Transcribing Interviews: Helpful Tips

Transcribing Interviews: Helpful Tips

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Recording an interview is the best way to insure accuracy in reporting. There is no other way of recording a conversation, verbatim, no matter how fast you can take notes. Recording an interview insures accurate quotes and information and allows you to pay full attention to the conversation, without being distracted by taking word-for-word notes. Accuracy is reporting is very important — without it, no one can trust that the story is true. Here are some tips for interviewing and transcribing:

Buy a digital voice recorder: Not only are digital recordings higher quality than tape, but you don’t have to worry about running out of tape — the Sony ICD-B600 Voice Recorder has up to 300 hours of recording time. It’s easy to transcribe digital recordings, too, because you never have to leave your computer.

Before interviewing, do a sound check. Place the recorder where it will be during the interview and have the participants talk. Then check the volume and levels of the recording to insure you can understand the playback.

If you are recording a group, ask them to speak at separate times to avoid confusion while transcribing. At the beginning of the interview, have each person state and spell their name, so you can then use their voices to distinguish who is who. When transcribing, use their initials to differentiate their comments.

Try to minimize background noise. Interviews recorded by a busy street or in a crowded restaurant will be much harder to transcribe. Always opt for a quiet place, such as an office or coffee shop.

You can still take notes while recording, which is helpful if you want to describe things visually – the environment, facial expressions, etc.

Before transcribing, decide if you want to transcribe the entire interview, or if you want to paraphrase some of it. Paraphrasing portions can save time while transcribing. For example, “My name is John Smith and I’m a 39-year-old construction worker,” can become John Smith, 39, construction worker.

If you decided to paraphrase, be sure it’s distinguishable from the exact quotes. A quote needs to be put it inside quotation marks. Everything else (paraphrasing) stays normal, or can be italicized – anything to make it different than the quotations. This will help keep things organized when it comes time to write the story. With the following of the helpful tips, the Transcribe Anywhere reviews should be checked through the person. The selection of the legal site should be preferred. All the history of the students should be disclosed to the new ones. There should be no scam involved in the site whose selection is done through the person. 

Dialect may be noted in the transcription, depending on what you are using the interview for. Many times while talking casually, people drop the “g” from “ing”; such as, hangin’ out. You may want to note the dropped “g” or other non-standard forms of speech.