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Basic Discourse Analysis Transcription

Discourse Analysis: What it means and who needs it.

Transcription comes in many different forms. There’s verbatim transcription, intelligent verbatim, time coded, transcription with visual description, and discourse analysis, amongst many others. Most clients will order either intelligent verbatim or verbatim transcripts from transcription companies, but what about discourse analysis? What does it mean and who needs it?

What is Discourse Analysis?

Discourse analysis is concerned with the analysis of the way language is used to communicate ideas. For transcription companies, discourse analysis transcripts include changes in intonation and description of laughs, pauses and responses in high detail. They can also include syntax, style and other aspects of discourse that can be overlooked when simply transcribing what is actually said.

For example, an intelligent verbatim transcript may depict the following:

I: So, where were you the night Julie was murdered?
R: I was at the golf course, working late.

A verbatim transcript would be as follows:

I: So, where were you the night Julie was murdered?
R: Erm, I was at the golf course, working late.
Discourse analysis may read as follows:
I: So, where were you the night Julie was murdered?
R: Erm, […] I was at the golf course, [high tone] working late. (the dots indicate number of seconds in a pause).

How does discourse analysis look?

Discourse analysis comes in many different forms. Whichever a client chooses, their transcript should come with a key for them to identify any codes or symbols and what they mean. Without a key, discourse analysis symbols and descriptions can be very difficult to understand and interpret. Discourse analysis transcripts will include significant changes in intonation, gestures, syntax, style and meanings, amongst other things and these additions will mean a less easily read transcript, but one with far more insight into what is really meant or implied by a speaker’s comments.

Who needs Discourse Analysis?

Discourse analysis can add an extra dimension of meaning to what is said. It is mostly helpful in interview transcription when the reader or listener wishes to analyse further meaning from what is being said. For this reason, it can be used for a number of purposes, including psychological research or possibly police and legal interviews. If you think discourse analysis may provide further insight into your interview transcriptions, it may be best to talk first with your transcription company for guidance on what they can offer you to best suit your needs.

What’s the price of Discourse Analysis?

Discourse analysis transcription is very time consuming and for this reason, transcription companies will charge a higher rate than for standard intelligent verbatim, or even verbatim transcription to cover typist’ fees.
If you have a transcript you want typed but aren’t sure which format is best for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs. You can visit our website for a live chat, call us on 020 8 816 8584 or email us direct.


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Transcriptionist and Virtual Assistant. View all posts by Samantha