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See also: Main Style Guide | Editor Supplement | Rare Situations & Word List | Sample Transcript

Sample Transcript

This made-up sample transcript is for our transcribers' reference on points of style.

For an example of a real transcription in the different file formats our customers receive, check out the sample transcript entry in our customer FAQ.

The made-up transcript below shows the correct formatting for many situations you will encounter when transcribing for CastingWords.

There's more going on in this example than you might think! Here are some things to look for:

US English spelling and punctuation
Single spacing between words (including after a period or speaker label)
Blank line (hard return) above & below paragraphs and standalone tags
Breaking one person's speech into paragraphs
Speaker labels (full names, first names, roles, and "Man 1")
Speaker re-labeled after a standalone tag
Tag placement (some tags go inline, while some get a line by themselves)
Use of [?], [sp], and [xx] tags
Difference between [laughs] and [laughter]
Use of [crosstalk] tag
Use of [non-English speech] tag
Tagging important non-verbal sound events
Use of quotes
Use of ellipses Use of exclamation point only in case of strong emotion or shouting, not for conversational remarks like Hello or OK.

Sample Transcript (Transcriber Edition)

Jenny Coleman: This is the beginning of the transcription, so I am labeled with my full name.

John Gale: All right, but after the first time you will be labeled with only your first name, right?

Jenny: Correct. As you can see, I am labeled with just my first name now, and will be labeled this way for the rest of the transcript.

Man 1: Hi, I'm a new speaker. No one ever mentions my name, so the transcriber should give me a descriptive name. Since there is no clear indication of my role, the only information we have about me is that I'm male, so I'm Man 1. If there were two unidentified men, the next one would be Man 2.

John: [sarcastically] Awesome.


John: Oh, hey, wait, come back! Oh, for crying...Did you see that?

Jenny: Mm-hmm.

John: Where’s he going, is he...


Jenny: ...no use. I think you offended him.

[background music]

Announcer: You're listening to "The Interview Example." Enjoy.

John: Hey, are you cutting us off?


John: Come on, it’s none of your business, studio audience.

Audience Member: [non-English speech]

John: Whoa. I think we’re not speaking the same language. This gets weirder all [xx].

Interviewer: Welcome to The Interview Example. Today I'll be interviewing an important man about [?] something vague, to help you understand further how to work with dialog.

Remember, if I have a lot to say, you'll need to break my speech up into more than one paragraph. Keep paragraphs short, no more than 400 characters. Just insert a couple of hard returns to create a blank line, and you're good to go. Don't re-label me on each new paragraph.

Do start a new paragraph when I change topics, and again if I shift my focus to start speaking to someone different.

Thanks for coming in today, Professor Dave.

Professor Dave: I'm happy to be here.

Jenny: I feel like Alice, except I never saw the looking glass. Where’s the bottle that says, "Drink Me"?

Interviewer: Sorry for the interruption, Dave. Jenny and John, it’s our turn in the studio.

All right. Would you like to tell me about your journey to discovering the square root of -2?

Professor Dave: [laughs] I’m sorry, what?

Interviewer: Oops. [laughs] Oh, wait, these aren’t the questions I had prepared for you.

Professor Dave: I hope not. All I remember from college math is my professor saying, "The area of a trapezoid is A = (B + b)h/2," or something like that. Never could figure out why he had to have both B and b -- there’s a reason I’m a humanities professor.

Interviewer: Well then, you’ve got me beat, Professor Dave.

Professor Dave: Oh, I think that equation might be the only thing I remember. That, and maybe the particular way that the light used to hit Jenny [sp] Ames’ long, blonde hair.

Do you have memories like that from high school? Sure hope I’m not going all TMI on you. But in lieu of...

[glass breaking]

Professor Dave: Yikes, I think we’ve got trouble. Is that a Molotov cocktail?

Interviewer: Uh-huh. Run!