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Sometimes a word-by-word written transcription of a recorded material is necessary for a closer analysis or to serve educational or legal purposes. This is a very tedious work that requires multiple replayings of the same audio segments and which is done at Language Embassy, LLC only by linguists who are native speakers of the language spoken in the recording. For accuracy and liability purposes, we never do a simultaneous translation of the transcription; for example, we do not require a linguist to listen to a recording in Spanish and write down directly in English what he/she heard in Spanish. We first transcribe the recording into the same original language, and then, if required, we proceed to a translation of the written transcription into another language.
Transcription Quality Standards
Language Embassy, LLC requires its linguists to perform within the following major transcription standards:
∗ Faithfulness to the original
We do not allow omissions, additions, or changes to the wording of the original text for any reasons whatsoever. Every single recorded word, partial word, and sound (such as "hmmmm," "laugh," etc.) must appear in writing on the transcription.
∗ Grammar and style
It is not the transcriber's job to correct any of the grammar or style of the recorded material. The transcription has to mirror the exact recorded wording even if it contains grammar and style errors.
∗ Layout, pauses, and incomprehensible sounds
The transcription must record the name of each speaker and the hour, minute, and second when he/she starts speaking each time, even if only one word or sound is uttered at a time. Any explanation added by the transcriber should be written in brackets (""). If there is a pause during which there is perfect silence, the transcriber should mark the time when the pause starts and then write "[Pause]." If any words, phrases, sounds, or even whole segments are incomprehensible, the transcriber should mark them with the words "[incomprehensible]," "[unclear]" or "[inaudible]."