This page is an open forum for discussion about a standard for transcription. If you have any ideas, feel free to contribute. When we reach a general group consensus, this document will be refactored into a specific set of guidelines for transcription.

Mark has pointed out (on the WikiIdeas page) that the transcriptions on the site do not follow any standards. I agree that it may be useful to form guidelines so that the transcriptions will look more professional and be easier to read. If new users come to the site and see five different transcription styles, they may get the impression that we are inconsistent and apathetic.

When I transcribed my first email, I tried to find a transcription of a real movie script online. I came across a few different styles and ultimately chose to follow one of them. The first email I ever transcribed was StrongBadEmail/mile. Now that I've seen a few different styles, I'm not sure I still agree with the way I originally did it.

I think I would prefer something more like this:

STRONG BAD: {singing} And I pretend that it's made of money. {stops singing} -- Oh! Um... Look, uh, I'm not doin' one this week. Yeah... not doin' one. So... bye! {singing again} And I pretend that it's made of money.

{The Cheat enters and looks at camera with a fiendish grin. A new Flash cartoon begins. The cartoon is apparently made by The Cheat (as evidenced by the horrible graphic quality).}

STRONG BAD: {singing} Eeeeeeeeeemail. Ooh, ah, email, ooh, ah -- {reads email below}

Dear Strong Bad,
Can you run a mile.
The Lodge, MN

Capitalizing and making the speaker's name bold is a good way to distinguish that a new person is talking. Since every character is linked (along with other things within the transcription), it is sometimes hard for me (when I'm reading fast) to distinguish the difference between a new character speaking and simply a character being mentioned in the quotation. If there is a sharper distinction, readability will be increased.

I think using curly braces for what's going on is important. There may be times when you'll want to use parentheses inside your descriptions, as I have done above.

Let me know what you think and what ideas you have about this.

- JoeyDay

I think this is fine. I followed these guidelines for First time here? and StrongBadEmail/labor day/TranScript and I think it worked out well in terms of readability. One question it raised, however, is whether WikiWords in transcripts should be linked. For First time here? I didn't have any links in the transcript itself, but put a "Characters Featured" list at the top so that people have links to click on for unfamiliar characters. I think this helps readability. But sometimes links are necessary, as in some of the {italic} notes in StrongBadEmail/labor day/TranScript. What do you think? -- InterruptorJones

Saying "!" in most kinds of code means "not", or "cancel this out".

Another thing: It helps having a program like FlashBoy so you can pause the email!
(FlashBoy is at: about halfway down the page.)

Actually, you can pause the e-mail when you're watching the SWF. --Upsilon

evil_squirrels11: This is a good transcription method. As long as whoever is writing it sticks with the same format, it'll be much easier to read for all of us.

Not always you can pause it when watching the swf, but if you go to WikiChat/HowToPauseToons, you can find an easier way. ~Rainer~

I moved the contents of that chat here in case it accedently gets deleted -JamesGecko

In WikiChat/TransScripts there's a link to a site which has bookmarklets like this for pause, rewind, fast-forward, and skip. Really quit useful. -- InterruptorJones

Here's how to pause toons and other flash movies:
Add this to your favorites/bookmarks:
javascript:for(i=0; o=document.getElementsByTagName("object")[i]; ++i) try{F(o)}catch(e){}; for(i=0; o=document.getElementsByTagName("embed")[i]; ++i) try{F(o)}catch(e){}; function F(o){ if(o.timer){clearInterval(o.timer); o.timer=0; } if (o.IsPlaying()) o.StopPlay(); else o.Play(); }

Everytime you click that favorite/bookmark during a flash toon (or SB Email etc.), it will pause it, which is perfect for reading quick things on the toons, or taking screen shots (See WikiChat/HowToTakePictures).

It is perfect to place onto the Links bar on IE, for easy access.

I am not sure how to add a link to favorites on Internet Explorer, it seems that you can only add to favorites on the page itself, but because the above is not a page, the only way I found is by adding any link to favorites, then right-clicking on it, going to the Web Document tab, and changing the URL: field with the above code.


I did what Rainer did and i pressed pause at the end of the 100th sbemail and found another easter egg where strong bad was doing a commercial for discount flashback wherehouse. did anyone else find this? - Arrohed Aria

Yup. See StrongBadEmail/flashback/EasterEggs.

I have found that a lot of people don't check this before transcribing. eg:
[The Cheat puts some matches on Bubs's foot and lights them]
Bubs: Ow! Hot momma!
(The Cheat puts a beehive under his other foot, which he lands on.)
BUBS: Yeow! Hot bees!

The proper way to transcribe is as follows:

BUBS: Shining up a chicken in the mo'nin', mo'nin',

{Strong Bad walks up to the consession stand}

STRONG BAD: Hey, Bubs, read this sign for me!

BUBS:{Squinting} Duck-A-La-Range

{We see the sign from behind Bubs revealing that it says "Duck-A-La-Range"}

STRONG BAD: What?! {He turns it around and gets out a walkie-talkie} The Cheat, I thought I told you to make it say "Sbu"!

{The screen splits in half to reveal The Cheat sitting next to Strong Bad's computer. There is a sign above the computer with a Strongbadified skull and crossbones that says "Home Base".}

THE CHEAT: Menememah!

STRONG BAD: Oh, you really want your Duck-a-la-range, don't you? You know we can't afford to eat like that! {Under his breath} Besides, aren't you a duck anyway?

THE CHEAT:{Angry} Menemanah!

STRONG BAD: I dunno, you always struck me as being a duck.

I have noticed in many places people do not follow these standards. I suggest you make this more noticable on the "Home" page. -CE5

Actually, that's a little bit wrong, CE5. We don't like to link a character's name every time it is mentioned anymore. And the all-caps-names are debatable too. What we really need to do is redo this page. -- Tom

I have to agree with Tom on this one. I look at

Strong Bad: The Cheat, tell him he set you up.

as enough distinction. If you do it in all caps, it doesn't look very professional. There are court cases where they actually used lowercase after the first letter of the name. It just looks nicer when it doesn't look like the person who wrote it was really ticked off at it. DeLoreanz1

Court cases? What are you talking about?? And we're not trying to look "professional". W'ere trying to make them readable. There's a huge distinction. I couldn't care less about how "professional" this site looks -- it's a fan-site; by definition we're not professionals. The bottom line is, it's easier to pick out a character's name in all-caps, which makes it easier to follow dialogue. -- InterruptorJones