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Let’s say I want to decipher (transcribe) some spoken material (voice) to text, but after doing this, I doubt if some parts have been transcribed correctly. What is appropriate word to describe such parts?
Another situation: when someone says something, but you cannot decipher some part to convert it to a written text. How to refer to such parts? “Gaps”? “Blanks”?

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  • The former is surely just mistranscribed?
    – Charon
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 10:59
  • I'd use question marks. As in: "...cutter (could've?) shaped heartaches..."
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:06
  • @Okoning - thank you, but... there is a very important nuance! "Mistranscribed" means transcribed incorrectly, right? But what if this fragment is correct??? I don't know! I said "I doubt if some parts have been transcribed correctly"! Will this word be appropriate in this case? Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:39
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    @TusharRaj: I'm asking for a word to refer to (describe) such parts, not how to mark them. Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:41
  • Well, maybe it is better just to use two words "probably mistranscribed", I was just wondering if there is a simpler construction to use in such situation... Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 11:52

1 Answer 1

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when someone says something, but you cannot decipher some part to convert it to a written text. How to refer to such parts? “Gaps”? “Blanks”?

You could call the gaps in the transcription lacunae.

The lacunae in the transcript represent places where the speech was either inaudible or unintelligible.

See lacuna.

If you're not leaving blanks but making guesses when you cannot make out clearly what is being said, then those places could be called "conjectural transcriptions".

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  • To make this answer complete you should define lacuna and cite the source of your definition.
    – Charon
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:56
  • For my comment above, which version (of the three) would you recommend? Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:56
  • @okoning. One could look it up in any dictionary. I've added the singular.
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 12:57
  • @lyrically wicked: if you're making guesses when you cannot hear the speech, or where you cannot really make out what is said, then there you don't have "gaps" in your transcript. You could refer to those places in the transcript as "conjectural transcriptions". BTW, not all media support wavy red underlining, so that typographical solution isn't amenable to being quoted elsewhere. You might want to consider {curly braces} or {curly braces and italics} instead. #3 is the best, IMO. But I'd say "conjectural transcriptions".
    – TimR
    Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 13:05
  • @TimRomano - please, include "conjectural transcriptions" in the answer. Commented Jul 4, 2015 at 13:10

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