Phonetic Transcription

By: Verbit Editorial
Phonetic transcription
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Boost Workplace Efficiency with Searchable Transcripts

Business leaders who are looking to improve their company’s communication efforts, encompassing its brand awareness and marketing strategies, are greatly benefiting from using transcription tools to keep word-for-word records of meetings and assist with note taking. Phonetic transcription takes it one step further, as it notes the way words are pronounced through symbols. This extra detail can help businesses better connect and engage with  employees and consumers in a variety of scenarios.

Breaking down phonetic transcription 

3d cutouts of different letters

Phonetic transcription makes use of a special alphabet of symbols known as the international phonetic alphabet (IPA). There are around 44 “diacritics” in IPA, all of which symbolize the different sounds that can be made when pronouncing a word.

With more work being conducted remotely and globally, these symbols can help participants and content readers better understand the nuances in words, emphasizing vocal elements like pitch, intonation and syllables.

Phonetic Transcription Use cases for business leaders to consider

To understand how phonetic transcription is being used to enhance business processes and engagement with employees, clients and consumers, check out the following use cases:

  • Sales Calls: Phonetic transcription can be useful when conducting sales calls, which account for 92% of all customer interactions. B2B business professionals especially benefit from this transcription, as they’re often trying to pitch and build buy-in for a product. Using phonetic transcription can help improve sales communications with these clients, as well as international prospects who may be joining these calls and participating  in anon-native language. 
  • Live Meetings: With 89% of employees working within global teams, most are likely to work with colleagues who speak different languages and come from different cultures. Phonetic transcription can serve as an aid in these global environments, helping bridge communication and language barriers among employees who are working both in-person and within online work environments.
  • Interviewing: 72% of recruiters believe that artificial intelligence (AI) can positively impact their work. Phonetic transcription can be produced with AI and improve the interview process for recruiters. These transcriptions can help recruiters communicate more effectively with potential candidates who come from diverse backgrounds. 
  • Branding Guidance: Brand name pronunciation is known to have a significant influence on consumer behavior. When it comes to building your brand’s awareness, phonetic transcription can be useful when included as guidance in a company’s brand book. It can be seen as a strategy that is inclusive of non-native speakers. Sales representatives and marketing professionals, as well as contractors you’re outsourcing work to, can all benefit to ensure they’re conveying brand and product information to others correctly. 

Don’t be confused by phonemic transcription

Phonetic transcriptions are typically more detailed and make exact notes of every sound a speaker says through symbols. Since each sound has one symbol, phonetic transcripts can sometimes be long and complex. In comparison, phonemic transcription is known as a type of shorthand for phonetic transcription.

Phonemic transcription, sometimes referred to as ‘broad’ transcription, uses fewer symbols to describe each sound. Transcripts from this method use the same symbol to transcribe similar sounding words and syllables, assuming the sounds are similar enough to be pronounced the same. Here are two examples of phonetic and phonemic transcriptions together:

Example 1: Clean

  • Phonemic transcription: ‘clean’ – /klin/
  • Phonetic transcription: ‘clean’ – [kl̥i:n]

Example 2: Strewn

  • Phonemic transcription: ‘strewn’ – /strun/
  • Phonetic transcription: ‘strewn’ – [stru:n]

As seen above, phonemic transcriptions are placed between /forward slash brackets/ while phonetic transcriptions are written between [square brackets]. The colon symbol in the transcriptions above helps convey a longer vowel sound to readers, helping non-native speakers better understand the pronunciation.

Transcription can significantly help with language barriers in the workplace. Phonetic transcription is arguably the most useful, particularly for international teams with employees who are communicating with colleagues who speak different languages.

While phonetic transcription offers a higher level of detail, there are still other transcription types on the market that can provide benefits to business leaders.

The value of orthographic transcription & transcription overall

While phonetic transcription can be incredibly useful for pronunciation, the downside is that many people are unlikely to know how to read it. Unless a document or video has many foreign or unusual words, other forms like orthographic transcription can be more effective in some business settings.

Orthographic transcription can also help improve your site’s SEO. Search engines can’t watch or listen to video, so including orthographic transcripts can help search engines find your content more easily. Potential customers and relevant audiences may find your website if transcripts of your videos are added to your pages and include the keywords they’re searching.

Regardless of what type of transcription you’re using, enlisting AI-based software will help you to reap all of the benefits of audio and video transcription without needing to produce it manually or invest substantially in it. It helps cut down the time needed to transcribe content manually by producing it automatically. Companies like Verbit use AI-based technology to quickly produce live transcripts of meetings and events, which make them more engaging and accessible. The work of the AI is then fact checked by professional transcribers to ensure accuracy, which is essential for businesses. Plus, Verbit can quickly deliver transcripts on recorded content so you have notes, records and the SEO-friendly text needed to accompany videos you’re placing on your site.

Professionals need phonetic transcription technology

While using any type of transcription can be beneficial, making use of technology like Verbit’s to provide transcription can boost productivity and business communication. 57% of businesses that leverage transcription technologies say it’s a critical factor in the success of their operations. Additionally, transcripts can help employees and video viewers who are Deaf or hard of hearing engage with equity.
Verbit provides captioning and transcription technologies that are designed to help business leaders who are using video and audio content to ensure it’s effective and engaging to global team members, event audiences, viewers with disabilities and others. Contact us to learn about our easy integrations and how you can start using transcription to meet your specific business’s needs.