The lecture and Hammersely’s article (2010) have led me think of the following questions:
- If the transcript includes all the details, such as silences, gestures, in the interview, will it be too much and difficult for the reader to digest and extract the important points from the conversation?
- While it is not always possible to video record the interview, the only person who has the first hand information about the participant’s gestures, silences, pauses, facial expression, etc. is the interviewer. Is it possible for an interviewer to conduct an interview while capturing all these little details?
- How to train someone to accurately transcribe the interview with sufficient details?
- What if the participants have limited language ability, should the transcriber correct the language or put in his/her own words according to his/her understanding to make it understandable?
Other than putting spoken words onto paper, I now realize the complexity of interview transcription. A good transcriber can make all the difference in the outcome of the research.
What do you guys think?
Hammersely, M. (2010). Reproducing or construction: some questions about transcription in social research. Qualitative Research, 10(5), 553-569.