You may have seen on our website that you can choose between either 'full verbatim' or 'intelligent verbatim' transcripts, but what exactly do we mean by this?

Full verbatim refers to a transcript that includes absolutely everything that is said, exactly how the speakers say it. This means we include all umms, uhhs, grammatical and vocabulary mistakes, false starts and repetitions -- everything. This kind of transcript can be particularly useful if you're studying discourse and the use of language, but can be quite tedious to read if you're more interested in the content or broader themes.

The other option is what we call 'intelligent verbatim'. By this, we mean that we still transcribe what was said - i.e. we're not going to summarise or leave anything out - but we clean it up a bit. We take out the umms and uhhs and verbal ticks such as 'you know' and 'like'. We remove false starts to sentences if it doesn't add any meaning to what the speaker is saying. We just make it a bit easier to read.

In order to illustrate a bit more clearly the difference between full verbatim and intelligent verbatim, I thought it might be useful to transcribe an interview using both styles, so that you can see for yourself how we do it. 

I've transcribed an interview with Kilian Jornet, who recently finished second at the gruelling 166 kilometre Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc ultramarathon. In the first version, I've transcribed the interview intelligent verbatim, which is our default transcription style. Then, in the second, I've transcribed the same two minutes of the interview, but full verbatim. I've indicated some of the differences in bold and italics so you can see for yourself.


Intelligent verbatim transcript

INTERVIEWER:

Real quick, Bryon Powell of iRunFar, here with Kilian Jornet after his second place finish at the 2017 UTMB. Congratulations, Kilian.

RESPONDENT:

Thank you very much.

INTERVIEWER:

What brought you back to UTMB after these years?

RESPONDENT:

It was easy. (Laughs) If you love ultras and you see the field, it was the place to be, because it’s true that I have been studying a bit the depth in races, in different sports, in short distances, in long distances. In ultra races, if you see 10% of races finishing after the first place, it’s only like one or two people. So it has never been a big field, a huge field in any race. Here, it was the place where it was possible. And we saw at the end, I think we were seven athletes in one hour 15 minutes, or one hour 17 minutes. That’s incredible. That’s a big motivation, to come to a race where all the best are.

INTERVIEWER:

For you, it was the strongest trail ultramarathon you’ve ever been in, the field?

RESPONDENT:

Yeah, I think so. I think Western States, the first year I raced it was also a huge field.

INTERVIEWER:

2010.

RESPONDENT:

2010 it was a big field. But here, it was more, I think. It was impossible to see who will be in the top 10. It was like 30 people could be there.

INTERVIEWER:

Even throughout the race, you were having a good battle with Jim and Francois. When did the winner get decided? When did Francois make his definitive move?

RESPONDENT:

Actually, we were running together. It was really fun to run with Jim, all this part of the race, because I have never raced with him. And with Francois, it’s always a pleasure. He’s such a good runner. We were racing to Courmayeur together and I needed to stop longer in the station, change my shoes, and I had some problems. I was eating a lot. So Jim and Francois started some minutes before. So yeah, I was going some minutes behind them up to Switzerland. Then I saw Jim was stopping there for a while, and then Francois was really pushing hard. I was still losing some minutes in the first part, and then at the end, I started to feel better, and tried to catch him a bit. But yeah, in Vallorcine, he was too far in front. I’m super happy with the race, and it’s nice when you give everything.


Full verbatim transcript

INTERVIEWER:

Real quick, Bryon Powell of iRunFar, here with Kilian Jornet after his second place finish at the 2017 UTMB. Congratulations, Kilian.

RESPONDENT:

Oh, thank you very much.

INTERVIEWER:

What brought you back to UTMB after these years?

RESPONDENT:

Oh, it was easy. (Laughs) It’s… if you… love ultras and you see the field, like, it was the place to be, because it’s, it’s true that, uhh, I has been studying a bit like the depth in races, in different sports, and in, in short distances, in long distances. And, in, in ultra races, if you see like the 10% of, uhh, races finishing, uhh, yeah, after the first place, it’s only like one or two persons. So it has never been a big field, on, on any… Or like a huge field in any race. And here, it was the place where it was possible. And, and we saw at the end, I think we were, uhh, seven athletes, uhh, in one hour uhh 15 minutes, or one 17 minutes. So that’s, that’s incredible. So it’s, that’s a big motivation, to to come to a race where, where it’s this, all the best are.

INTERVIEWER:

For you, it was the strongest trail ultramarathon you’ve ever been in, the field?

RESPONDENT:

Yeah, I think so. I think, uhh, yeah, Western States, uhh the first year I raced it was also a huge field.

INTERVIEWER:

2010.

RESPONDENT:

2010 it was a big field. But here, it was more, I think. It was… Because, uhh, yeah, it was impossible to see like who will be in the top 10. Like, it’s… it was like 30 persons could be there.

INTERVIEWER:

Even throughout the race, you were having a, a good battle with Jim and Francois. Uhh, when did that all… when did the winner get decided? When did Francois make his definitive move?

RESPONDENT:

Actually, we, we were running together. It was really fun to run with Jim, uhh… all this part of the race, because I have never raced with him. And with Francois, it’s always a pleasure. He’s, uhh, such a good runner. And uhh, we were racing, umm, yeah, uhh… to Courmayeur together and then I needed to stop longer in the, the station, change my shoes, and I, I had some problems. I was eating a lot. So, they, Jim and Francois started some minutes before. So uhh… So yeah, I was like after, going always some minutes behind them up to Switzerland. And then I saw Jim was uhh stopping there for, for a while, and, and then Francois was really pushing hard. And I… I was still uhh losing some minutes in the first part, and then at the end, I started to feel better, and tried to catch him a bit. But uhh yeah, in Vallorcine it was, yeah, he was too far in front. But I’m super happy with the race, and, and yeah, it’s nice when you give everything.

Posted
AuthorCaitlin McMullin