Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby Lawyer&Mom » Mon May 17, 2021 5:13 am

Or let go of transcripts, and watch a couple hundred hours of whatever catches your fancy. You’ll get where you want to go.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby Sonjaconjota » Mon May 17, 2021 1:21 pm

FeoGringo wrote:Other than paying someone (or finding a generous friend) to make a transcript for me, what other options are out there?


I was superhappy when I found https://rhinospike.com/, because it's a website where users can exchange stuff by either transcribing audio / video material or by recording an audio for a given text. But the page isn't especially active.
Or you could try to find a language buddy interested in such an exchange.
I've also seen this on the internet. I've not tried it, but I thought it might be of interest to you:
https://www.grittyspanish.com/who-is-it ... h-lessons/
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby lusan » Mon May 17, 2021 3:09 pm

smallwhite wrote:Democracy Now! news site has accurate transcripts and member iguanamon said
“The announcer is generally a woman with a rioplatense accent” (Venezuelan, IIRC).


Acabo de darme cuenta.. Just realized it. It is an excellent Spanish.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby Steve » Mon May 17, 2021 10:06 pm

NHK (Japanese news) has a nice Spanish section with about a 14 minute daily audio (w/ about 12 minutes of news between opening/closing music, credits, etc.). It is an exact reading of about a half-dozen short articles which are supplied. I'm not sure if I should call them transcripts as the audio is reading these articles. There are a handful of different readers with fairly clear voices.
https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/es/news/
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby JadeJ » Sat Jun 12, 2021 7:04 am

Listening to audio / video materials without transcripts is not a good approach in general for language learners, especially beginner or low intermediates. Could even be a waste of time.

This is a passive learning method and will yield very slow results, if at all.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:14 pm

I personally never use target-language subtitles except in specific cases like when I'm listening to French opera and it's hard to make out the words because of pronunciation differences and choral singing.

My reasoning is, subtitles will not be available in real-life situations, so it's best not to get into the habit of relying on them. If I make it to the intermediate level and I can't understand the spoken language without referring to the written language, then I've failed somewhere at the beginner level.

I've found that watching the news in my target language (without subtitles) is extremely helpful. There are visual cues, some topics are likely to be familiar after hearing about them in English, and speakers make an effort to speak in a very clear and neutral style. For the beginner level, cooking videos are very good and you can pick up a lot of vocabulary through context.

After spending a lot of time watching the news in French I found that I was able to enjoy tourist activities in French on a trip to France. I didn't understand 100% of everything but I understood enough that I didn't feel like I was missing out by not doing things in English.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby iguanamon » Sat Jun 12, 2021 3:14 pm

JadeJ wrote:Listening to audio / video materials without transcripts is not a good approach in general for language learners, especially beginner or low intermediates. Could even be a waste of time.
This is a passive learning method and will yield very slow results, if at all.

Results depend on one's level in a language and how much help there is available from outside. At a low level (A1/A2) when trying to train listening, yes, there are better ways to do this- work with a transcript/accurate L2 subs, or a dubbed series from L1. If a learner has basic listening skills down, then a series without subs/transcript can be quite useful. When I was learning Portuguese, I had been listening to NHK World's Brazilian news and reading along with the articles for a few months. I had finished DLI Portuguese Basic Course and was working with a tutor. She told me I was ready for a series. Back then, around ten years ago, was the golden age of illegal streaming. We were lucky.

My task was to watch a Brazilian novela- 80 episodes and no subs, no transcript. I did find written synopses and a forum which all helped. My tutor had me write down unknown words and expressions with time stamps, which I did. These dominated the first 20 episodes. I would also summarize what went on in the episode. It was slow going- one episode a week for a couple of months. Then, it started kicking in and I got better and better til the last 20 episodes I was able to do 3-4 a week with almost no unknown words.

