What's the correct format for a transcription?
Thread poster: Mark Sanderson

Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:36
Chinese to English
Dec 15, 2015


I've been asked to complete a transcription project for a promotional video. The video consists of a few people taking it in turns to speak about their new product. Can anyone tell me how I should format the transcribed text in Word? There is no translation involved.

I was thinking of creating a new paragraph every time a new speaker starts talking. Sentences that follow on from the same speaker would not appear in a new paragraph. For instance:

Our new product is the best. We have excellent feedback and a great price...

That's right.

The product is also lightweight and durable. You need this product in your life. It will help you to...


Would this be the correct way to set this out? If I put each new sentence on a new line it will be confusing who is saying what.

Any help would be appreciated.




Paulinho Fonseca  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:36
Member (2011)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
The simplest way Dec 15, 2015

I have worked with some transcriptions and translations.

For transcription,

create a Table in word (where you insert text, separating speakers. It should be made of short segments in order to facilitate 'find' actions.) and time code it.

This is a very simple way to do it, but your client might give you some guidelines.

Paulinho Fonseca


Mark Sanderson  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:36
Chinese to English
Time codes? Dec 15, 2015

Thanks for the quick reply. The client hasn't mentioned anything about time codes? Is it a MUST to provide time codes for a transcription?


Brittany Jones  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:36
Arabic to English
Get clarification from the client Dec 15, 2015

I've done a few projects where I translate the source audio directly into the target language (written).

I make a table in Word with 2 columns, the first column for the time code/ time stamp and the second for the text. Mine were always interviews so I only had two people speaking though.

I've always been asked to insert time codes every 30 seconds or so, but of course it depends on what the client wants. And if the person spoke for longer than 30 seconds, I'd need to insert a new time stamp and continue the conversation in a new cell.

Post removed: This post was hidden by a moderator or staff member for the following reason: Empty post

Loreta Saddi  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 10:36
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Agree with Paulinho! Dec 15, 2015

The easiest and most organized way to do a Transcription is as Paulinho said with a table. It gives a very professional look.


Andriy Bublikov  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:36
Member (2009)
French to Russian
+ ...

Moderator of this forum
I use these recommendations for work Dec 15, 2015

Hello Mark,

You need to discuss these questions with your customer. Do not afraid to do this. Customers are people too.

If you not sure about your skills in transcription, it will be better to refuse the job. Normal customer will understand your refusal but he (she) does not understand accepted job and failure to execute according PO.

If you have taken decision to accept the job (Attention! only after receiving PO) you need to follow customer instruction.

Do not afraid to do this. All people starts sooner or later.

Here is some recommendation for subtitling.


I use these recommendations for work after discussing it with customers.

I hope it will help.

Good luck.


Georgie Scott  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:36
Member (2009)
French to English
+ ...
The customer always knows best Dec 15, 2015

Definitely ask your customer what they would like or if they have any examples of previous transcriptions they would like you to use as a template.

If it's their first transcription, ask what they're using it for and work out what they need - they might want time in and time out or only want time codes for long gaps and speaker changes.

There are three main types of transcription: verbatim (everything, including coughs, is included - very time-consuming), edited (fillers remove and grammar 'tidied up') and intelligent (what you would probably be most naturally inclined to provide).

See: http://penguin-transcription.co.uk/transcription-type-verbatim-intelligent-verbatim-or-edited/

I started off using tables but now go for just a Word file.


0.00:01 Male 1
You're gonna need a bigger boat.


Local time: 19:36
German to French
+ ...
What's the correct format for a transcription? Dec 16, 2015

If your transcription is on a Word format, you can open a comment and you write as comment the time code, for example [00:01:50] or [01:05:20] at the end of each sentence.

You also can write your text in a table that you edit with 2 columns and a line per sentence. In the first column you write per each line the time code and in the other column the corresponding sentence.

Best regards,



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What's the correct format for a transcription?

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