Definition of transcription in English:



  • 1A written or printed version of something; a transcript:

    ‘they produced a complete transcription of the journals’
    • ‘When we compared these lists to meeting agenda, field workers' notes, and meeting transcriptions for the sample period, coverage was deemed adequate.’
    • ‘This makes it easier to write out an accurate transcription.’
    • ‘All qualitative approaches were recorded through the transcription of notes and, if possible quotations, immediately after the interview.’
    • ‘Perhaps if one had a complete transcription of the subtitles and a week to study, he might glean a thread of understanding.’
    • ‘The denial above is only true if we make a distinction between facsimiles of the documents and text transcriptions of the phony documents.’
    • ‘Adams changes that to a simple ‘has’ and passes off his version as a word-perfect transcription.’
    • ‘Those reports were based on the notorious forged documents, in some cases they were text transcriptions of the documents.’
    • ‘Qualitative data collection can take many forms, including interviews, participant observation, questionnaires, and video recordings and transcriptions of everyday language.’
    • ‘It was almost as if she had dictated it verbally and then had the transcription written up.’
    • ‘The transcriptions that follow are written out as a drama script.’
    • ‘The whole is well written, with liberal transcriptions of much of the source material.’
    • ‘Instead of transcriptions of what he wrote, the book is scanned pages of his journals.’
    • ‘The interviews lasted approximately 60-90 minutes, were tape recorded and fully transcribed and the transcriptions were content-analysed.’
    • ‘In order to substantiate and expand the known information, she checked published transcriptions while combing through archives for new documents.’
    • ‘Quotes in this article were derived from tape transcriptions or written notes compiled during interviews.’
    • ‘Interviews were tape recorded, and completed transcriptions were used as the basis for data analysis.’
    • ‘The electronic medium enables them to include a large array of images, including facsimiles of original documents with transcriptions.’
    • ‘The process involved transcribing, analyzing data, and member checking for both the transcription and written analyses after each pair of interviews.’
    • ‘Trial records are literal transcriptions, but people can only speak through the stories they understand.’
    • ‘The book includes a short introduction to the Soviet-Finnish War, the after-action meeting transcriptions, a list of the participants with short biographies, and a few relevant maps.’
    translation, transliteration, transcription
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    1. 1.1[mass noun] The action or process of transcribing something:
      ‘the funding covers transcription of nearly illegible photocopies’
      • ‘My hat is off to those who persevere through the tedious transcription process necessary to publish such works for us.’
      • ‘The official returns differ from the Register in several places because of typographical or transcription errors in the Register.’
      • ‘One common cause of post-analytic error for this and all other surveys is incorrect transcription of the data onto the submission forms.’
      • ‘Will the institution be able to loan you hardware such as tape recorders and transcription machines if you need to record and transcribe your interviews?’
      • ‘There were several minor transcription errors, but clinical details were correctly recorded in every case.’
      • ‘Customer service and sales professionals no longer have to spend time on the phone trying to repair transcription errors and match reconciliation reports.’
      • ‘The academic claims to have found 24 transcription errors in one poem and an average of 12 mistakes per page, which he says distort the meaning.’
      • ‘The date of 1492 in the reconstructed inscription might result from an error in transcription.’
      • ‘SMS text messages are written, unambiguous records of important data and are free of the kind of transcription errors that can occur while dictating results or other information over the telephone.’
      • ‘By employing transcription software, we could do the job in one-and-a-half years with a team of 40 doctors and a handful of patent examiners and technical experts.’
      • ‘The data were constantly reviewed beginning with the interview and transcription process.’
      • ‘However, errors in transcription may be more common than the above reasoning might lead us to suppose.’
      • ‘The authors independently abstracted data in duplicate and cross checked for transcription errors and discrepancies.’
      • ‘Hand written prescription sheets can contribute to drug errors in that they may be illegible, incomplete, or subject to transcription errors when rewritten.’
      • ‘Have some interview transcription left to do, but no deadline and no huge sense of urgency; and nothing to do at all Web-wise until the last bits of material come my way.’
      • ‘This aspect minimizes the number of errors that may occur in transcription.’
      • ‘Specialised software has been developed to allow computer-aided transcription technology to be used in the broadcasting industry.’
      • ‘These were provided by the trial's first author on handwritten sheets, which we entered on to computer, making appropriate checks to avoid transcription errors.’
      rendering, rendition, gloss, conversion, construing, transcription, transliteration, metaphrase
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    2. 1.2 A form in which a speech sound or a foreign character is represented:
      ‘our usual transcription is given in brackets’
      • ‘In some cases this machine has been known as TMB, incorrectly due to a transcription of the Cyrillic character into Latin script.’
      • ‘The Japanese word zen is the phonetic transcription of the Chinese character chan, which means meditation.’
      • ‘But her style is often clumsy, particularly when she discusses generalities, and I was worried by apparently unjustified discrepancies in transcription of schwa.’
  • 2An arrangement of a piece of music for a different instrument, voice, or group of these:

