Clean Verbatim Transcription: What does it means +example

Clean verbatim transcription, also called clean or clear textual transcription, is one way to convert video or audio content into text.

Keep reading this post and find out what it consists of, how it is done and in which cases it is preferable to use this type of transcription.

What does clean verbatim transcription mean?

/clean verbatim transcription guide

Clean literal transcription means that an audio or video file has been slightly edited to facilitate reading fluency and comprehension of the content.

It consists of transcribing verbatim what has been said but extracting the essence of the content to communicate it clearly and directly to those who read it.

This is one of the four types of transcription most used today; in the link, you can learn more about each one.

What is removed in a clean, verbatim transcript?

To better understand what clean verbatim transcription means, we show you what is commonly edited:

  • Stutters.
  • Expressions of doubt or filler words such as "um", "uh", "I like", "you know".
  • Words of agreement from other speakers such as "uh-huh" and "yeah".
  • Coughs or actions to clarify voice.
  • False starts.
  • Repetition of words.
  • Background sounds.

Clean verbatim transcription vs. verbatim or word-for-word transcription

You may have heard of verbatim or word-for-word transcription, as it is also known. This is a type of transcription in which all the audio or video contents are included, including the spoken dialogue, entirely and precisely as in the original file.

In this type of transcription, other elements are included to give context and facilitate understanding and interpretation of meanings, for example, pauses, silences, stutters, false starts and more.

clean verbatim transcription meaning

Here is an example of dialogue from the book "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" in which you can see the literal or word-for-word transcription of the character "Fudge" addressing Harry:

"Come on, come on. I'm sure you won't think like that when you've calmed down. After all, they are your family, and I'm sure they feel a mutual appreciation for each other...uh...deep down inside."

Recommendations for a clean verbatim transcription

If you want to make a clean literal transcription, these are the recommendations to follow:

  1. Write the dialogue verbatim.
  2. Eliminate filler words, repeated words, stutters, doubts and others that do not contribute to the easy reading and understanding of the content.

Following the recommendations, the dialogue referred to in the example of literal or word-for-word transcription would be edited as follows:

"Come on. I'm sure you won't think like that when you've calmed down. After all, they are your family, and I'm sure they feel a mutual appreciation for each other, deep down inside."

In this transcription, we have eliminated the repeated and dubitative content, which we consider unnecessary, and generated a more precise transcription. Note that the speaker's original information is accurately reflected without paraphrasing or synthesizing.

The result of the editing is a more direct text of what "Fudge" said; it is easier to read but omits essential clues about what he is saying and how he is saying it.

So, what is the difference between clean verbatim transcription and literal or word-for-word transcription?

A clean verbatim transcription is a verbatim record of a dialogue, while a word-for-word transcription is a complete one that includes the entire recording.

what is clean verbatim transcription

If you want to convey what someone said directly and concisely, use clean literal transcription. But, if you give clues to discover and interpret senses and meanings, then literal or word-for-word transcription is the best option.

When is it preferable to use clean, verbatim transcription?

In general, there are contexts in which a clean literal transcription is more appropriate and valuable:

  • In academia. In these spaces, readability is especially valued; a seminar or conference transcript with a clear text is easier to study and refer to. What matters most is what is said explicitly by a speaker or subject matter expert, not the tone or how it is said.
  • Can you imagine a financier or team manager reading non-essential content in corporate and financial environments? You might find it hard to guess because these are contexts in which time is essential and direct style is valued: who said what and the actual proposals to make decisions in the best possible time.
  • In advertising and marketing. Having clear and precise opinions and assessments is a highly valued input to structure campaigns and advertising guidelines effectively.

When deciding which type of transcription is the most convenient, it is essential to consider the objectives.


The clean literal transcription presents clear and direct information. In which non-essential elements are eliminated, such as repeated words, stuttering, expressions of doubt and others, to facilitate reading and understanding.

Remember that these are the only modifications to be made, and summarizing or paraphrasing is not the norm; the content is referred to verbatim, just as the speakers said it.

This type of transcription is an instrumental input for activities carried out by academia, corporations and advertising and marketing teams.

Emil Nikkhah
Hi, I'm Emil Nikkhah.
For over 25 years, I have successfully built several television post-production companies.
Frustrated by the high cost and slowness of manual transcription and subtitling in this industry, we decided to create ScriptMe, a powerful software for automatic transcription and subtitling.
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