CA tutorial: Transcription transcripts

What is CA?

This tutorial

Audio & video files

Why record?

What to transcribe?

    transcript 1

    transcript 2

    transcript 3

    pros & cons

    transcript 4


What is analysis?

    analysis 1

    analysis 2



Anonymising data

Main menu

Transcript 2

Approximating what we hear

Now that you've heard the clip a couple of times, see if you agree that the detail in red makes the transcript a more faithful account of what the speakers are doing.

Transcript 2

[Lyn & Zoe T2, 1]
1 Zoe Mum?
2 Lyn hello (pause)
3 Lyn I'm here (pause)
4 Zoe okay- (pause)
5 Lyn ((coughs/clears throat)) (pause)
6 Zoe hello
7 Lyn hi 
8 Zoe where's the cigarettes (shorter pause)
9 Lyn in the kitchen (long pause)
10 Zoe the camera's on
11 Lyn yes (slight pause)
12 Zoe are you talking to it while you WORK?
13 Lyn no (slight pause)  [heh heh-
14 Zoe                    [what you DOING then
15 Lyn hahh hahh hahh (pause)
16 Zoe what's the point  (slight pause)
17 Zoe oh god (slight pause) look what I'm wearing

Why the new details (in red)?

I've added
  • pauses, but only described as long, short or brief;

  • emphasis (with capitals, line 12);

  • overlap (with two aligned square brackets, lines 13 and 14)

  • laughter (with conventionalised heh-heh's and hah-hah's, lines 13 and 15)

Each is an important non-dictionary feature of the way language is used. Intuition is a good guide: we know that timing is important: an answer for a fraction of a second can make it mean something quite different from responding immediately. We know that emphasis changes meaning. We know that overlapping with what the other person is saying can communicate a number of things that speaking in the clear would not. And, of course, laughter is as much a part of our ways of communicating as anything else we do with our sound-system.

I'll say more about all of those, and explain why we need a bit more precision, when we get to a 'usable transcript' at the end of this section ("transcript 4" above).

But first we need to think about what to do about the scenery and actions in the video (if you have access to it). The link to transcript 3 will take you to a much more descriptive transcription.