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What is a transcription service?

Transcription is the process of reproducing the sounds of speech, in written form, using special symbols and a set of exact rules. At QuickSilver Translate, we offer a professional transcription service, from any spoken language source, into a printed form. For example, an audio MP3 file into a Word document or PDF.

We guarantee:

  • Experienced, native-speaking transcribers
  • Flexibility, expertise, and a high quality in all languages
  • Industry-specific knowledge
  • In-house review
  • Volume discounts

Our transcription service follows all current ISO 9001:2008-certified processes, and integrates seamlessly with QuickSilver’s other services, such as translation, editing, desktop publishing, catalog/website localisation and interpreting.


We deliver a PDF file, in which the text is time-stamped and synchronised.

  • The time-stamp marks the exact location, in the audio/video file, of inaudible spots; as well as crosstalk between speakers, or areas of uncertainty.
  • Synchronised means that clicking on the transcript will take you to the corresponding point in the audio/video file.

We can also deliver the text in a Word Doc (or other similar format). In addition, we can provide HTML/PHP versions, so clients can easily upload transcripts to their website.

Types of transcription

There are many types of transcription, however, here is a summary:

Verbatim transcriptions

This type of transcription is usually required by psychologists, university research programs and linguistic programs, for qualitative analysis. Often, it is also required for interviews given in evidence, or other legal purposes.

Verbatim transcriptions record all interjections, signs or emotions (coughs, sighs, chuckles, etc.), false starts, and shifts in thought processes. This is done through a wide array of accepted transcription codes, such as uh, em, er, ah, you know, I mean, sort of, etc. Emotional expressions are usually expressed as: “laughing”, “sobbing uncontrollably”, “sighing”, “speaking softly” etc.

Word-for-word transcription

Like verbatim transcriptions, these transcriptions capture the text as it is spoken, but eliminate all filler words.

General and grammatically correct transcriptions

In this type of transcription filler words are eliminated, and false starts and self-corrected words are not included. Furthermore, the transcriber will correct grammar and mispronounced words. The finished transcription will be grammatically correct, with all superfluous hesitations, filler words, interjections, and interruptions omitted. The transcriber also omit content that is not relevant to the overall content of the transcription.

Transcription pricing and specifications

It’s important to note that transcription is a labour-intensive process which requires time. Therefore, at QuickSilver Translate we offer three different price levels:


We use our specialised software (similar to machine translation) to obtain automatic results, without human intervention.


In this case we take the transcription obtained through our software and edit to correct any machine errors, for example, misunderstood words due to a pronounced accent.


Our professional transcribers complete the transcription manually, which ensures the margin for error is minimal.

Issues to consider in pricing

  • The difficulty of a transcription is affected by various issues, such as recording quality, number of speakers, and the accent of speakers.

High quality audio:
Professional level recordings with only one speaker.

Our software should be able to process this recording with minimal errors.

Medium quality audio:
Adequate audio quality, with one
or few speakers and minimal background noise.

Our software should be able to process this recording with minimal errors, however we would recommend that a professional editor reviews the transcription to be sure.

Low quality audio:
Poor audio quality, with multiple speakers, interruptions, and/or background noise.

We would recommend using a professional transcriber.

  • Typing speed: Most people speak over 120 words per minute, but type less than 40 words per minute. So a professional transcriptionist usually needs 4-8 hours to transcribe one hour of audio.
  • Linguistic expertise: A transcriptionist must have an advanced level of grammar, punctuation and spelling.
  • Terms and colloquial knowledge: A transcriptionist must also have a high level of general culture (company names, idioms, etc.) and industry-specific terminology
  • Experience: Lastly, a transcriptionist must have a trained ear for various accents (American, Scottish, German, ESL speakers, etc.)

Audio file formats

We can make transcriptions from: Audio/video cassette, CD/DVDs, aac, avi, dss, mov, mp3, mp4, wav, wma… as well as most other common digital formats.

What type of documents do we transcribe?


  • Podcast
  • Presentations
  • Speeches and lectures


  • Panel Discussions
  • Research Interviews
  • Focus Groups
  • Conferences
  • Market research
  • Teleconferences
  • Seminars
  • Training Sessions


  • Qualitative Research
  • Research Interviews
  • Conferences
  • Classes
  • Seminars
  • E-learning courses


  • Court proceedings
  • Deposition summaries
  • Interrogations
  • Legal examinations
  • Public hearings
  • Arbitrations


  • Physicals
  • Medical evaluations
  • Discharge summaries
  • Consultations


  • Recorded statements
  • Investigative reports

Media and Entertainment

  • Subtitling
  • Transcription for the hearing impaired

So, there are many types of transcription services available! How can we help you?

In conclusion, Quicksilver Translate can assist you with all your linguistic, translation and editing needs.

Contact us for more information, or a quote.