KERN offers a professional transcription service to create written records of German or foreign language audio or visual material. Transcription is the transfer of spoken texts and conversational situations from audio and video recordings including audio cassettes, audio CDs, DVDs and MP3 files or other file formats such as Wav, into written form . The variety of texts which need to be recorded in writing ranges from video conferences, telephone interviews as a data collection strategy and in social research and interviews for films and television productions to lecture series.

Experience has shown that an hour of audio material results in approximately 30 to 40 standard pages of typed text. The time required for transcribing audio material can be measured by a factor of five to nine, depending on the quality of the recording, the speed of the speech, and the degree of accuracy required for the transcription to be adapted for its purpose. The relatively high level of time and effort required for a transcription is due to dialects of the speakers and background noises, which make it necessary to repeatedly play back the recording. A transcription of the audio material that contains neither gaps nor errors, and in which even the smallest details of the utterances are recorded, including when speakers' utterances overlap requires the highest level of concentration.

In order for us to give you the best possible service when transcribing your audio or visual material, your KERN project manager needs the following information:
  • What format is the audio material in (MP3 files, cassettes, etc.)?
  • How many minutes/hours of audio material are there?
  • What type of audio material is it?
    (Interviews, recordings of presentations, excerpts from films etc.)
  • What is the purpose of the transcription?
  • Do you have any particular formatting requests or transcription rules?
  • What file format is required for the transcribed text?
  • Do you require a translation after the transcription?