Transcription Style Guide

Rev. 1/06

203 Columbus Avenue · San Francisco 94133 toll-free 877-TIGERFISH www.tigerfish.com

as well as some exceptions and additional items that apply to Tigerfish transcriptions. formatting documents. Occasionally. type [End of recorded material] or. Formatting Standards Beginning/Ending a Transcript – The first two lines of the document should contain the transcript filename (such as ABCDExxxxx12345_TRN10) and the title specified in the work order (such as Meeting Minutes 2. from time to time. such as ABCDExxxxx12345_TRN10. This is a living document and subject to revision. begin the transcription with [Recorded material beginning at minute hh:mm:ss] and end the transcription with [End of recorded material at minute hh:mm:ss] substituting the correct times for hh:mm:ss. It is not necessary to include your name. or any other recognized source book. and so on. Usage Standards – Listing some commonly used standards that appear in The AP Stylebook. Words Into Type. if appropriate. [Abrupt end of recorded material]. Begin all transcriptions with the notation [Beginning of recorded material] or. At the end of the transcribed document. time coding. Save your transcribed document using the full transcript filename specified in the work order. such as standards for speaker identification. you may. receive instructions specific to an individual job based on standards requested from a customer. [Abrupt beginning of recorded material]. you might receive a work order specifying sections of recorded material to transcribe.3. This document has two sections: • • Formatting Standards – Containing information specific to transcription for Tigerfish.Introduction Tigerfish generally follows the style guidelines set out in The Associated Press Stylebook rather than the Chicago Manual of Style. In addition.04). . Be sure to include the TRN10 or other suffix. if appropriate. In these instances.

When starting a new paragraph. along with some housekeeping comments. Identify the focus group leader as "Facilitator:" and use only "Male Voice:" and "Female Voice:" to identify participants. Please uncheck all auto-formatting options.) If the transcript is titled "John Smith. See Speaker Identification for more information. please turn off all of Word’s “Auto Format Before You Type” features. unless otherwise instructed in a work order: o Male Voice:[tab] (Use initial caps on both words) o Female Voice:[tab] (Use initial caps on both words) o Interviewer:[tab] o Respondent:[tab] o Facilitator:[tab] (For focus groups) o John:[tab] (When you can only identify a speaker' first name. then the “Auto Format Before You Type” tab. Do not add numbers to the identification. Do not use spaces. s use hard returns instead. Consistent usage of "Male Voice:" and "Female Voice:" is best.) o Dr." and there is only an interviewer and a respondent. Formatting a Transcript – If using Microsoft Word. in Word. indent the first line using a single tab." Use your best judgment. Long passages should be broken into new paragraphs to enhance readability. This is important for the document to format properly when prepared for the customer. Double-space between speakers or new paragraphs. To do so. There is no need to transcribe this material. then Auto Correct.Focus Group Transcripts – Most focus groups will have an introduction at the beginning where the facilitator explains how the group will interact and the purpose of the meeting. Do not use your word processing software' double-space or space-before-paragraph feature to do this. Trying to identify each speaker by name over the course of a long focus group gets too confusing. odds are the respondent is "John Smith. go to the Tools Menu. begin transcribing when the first participant identifies him or herself or when the conversation is obviously beginning on the topic. Use only the following speaker identification formats. but . Speaker Identification – Separate the speaker identification from transcription text with a colon (:) followed by a tab. John Smith:[tab] (When you know a speaker' name and title in s medical transcripts. Instead.) s o John Smith:[tab] (When you are able to identify a speaker' first and last s name. Your final document will be formatted using a standard template that relies on use of the colon and tab to produce the final product for the customer.

Uncertain how to spell a name. Moderator. Female Voice 2. . For example. and seconds. Add a leading "00:" if necessary. Or. However. or as close as you can get without breaking up a sentence. Place a new time code at 30-second intervals. This might be useful as you start the transcript if you think you' be able to ll identify the speaker later and then use search and replace to update the identification throughout the document. use the following format: 00:00:00[tab]Speaker identification:[tab] Always use three sets of numbers for hours. The Internet can also be useful. Company websites will often have a list of employees. Voice. Pick a speaker identification that fits best or contact Tigerfish for guidance. Person. minutes. the time code in the video might start at 04:00:00 rather than 00:00:00. Second Male Voice. Unless otherwise specified. only the respondent' answers need to be coded. Unclear Words or Phrases – Please make every effort to hear and understand what is said. However. so this is not a precise measurement. s For long answers. “Did you mean…” which often gives you the correct term. Time Coding – When time coding a transcript. Another Female Voice.com/webhp?complete=1&hl=en. such as Male Voice 1. Please do not number speakers. not the time shown as elapsed in your player. Ordinary search engines are also useful. Sometimes you can figure out a word by the context of what the speaker is saying. Presenter. or any other convention not listed above. if this does not happen. search for something unique about the subject matter and you might find a document that contains the correct word. "Respondent" is always better than "Male Voice. time codes should only be inserted at the beginning of a sentence. When time coding an interview.google. please remove the numbering before submitting your final transcript. Child. and so on. the search engine will come back and ask. follow these guidelines: 1. Google Suggest is a new product that suggest words based upon the letters you type: http://www. which can be useful in the spelling of names.go ahead and name the respondent as "John Smith" if it seems appropriate." Please do not use the following identifications: Speaker. use the time code displayed in the video itself. place a new time code every 30 seconds. When these methods don’t work. if your guess is close.

