Transcribing a Stutterer

Transcription is undeniably one of the most lucrative jobs and most businesses utilize these services on a daily basis. Transcription is essentially the conversion of an audio or video recording into written form. For the longest time, the medical and legal fields are the industries which greatly utilized transcription services but these days it is almost impossible to find a business which does not need these services during the course of their operations.

There are several challenges transcribers encounter and transcribing stutterers is amongst the list. Recordings with these speech quirks make it quite a task trying to accurately grasp what the speaker is saying. When working with recordings with speech quirks it is important to talk to the client and ask them how they would like you to approach the transcription. This will help you know how to work on the recording and it will also prevent misunderstandings when submitting the final work to the client. This also means saving on time which would be spent reworking the transcription in case the client does not accept it.

It is important to understand that stutters are of importance in certain fields and they should therefore be included in transcripts. However, certain clients may feel like the stutters are unnecessary and will ask you not to include them in the final transcript. Here is a brief guideline to help you as a transcriber effectively work on a recording with speech quirks.

  • Note down exactly what the stutter says including the verbatim. This means that if they stutter a word write it out as they have said it and the exact number of times. If they stutter the word three as “th th th three” that is how you should note it down. This type of transcription is greatly used in the legal and research fields, because how the speaker says something is highly of importance as what they are actually saying.
  • Another approach would be to write the transcription out without including any stutters. This means that you would only write out the message the transcriptionist was attempting to convey without including how they conveyed it. There are clients who will specifically ask you to exclude the stutter and only write the word the stutterer was conveying.
  • The most common form of transcribing a stutter is using intelligent verbatim. In this case instead of noting down “th th th three,” you would note it down as “th three.” Similarly, there are clients who will ask for only the word being conveyed and not the stutter itself.
Jessica Miller, Marketing Head in Transcriptionwave, General Transcription Services Company in the US.

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