Definition of transcribe in English:



  • 1Put (thoughts, speech, or data) into written or printed form.

    ‘each interview was taped and transcribed’
    • ‘The sound, I am all too familiar with; my ability to accurately transcribe it is in doubt.’
    • ‘And furthermore, those tapes are then transcribed.’
    • ‘The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed for analysis.’
    • ‘Focus groups were audiotaped and videotaped and later transcribed using the audiotaped versions of the meetings.’
    • ‘Interviews were transcribed by the researcher who carried out the interview.’
    • ‘All interviews were then transcribed verbatim (with the exception of minor phrases such as ‘uh-huh’).’
    • ‘The real question is whether they accurately transcribe actual government documents.’
    • ‘Speech can be transcribed phonetically at different levels of detail and accuracy.’
    • ‘When the sun was three-fourths of the way down, I began to write, scribbling furiously to finish transcribing my thoughts before the light was lost altogether and we met as a group.’
    • ‘Interviews and focus group discussions were audio taped and later transcribed for analysis.’
    • ‘The interview transcripts were then fully transcribed and coded to uncover analytic themes.’
    • ‘Sometimes subjects or their representatives will ask to see quotes, ostensibly to check that they have been accurately transcribed.’
    • ‘The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the interviewer verified the accuracy.’
    • ‘Audiotapes from the focus groups were transcribed by the researchers.’
    • ‘Each group session was audiotaped, and the tapes were transcribed verbatim.’
    • ‘The outcome would be a book transcribing exactly what the anthropologists were told, no less and no more.’
    • ‘Her speeches were never transcribed - at least during her stay abroad - and were never distributed adequately to the public.’
    • ‘The interviews were recorded on audiotape and transcribed by the researcher.’
    • ‘The interview tapes were transcribed verbatim and assigned a unique identifier for each participant.’
    • ‘The interviews were transcribed for qualitative data analysis and analyzed using grounded theory methodologies.’
    write down, set down, put in writing, put down, take down, note, make a note of, jot down, put down on paper, commit to paper
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    1. 1.1 Transliterate (foreign characters) or write or type out (shorthand, notes, or other abbreviated forms) into ordinary characters or full sentences.
      • ‘The handwritten notes were then transcribed into typewritten interview transcripts to be used for data analysis.’
      • ‘Finally one day Jeanne got tired of trying to transcribe my notes that were scribbled on numerous bits of paper in longhand.’
      • ‘The only thing missing is my secretary to transcribe the following notes.’
      • ‘A smaller portion of their literature was written in chu nom, a writing system that uses a combination of Chinese characters to transcribe Vietnamese sounds.’
      • ‘I made my own money, transcribing notes for Jeremy's growing translation business, and I paid for my tickets, so what was the big deal?’
      • ‘I was very tired when I went to see it, which probably didn't help, but I scribbled down some notes during the screening, which I transcribe for you here.’
      • ‘She decides to transcribe his notes on the typewriter in case anyone should ever have to read it.’
      • ‘That manuscript note is accurately transcribed in the typed version.’
      • ‘As I scanned the pile of little DayGlo yellow notes I realized that there was enough notations to keep me busy transcribing my notes for days to come.’
      • ‘She sat quietly at the table, drinking tea and transcribing her notes on the interview with Jerry.’
      • ‘The writing system Romoaji is used to transcribe Japanese into the Roman alphabet.’
      • ‘In the seminary classroom I taught relative clauses by transcribing examples of Kiswahili sentences on the blackboard with their English equivalents.’
      • ‘From about 1564 he began to collect and transcribe manuscripts and to compose historical works, the first to be based on systematic study of public records.’
      • ‘Massaging her temples, she sat back down at the desk and began to transcribe her notes.’
      • ‘That transcript was part of the minutes were provided to Professor Arnold in shorthand, and she paid to have them transcribed.’
      • ‘From his notes, which have been transcribed, and are not just obscure scribbles, it is clear that he considered painting a science, on an equal par with mechanics, biology or mathematics.’
      • ‘Stein transcribed the work from Husserl's shorthand in 1916.’
      • ‘Later, some people will return to their offices or hotels and transcribe the words onto their computers if they can read them, others may just file away their notes.’
      • ‘Should I, perhaps, apply more editorial distance when transcribing my notes to your page?’
      • ‘Shorthand is eventually transcribed to longhand, and buzzwords lose their sting.’
      write out, copy out, copy in full, write in full, put in writing, set down, take down, type out, print out, put on paper, commit to paper, reproduce
      transliterate, interpret, translate, render, convert, write up, rewrite
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    2. 1.2 Arrange (a piece of music) for a different instrument, voice, or group of these.
      ‘his largest early work was transcribed for organ’
      • ‘Bach's most famous organ work, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, was transcribed for violin by Bruce Fox-Lefriche (who changed the key to A minor in the process).’
      • ‘Originally written for organ in 1945, McKay transcribed it for two string orchestras in 1962.’
      • ‘They also transcribed music for the instrument from many sources, most notably the harpsichord, violin and piano.’
      • ‘Indeed, the Sonata in G essentially transcribes an earlier work for two flutes and continuo.’
      • ‘The only change is that Orff transcribed the orchestral parts for two pianos.’
      • ‘Liszt transcribed Beethoven's symphonies, as well as a myriad other vocal and instrumental works, for piano.’
      • ‘Surely we can't take him seriously, given the G major Concerto he did complete, and the D major Concerto he transcribed for flute?’
      • ‘Milhaud originally scored it for a small orchestra, then, due to its great success, transcribed it for duet.’
      • ‘There is also a C.P.E. Bach Sonata here, transcribed and sounding delightful with its switch of instrument.’
      • ‘In 1930, the composer transcribed the score for two pianos.’
      • ‘In adapting the work, Beethoven does not simply transcribe it note for note.’
      • ‘In those early years he would frequently transcribe orchestral music for the organ.’
      • ‘Sérgio observes that there is now a lot of music being composed for guitar, unlike the fairly recent past when most music had to be transcribed.’
      • ‘Barshai transcribed the Eighth Quartet for chamber orchestra under the composer's supervision.’
      • ‘Liszt developed a physical virtuosity for the instrument and transcribed for it, sacrificing musical subtlety to an astonishing mechanical technique.’
      • ‘Transcription can be a dodgy game: the instrument being transcribed for must bear some harmonic relationship to the original.’
      • ‘There are four popular Chopin items, the first set of the Schubert Impromptus, and Ravel's La Valse as transcribed by the composer for piano solo.’
      • ‘The Five Songs Without Words that follow were later transcribed for violin and piano and in that guise they have been heard far more often than in vocal form.’
    3. 1.3Biochemistry Synthesize (a nucleic acid, typically RNA) using an existing nucleic acid, typically DNA, as a template, thus copying the genetic information in the latter.
      • ‘Thus, the Y-linked copy of the S. latifolia spermidine synthase gene is actively transcribed.’
      • ‘All of the 19 identified genes are transcribed from the same DNA strand.’
      • ‘All genes are transcribed from the same strand, and scaling is only approximate.’
      • ‘However, additional studies are needed to determine if Twin is actually transcribed by polymerase III.’
      • ‘The ligated mRNA is reverse transcribed using a general or gene-specific primer.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘make a copy in writing’): from Latin transcribere, from trans- ‘across’ + scribere ‘write’.