Transcribe obvious questions and answers only. If you have phonetically spelled an unknown term in brackets and you subsequently come across the same term. If you absolutely can’t make out the words at all. [hypogammaglobulinemic]. and so forth. er. take your best guess and put the name in brackets. Video Recording Transcripts – In a video or talking head interview. false starts. [unknown]." In this case. please go back and correct the previous instances of the word. For consistency. Verbatim Transcripts – When a work order specifies a verbatim transcript. Rather than transcribe such offtopic conversation. simply identify it as [Director' comments] in the transcript. be sure to use consistent spelling. or any other convention. use brackets only for the first appearance of the name. Pick from the list above and use what seems closest to what is being uttered. Verbatim answers. including stutters. [inaudible]. If you learn the correct spelling of a word or name during the course of transcribing. etc. Use [unintelligible] only. take your best guess and enclose it in brackets. If it is the name of a speaking participant. 2. not [?]. or other technical adjustments that must be made. Often these kinds of transcripts will be shown on the work order as "Summarize ???s.If you are uncertain how to spell a name. crowds. [can’t hear]. such as. but be certain to capture the s respondent' reply word-for-word. interviewee coaching. Unfamiliar terms. 3. noises in the room. Unable to hear anything. summarize the interviewer' questions. oh. try to capture every word spoken on the recording. s Usage Standards . insert [unintelligible] in the transcript in their place. When there is a term you are unable to identify. Please ask if you have any questions about what material should or should not be transcribed. occasionally there is discussion of camera angles. and exclamations. should be marked as [B-roll]. landscapes. use only the following for exclamations: o Uh o Um o Uh-huh o Mm-hmm Do not use ah. s Silent footage of scenery.

Generally. the alternate 4% may be used) Proportions – 2 parts water Speed – 7 miles per hour Temperatures – 8 degrees Times – 8 a. where noted. are exceptions to it. Some of these standards mirror The AP Stylebook and some. but please try to use all right and hyphenate when needed. please reference The Associated Press Stylebook. If you do any writing at all. Internet – Always capitalize. where you would always use numerical representation: o o o o o o o o o o o o o Addresses –6 Maple St. Effect as a noun indicates a result (The effect Katrina had on the Gulf coast will take years to repair. 2005 or June 6th Dimensions – 6 feet tall. Capitalize only at the beginning of a sentence." It' keep the purists from knocking at our virtual door. ll Email – Please do not use a hyphen. 2.S. .m. spell out numbers less than 10. technically that' not a standard usage.). whether transcribing for Tigerfish or writing a letter to the editor. effect – That one little letter change has confused more people that many other rules of grammar.For general reference. This is an exception to The AP Stylebook guidelines. This is one of them. June 6. This one isn'a s t panacea. While these two little words have often been morphed into the singular expression alright. meaning a lack of emotional response.75 billion chips Percentages – 4 percent (in technical documents. "he' an s all-right guy. Numbers . Following are a few common things you' encounter when transcribing and how ll Tigerfish prefers them to be handled. Ages –A 2-year-old building Cents – 5 cents Dollars –$5 – if the amount is in the millions or billions.) while effect means to cause something (A new President will effect many changes in policy). As a noun. we acknowledge that the English language has many enigmas. 9-by-12 rug Highways – U. as in. As a verb. billions – 3 million people. Affect.5 billion Dates – just as they appear on the calendar. then $5 million or $5. affect is generally not used unless you' watching CSI re and the psychologist remarks how the suspect has very little affect. All right – Okay. affect means to influence something (That score will affect your average. that is. Route 1or Highway 217 Millions. it' an s handy reference guide to have on hand. Following are some exceptions to this.

U.When using a numerical representation. Again. Online – One word. Years are always represented numerically and can be shortened by replacing the first two digits with an apostrophe. Okay – Please use "okay" except when abbreviating the state of Oklahoma. The '60s were a time of great social change in America. www dot Tigerfish dot com is not.S. okay? This is an exception to The AP Stylebook guidelines.tigerfish. no space or apostrophe should precede the s.” When a speaker mentions a website address.” and put a space between “Web” and “site. That is. – When abbreviating United States. . which is OK. Web site – Capitalize “Web. no hyphen. always place a period after each letter. type it just as you would if you were navigating to the site in your browser. www.com is correct. In your 20s. add an s with no space or apostrophe to indicate plurality. you begin to think about a career. such as. such as.

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