What do you call...

the process of typing the spoken word (from a TV sportscaster, say) which TV viewers can see if they have activated the Captions option?

Someone here used “transliterate” to describe this, but according to Merriam-Webster online, that word means “to represent or spell in the characters of another alphabet.”

Is there a better term?


I took a quick tour around a dictionary website, and ended up at:

transcribe: To make a full written or typewritten copy of (dictated or spoken material, for example). To write out from speech or notes.

Seems pretty appropriate.

Captioners “transcribe” the voice to text. At least, that’s what they say they do when they call my company for software support (the company develops captioning and court reporting software).

Thank you all — including Ravenman whose one-wprd post, “Transcription” made it to my inbox, but for some reason, not to the board.

Or closed-captioning? That’s what the TV stations seem to call it (i.e. “Closed captioning brought to you by _____”)

A duplicate post of the OP occurred, so I merged the two threads.

samclem GQ moderator

IIRC a captioner I knew simply called it ‘captioning’, as in “I’m going to caption Casablanca next week”. It’s obviously not the correct technical name for it, but I don’t think she ever referred to it as ‘transcribing’ when speaking informally.