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Transcribing is the process to transfer into a written form a spoken language source, it is considered as the creation of an exact copy of dictated or recorded information made in longhand or a machine as computer or typewriter, this is similar to the proceedings of a court hearing.

Transcribing can indicate the change of a written source into other mediums that are often done when the original text is difficult to read.

In Linguistic sense, transcribing is the sounds' representation of human speech to particular written form with the use of symbols under a set of precise rules so sounds can be replicated later. In some cases, transcribing is confused with transliteration that means the representation of a source language text in a target language.

The resulting practical transcription is a hybrid known as both transcription and transliteration by general public. That is why transcription works are presented on interviews, audio restorations, focus groups, speeches, seminars, web casts, TV series, documentaries and feature films.

Keep in mind, people in some cases use condensed transcribing that is a restatement of a text or passage in another form or other words, with the purpose to simplify meaning or summarizing in writing of spoken communication.

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Transcription systems

Transcription systems are different sets of rules to define how spoken language can be represented in written symbols. The majority of phonetic transcription systems derive from the International Phonetic Alphabet, some of these systems are the following:
  • CA (Conversation Analysis)
    It is considered as the first system of its kind that was adapted for the use in computer readable corpora as CA-CHAT.

  • DT (Discourse Transcription)
    It was used for transcription of the Santa Barbara Corpus of Spoken American English.

  • GAT (Conversation Analytic transcription system)
    It was widely used in German speaking countries to orient conversation analysis and interactional linguistics.

  • HIAT (Semiinterpretative Working Transcriptions)
    It was adapted for the use in computer readable corpora and widely used in functional pragmatics.