Click the button above to hear a sample recording which is transcribed at different transcription levels below (the links take you to UniversityTranscriptions.co.uk, which is one of our websites). It is a recording of an interviewer speaking to Jonathan Fagan, Director of TP Transcription Limited, and Trustee of the Ten Percent Foundation, the charitable trust we donate 10% of our profits to. You can see full examples below by clicking the relevant links:

Jefferson transcription involves the use of symbols to denote expression and pauses etc.. – click here for a full explanation and a chart of symbols.

A quick explanation of each level is below.

Level 1 – Fully Edited Transcript – the transcriber will transcribe the main parts of each sentence, and make informed decisions on what to leave in and what to take out in order to retain the structure of the sentence but shorten wherever possible and adjusted if necessary, adding words in to complete sentences etc..

Level 2 – Lightly Edited Transcript – edited by the transcriber for readability and clarity. Here the transcriber will transcribe the exact words but leave out any pauses, hesitations or sounds.

Level 3 – Intelligent Verbatim Transcript – certain elements are omitted if they add no meaning to the script. This is mainly ums, errs and repetitions and false starts. This is the level used for most transcription work – it is recommended for research interviews, group discussions and focus groups.

Level 4 – True (or Strict) Verbatim Transcript – a complete record of every sound or utterance on the recording, which will include coughs, stutters, false starts, any “erms” and “ahhs”. Useful where a researcher is analysing conversation or language.

Level 5 – Discourse Analysis (or Jefferson transcription) – additional inclusion of specified features, such as hesitation, tone pitch or emotion. For details and an explanation of symbols used in this type of transcription, please click here.