Transcription (linguistics)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Transcription is the conversion into written, typewritten or printed form, of a spoken-language source, as in the proceedings of a court hearing. It can also mean the conversion of a written source into another medium, as by scanning books and making digital versions. A transcriptionist is a person who performs transcription.

In a strict linguistic sense, transcription is the process of matching the sounds of human speech to special written symbols, using a set of exact rules, so that these sounds can be reproduced later.


Transcription as a mapping from sound to script must be distinguished from transliteration, which creates a mapping from one script to another that is designed to match the original script as directly as possible.

Standard transcription schemes for linguistic purposes include the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), and its ASCII equivalent, SAMPA. See also phonetic transcription.

Transcription is often confused with transliteration, due to a common journalistic practice of mixing elements of both in rendering foreign names. The resulting practical transcription is a hybrid that is called both "transcription" and "transliteration" by the general public.

In this table IPA is an example of phonetic transcription of the name of the former Russian president known in English as Boris Yeltsin, followed by accepted hybrid forms in various languages. "Boris" is a transliteration rather than a transcription in the strict sense.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Transcription (linguistics)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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