Oral Culture Transcription Toolkit

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Oral Culture Transcription Toolkit gives detailed instructions on how to record oral culture, how to upload them on Wikimedia Commons, to create transcription and upload it on Wikisource. A list of interview questions for successful elicitation of the language and culture of the community has also been included. The list of interview questions is based on Jewish Culture Elicitation Protocol by Wikitongues. A section on audio-visual recording has been included to ensure high quality recording of oral culture. It is the simplified version of the OpenSpeaks toolkit.

Preliminary Research[edit]

A person doing language documentation using this toolkit ought first to analyse data already available on online platforms, universities and print media (YouTube videos, Instagram pages, grammars, dictionaries, university syllabuses, printed and e-books) for complete documentation and to avoid duplication. Keeping in mind the fact that the goal is to ensure that the language and data collected remain shareable online and widely readable, this is a recommended step. It will also save your time as you would not be repeating something that has been already done and can instead build upon already available resources.

  • Contacting universities, language departments and indigenous speakers is a good way to begin. Getting in contact with scholars, professors or indigenous people needs to be done via the medium they are used to. Remember that not everyone has the same habits around internet usage as you do. People who might not even reply to your email might turn out to be forthcoming and enthusiastic about language documentation in real life. Contacting such people would be easier via local contacts and language enthusiasts of that area.
  • After you have collected data (e.g., research on the language, literature, folk song and history etc.) from various sources, the next step is to make it available online. You need to take the consent of the participants. You might need to inform individuals you are collecting data from about copyrights, find more about them in the 'audio-video recording' section. The intermediate stage would be to scan texts, upload recorded videos or audios under an appropriate licence. More information will be available on licencing and copyrights in the ‘audio-visual recording and related aspects’ section.
  • In order to make sure that your language has visibility over digital platforms, it is important that printed material and traditional art both are brought online. Your language does not have to follow the model of other languages, as every language is a carrier of unique cultures and practices. In addition to that, recording videos and audios of folk songs, folk history, folk practices, interviews of community members and making them available on online platforms is important for making space for your culture and language on online platforms.
  • Related to audio-visual documentation is the process of transcription of the files, it makes sure that the content is available to new, wider and differently-abled audiences. After creating subtitles, upload it to the TimedText section of the Commons file uploaded by you. Thereafter, make the transcription available on Wikisource, a digital library, thus diversifying the digital library and bringing your language to a global platform.

How to create high-quality videos and audios for language documentation? These tips help you navigate audio-visual recording with ease.

Effectiveness in language documentation is successful with preparedness, it is useful to have a list of questions that help in thorough elicitation of vocabulary.

Learn how to upload recorded videos on Wikimedia Commons, Wikimedia's media repository. Also learn how to transcribe the videos and upload them on Wikisource, Wikimedia's digital library.