type II open fracture
  • type IIIB
  • Garden II femoral neck fracture
  • Salter VI fracture



  • Lowercase the word 'grade' and use arabic numerals:
  • Examples:
  • grade 1 chondromalacia patellae
  • grade 2
  • grade 3-4


Level, Phase, and Class

  • Lowercase the words 'level,' 'phase,'and 'class,' and use arabic or roman numerals accordingto the system being referenced:
  • Examples:
  • Radiation Therapy Oncology phase III
  • Haggitt level 4 colorectal adenocarcinoma
  • physical status class 2E


Wrist Arthroscopy Portals

  • Use arabic numerals. Two numbers should be hyphenated withoutspaces; add on-line capital letters with no space:
  • Examples:
  • 1-2 portal
  • portal 3-4
  • 6U wrist portal

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