    ‘a transcription for voice and lute’
    • ‘These virtuoso transcriptions of Gershwin songs should hold no terrors for lovers of romantic repertoire, though the writing is full of subtle underminings.’
    • ‘Taped pipe organ music played a Josquin transcription softly as the group seated themselves.’
    • ‘The pieces in Musicks Hand-maide are transcriptions of such music, played here on the virginals.’
    • ‘In an age before recorded music, transcriptions enabled music lovers to more easily access orchestral and operatic repertoire and virtuosos to display their wit and ferocious keyboard talent.’
    • ‘The first piece we played was a transcription of Beethoven's Egmont Overture.’
    • ‘The transcription of music for the piano developed in two directions.’
    • ‘Yet several works were commissioned for smart urban dance, music-theatre and performance-art events; five of the 22 tracks are clever transcriptions of Shostakovich piano pieces.’
    • ‘This is far enough removed from Bach to mean that we can't know whether it is a faithful copy of a work for solo organ, or of a transcription of a string piece, or indeed, by Bach at all.’
    • ‘As a trumpeter, I have played a number of trumpet tunes and voluntaries that were transcriptions of original baroque organ works.’
    • ‘The Scriabin piano pieces go well in these viola transcriptions.’
    • ‘It specialises in Italian instrumental music from the nineteenth century, mostly previously unpublished, plus transcriptions and arrangements for unusual ensembles.’
    • ‘At this point a comparison between the original facsimile score and any of the modern transcriptions would shed light on issues of editing early music.’
    • ‘Of course, some will assert that the inclusion of these transcriptions in this cycle is completely unnecessary, since the music is more Beethoven's than Liszt's.’
    • ‘The same goes for the Tannhäuser pieces, though Liszt's transcriptions work better here.’
    • ‘The pieces were a Schubert-Liszt transcription and a study by Scriabin.’
    • ‘Liszt's transcriptions of other composers' music are as highly regarded as his original piano works.’
    • ‘Due to the lack of large orchestras, people flocked to town halls in order to hear the virtuosi of the day play their own transcriptions of music that was popular at the time.’
  • 3Biochemistry
    [mass noun] The process of transcribing RNA, with existing DNA serving as a template, or vice versa.

    • ‘A protein binding to the promoter region could cause steric occlusion and prevent RNA polymerase from initiating transcription.’
    • ‘The gene could be mutated during transcription into the genetic code, and could perhaps make any genetic problem even worse.’
    • ‘Intronic SSRs can affect gene transcription, mRNA splicing, or export to cytoplasm.’
    • ‘Subsequently, recombination was also shown to be stimulated by RNA polymerase II-driven transcription.’
    • ‘This mutation does not prevent transcription of the gene since we were able to obtain full-length mutant cDNA.’


Late 16th century: from French, or from Latin transcriptio(n-), from the verb transcribere (see transcribe).