Private and Professional Transcription Services

Interview Transcription

My interview transcription service includes the transcription of one-on-one and qualitative research interviews for researchers, academia, film and radio producers, authors and journalists. With over 12 years of experience transcribing research interviews for researchers and academia, I understand the technical importance of your transcript and the value of its content. While working according to your requirements, I will ensure a transcript that is best suited to your analytic and methodological objectives.

My clientele for interview transcription is not only from South Africa but also United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, The Netherlands, China, Zambia and many more.


Record session

Record your interviews using the best possible digital recording device to ensure a recording quality that allows for accurate and fluid transcription.

Keep the following in mind:

  • Set the recording device to record in an uncompressed file format such as ".wav" (Windows) or ".aiff" (Mac). In a quiet environment with acceptable acoustics, file formats such ".mp3" or ".wma" would also be appropriate.
  • Environmental noise – such as that of air-conditioners, fans, radios, TVs, passing vehicle and people traffic – can impact on how well voice input is heard and transcribed. Where possible, switch off devices and equipment that are a potential source of background noise that could impact on the quality of the recording.
  • Remind your interviewee to increase voice projection in noisy environments.
  • Place mobile phones as far as possible from the recording device to exclude or minimise interference.
  • In an extremely noisy environment such as a restaurant, it would be best to make use of a lapel microphone. Alternatively, place the recording device as close as possible to your interviewee.  


Send audio files to Etranscript

Once you have completed the recordings, send your audio or video files to Etranscript for transcription. This can be done using one of the following methods:

  • Email - file sizes smaller than 20Mb can be emailed to Etranscript.
  • Cloud storage - use Dropbox to transfer files or a file transfer service of your choice. A Dropbox file request can be sent to you to facilitate the convenient and secure upload of your files.
  • FTP - provide details for Etranscript to access your FTP facility to download your files.  


Turnaround time

I require approximately six hours to transcribe one hour of recorded interview audio. Certain factors can slow the pace of transcription and these are usually attributable to a recording device that is perhaps not the best choice for the job or that the interview was recorded in a noisy environment. Often the decision as to the choice of venue where the interview will take place is left up to the interviewee and if this venue is a noisy restaurant or busy home, the researcher has to do the best they can in the situation presented to them.

In instances where the quality of audio does not allow for quick and fluid transcription, the turnaround time will increase accordingly. This increase may in some circumstances be so significant that the charge rate will need to be adjusted to compensate for the increased turnaround time. You will be advised should this situation arise and asked to make a decision about whether or not transcription should continue at the increased rate.


Transcription of your audio files

Your audio files will be transcribed to a Microsoft Word document using intelligent-verbatim transcript format. Verbatim transcripts can be compiled by arrangement. The transcript is then checked for errors by replaying the entire audio file and editing the transcript where necessary. The completed and checked document is then sent to the you.

Transcript Types

The type of transcript required will depend on the function of the transcript. Below is a list of the transcript formats I offer. You may select one of the three levels of transcripts or a combination of features from the different levels.

Intelligent-Verbatim Transcripts

The transcriber uses his/her discretion to improve the readability and coherence of a transcript. The transcript excludes instances of um, ah, uh, etc - but will reflect pauses in speech with an indication of the length of each pause. Repetitive and superfluous phrases such as "you know" and "I mean" are excluded and false sentence starts are omitted unless these bring context to the sentence that follows. Intelligent verbatim is used in the compilation of transcripts of some qualitative research interviews and disciplinary processes.

Verbatim transcripts

All parts of natural speech are included in the transcript, for example, um, ah and uh. Pauses, which are measured in seconds, are also denoted in the transcript by means of dots. False sentence starts are transcribed verbatim; as well as all superfluous/repetitive phrases, for example, "you know" or "you see". Discernible changes in voice intonation are denoted along with incidences of chuckling, crying or shouting.

Verbatim transcripts are most often used in the transcription of therapy sessions, some qualitative research interviews and especially where discourse analysis is required. Compiling a verbatim transcript is very time-consuming and is therefore charged at an increased rate.

Time-Stamped Transcripts

A time stamp taken from a point in the audio file is inserted into the transcript according to the requirements of the editor. Most often time-stamped transcripts are required in the production of interview transcripts for film and radio production along with content indexing. Some researchers also require time-stamping to assist in analysis and coding of the transcript.

Completed document is sent to you

The transcript will be emailed to you. Alternatively, the transcript can be transferred using a file transfer service of your choice or a cloud storage service such as Dropbox. The final checking and verification of the transcript is then performed by yourself, the client.