Transcription Types, And Their Categories

Before I started doing transcription professionally, I remember I was on the Internet trying to look for online jobs on different websites and I ended up landing on the “Go transcript” website. During that time, I can tell you for sure, I had never heard of the term “transcription” so I got really interested.

Reading up on it I realized that all I had to do was to listen to an audio/video file and write exactly what I heard. There was a catch though, I had to choose the kind of transcription I wanted to venture into. Back then I was still in University doing a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Journalism and for me, that is the only area I was comfortable with. So, if anything I was only in a position to do the general kind of transcription or specialize in Media related transcription.

All I’m trying to say is that there are very many different types of transcription and that is exactly what we will be looking at in this article. These different types of transcription are categorized into three main groups. That is the industry they belong to, the format of the files, and the style format of transcription.


These are the kinds of transcriptions depending on the file format being transcribed. There are only two types of file formats for transcript and those are:

1. Audio Transcription

Audio transcription is the kind of transcription done on audio file formats. These audio files are usually recorded in an audio format. This means that as a transcriber you are only able to interact with an audio file that has no form of visuals. This is a general format for most transcription jobs and depending on the topic of discussion on the audio file one can tell which kinds of transcribers will be a good fit. The other skills a transcriber needs for such kind of transcription are great listening and typing skills.

2. Video Transcription

Video transcription is the other format that is acceptable in transcription. It is also referred to as an audio-visual kind of transcription. This is because unlike audio transcription where you can only listen to an audio recording, on video transcription you can see and listen to the files. The visual part on audiovisual stands for the visuals you will be able to interact with when watching video format files. Basically, video transcription is transcription done on video format files. If you thought that transcription is done for only audio files, I’m here to inform you that you can also have your video files transcribed.


1. Academic Transcription

This is the kind of transcription done on academic files. It goes without saying that the word academic can only be school-related and this can either be research work on different academic topics, research notes, dissertation materials, lecture and conference recording etcetera. When it comes to this kind of transcription, the transcriber is expected to be someone who is well versed or a specialist in a specific academic course. They must have the capacity to analyze data critically and capture everything of importance.

2. Business Transcription

Just as the name suggests this is the kind of transcription done in the business world. Regardless of the level of the business, if you need transcription services then it must be specific to a particular business. There are specific words and terms only understandable to business people and for business transcription to be a success, you should be able to work with transcribers who are good with anything business-related. These transcriptions can be from board meetings to interviews and focus groups.

3. Conference Transcription

A lot of offices have conferences to discuss the way forward or to catch up on the developments of a particular department. Conference meetings are usually very specific to the industry in mention. Depending on what the industry is, the transcription done is always referred to as a conference transcription but specific to a particular topic. These kinds of transcription allow team members to easily search for important details and quotes from office meetings, conference calls, large-scale conventions, and more.

4. Interview Transcription

Interview transcriptions are the kinds of transcription where interviews are transcribed. An interview is a dialogue between two or more people where one person is asking questions and the other person responding to the questions. In such transcriptions, speaker tags are important because one is supposed to be able to differentiate the interviewer from the interviewee. The same thing applies where I mentioned that with interviews, they cut across all industries. You might work on legal interviews, business interviews, academic interviews, etc.

5. Focus Group Transcription

Focus group transcriptions are transcriptions that are very specific to different focus groups in different industries. The focus groups might cut across academic research, market research, or even business discussions. When it comes to transcribing for these researches and discussions, the transcriptions are referred to as focus group transcriptions. Again, as I mentioned, depending on the industry the focus groups belong to, it will determine the kind of a transcriber that will take over and do them justice.

6. Market Research Transcription

Market research transcription is very specific to different insights captured from a wide variety of sources. This is why it is referred to as market research. Audio files and recordings from any form of market research being transcribed will be referred to as market research transcription. Market research can cut across: focus groups, interviews, opinions polls, and more. These kinds of transcriptions are usually carried out in order for different businesses to determine how they are faring on, the profits and losses being made, and what implementations must be done. Market research transcriptions are beneficial to many businesses.

7. Medical Transcription

Medical transcriptions are transcriptions specific to the medics’ industry. Any kind of audio/video files being transcribed and that has information that has anything medical related will be referred to as medical transcription. These kinds of transcriptions are always treated as highly confidential because they are usually of a sensitive nature. You will also get academic files that are medical-related. When doing transcription for such files one is able to either refer to them as medical academic files of academic medical files depending on what industry you come across them.

8. Online Transcription

Online transcriptions are exactly that, transcriptions done on online platforms. In an era where everything is basically happening on the Internet, it makes sense to have a transcription service that caters to that. Online transcriptions are done for online digital projects. This runs across YouTube videos to any form of Audi/video files shared on platforms such as Dropbox or Hightail. Online transcriptions make it easy for content creators to push their boundaries and be versatile by creating blogs out of the audio/video files which in turn creates multiple streams of income for them.

9. Sermon Transcription

Sermons are also referred to as preaching’s in churches. A sermon transcription can also be referred to as a preaching transcription. These are transcriptions done for church sermons carried out by preachers and ministers. Such transcriptions are done so as to further spread good teachings to online readers because they are usually posted in the form of a blog for easy access. This automatically means that such transcriptions belong to a category known as religion transcription which Is a category I just decided to come up with as I’m writing this article.

10. Podcast Transcription

Podcasting is a form of digital content creation and creating transcripts for a podcast is referred to as podcast transcription. This actually falls under online transcription but since it’s a digital content on its own, I saw it better to have it stand on its own as a kind of transcription. Since there are different industry-specific topics discussed on different podcasts, this only means that the transcribers who take on these podcast transcriptions must be specialists in the different topics. They must have specific knowledge that will help them transcribe different podcast topics without much trouble.


These are transcriptions categorized on how the style format a transcript will take.

1. Verbatim Transcription

This is also referred to as full verbatim transcription. This kind of transcription is usually very detailed and captures all the details in a file. It aims to capture all filler words, pauses, and non-verbal communication contained within the recording, as well as all the words uttered by the speaker. This being the case, such files end up having really long transcripts. You should also note that clients usually make a specific request to have their files transcribed in this specific style format.

2. Edited Transcription

This is also referred to as a clean verbatim transcription. Most clients looking for transcription services, usually ask for this specific style formats. It is a format that works on preserving the meaning and context of the text. A well-edited transcription will not paraphrase the text or change its meaning in any way. The reason why it is referred to as clean or edited is that it cleans out all the unwanted speeches like Stammering, filler words such as ‘like’ or ‘you know’, and unnecessary non-verbal communication.

3. Intelligent Transcription

This is a style of transcription where the transcriber is largely concerned with transcribing audio/video files into concise, readable texts. In this kind of transcription, the transcriber is allowed to remove and add any possible information that might help in making the transcript more readable and understandable. Instead of clinging solely to the speech as it was uttered, intelligent transcription aims to communicate the meaning of the speech in the most natural way possible. This can include the removal of repeated sentences and phrases or even the grammatical restructuring of what was said.

4. Phonetic Transcription

A phonetic transcription is a specialized form of transcription which differs significantly from the other types of audio transcription mentioned above. It aims to capture the way that speakers’ utter sounds, with a particular focus on the pronunciation of words. This can also extend to the annotation of the way that the speaker’s tone rises and falls, as well as how different sounds overlap within the audio. Phonetic transcription requires a specialized notation system to be performed properly, as can be seen in the example below:

With that said, you can now tell where a particular type of transcription belongs to according to the category it falls under.

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