Can a series without a transcript/L2 or L1 subtitles be useful without a tutor? Yes. If a learner has good, basic listening skills; investigates online synopses; checks out forums or twitter; access to a native speaker is always helpful bit not critical. Making one's own connections tends to make the learning more "sticky" in my experience. It's not easy. At first it's not "fun". The fun comes from mastering listening and improving command of a language. In the real world, people don't come with subtitles or transcripts.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby tommus » Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:03 pm

iguanamon wrote:My task was to watch a Brazilian novela- 80 episodes and no subs, no transcript. I did find written synopses and a forum which all helped. My tutor had me write down unknown words and expressions with time stamps, which I did.

How do you write down unknown words? It seems like the spelling error rate would be quite high.

Everyone talks about the importance of using "comprehensible input". Aren't subtitles a key part of "comprehensible input", even at an advanced level, especially if you don't have the luxury of a regular tutor?
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby iguanamon » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:26 pm

tommus wrote:
iguanamon wrote:My task was to watch a Brazilian novela- 80 episodes and no subs, no transcript. I did find written synopses and a forum which all helped. My tutor had me write down unknown words and expressions with time stamps, which I did.

How do you write down unknown words? It seems like the spelling error rate would be quite high.

Everyone talks about the importance of using "comprehensible input". Aren't subtitles a key part of "comprehensible input", even at an advanced level, especially if you don't have the luxury of a regular tutor?

I used time stamps and context, using my own shorthand- what the word sounded like to me. I looked up what I could. I used my tutor time for confirmation and if I couldn't figure it out, for the answer. Since I was not a beginning listener, I was able to get pretty close to the word. I still remember some of words I had trouble with. "Jagunço" is a sort of a henchman for a big man. I wrote it as Jagunso. If you type jagunso português into google, up pops the correct spelling and definition link. Granted, if a learner is at a low level in a language, this would not work. I was working with a tutor which most definitely made things easier.

You can also type the word "jagunso" with an L2 spell checker and a red line will appear. The correct spelling "jagunço" will show up by hovering on the word. Of course a learner has to at least have basic listening skills and may have to "rewind" a few times, even watch the episode several times when beginning. Having backup certainly helps. Context helps, which is the good thing about having video. It's not ideal, but at the time there was no netflix then like netflix is today. I took what I could get and made the best out of it. There is a time for subtitles and transcripts. There is also a time to let them go and try the best to figure things out solo- which is what I did after that novela when I no longer needed a tutor. Big languages have resources to help. There's the Diconário Informal for Portuguese which helps with slang. There's reverse engineering by using an L2's English-learning sites. For Portuguese I used (and occasionally still use) the Brazilian site English Experts to search for Portuguese words/expressions I don't know. They will show up 90% of the time in a search on the site. Their podcasts use mostly Portuguese and I found them a great help when I was learning.

I have also been known to record a clip on VLC media player. Then I can post it on twitter asking L2 speakers for help. Of course, you have to have some L2 followers or a good hashtag.

Sure, it's easier with subtitles, but figuring things out on one's own can really make a big difference in making the words memorable, at least to me. It takes some work. Nothing worth having "comes with ease"- despite what the course hype tells us.
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Re: Best approach to working with audio (or audio-visual) materials without transcripts

Postby Deinonysus » Sat Jun 12, 2021 10:46 pm

tommus wrote:
iguanamon wrote:My task was to watch a Brazilian novela- 80 episodes and no subs, no transcript. I did find written synopses and a forum which all helped. My tutor had me write down unknown words and expressions with time stamps, which I did.

How do you write down unknown words? It seems like the spelling error rate would be quite high.

Everyone talks about the importance of using "comprehensible input". Aren't subtitles a key part of "comprehensible input", even at an advanced level, especially if you don't have the luxury of a regular tutor?
There is a great quote from Matilda: "Don’t worry about the bits you can’t understand. Sit back and allow the words to wash around you, like music."

If you stop worrying about what you don't understand, you may be surprised how well you follow what you're watching with what you do understand.

That said, I don't generally have much trouble looking a word up if it's really bugging me. If your language isn't that phonetic it may take you a few tries to guess the spelling but it's generally doable.
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