Archive for the ‘Interpreting’ Category

Interpreting against audio files sources with live feedback in Sanako Study 1200

  1. How will we be recording
    1. Individual recording
      1. Voice insert: student control how much time they have interpreting
        1. students can stop the source where they want, they can rewind and review the source, they can overwrite their initial interpretation, they can interpret at the speed they want.
        2. We could insert cues at sentence ends in the source; and also (but little need,) slow the source down or insert pauses
      2. Student track
        1. students have to follow along at the speed of the source can stop the source where they want, they can rewind and review the source;  they can with some difficulty overwrite their initial interpretation/
        2. More difficult: We likely should slow the source down or insert pauses
    2. Model imitation: like an exam,
      1. students all speak in parallel, without individual control
      2. Most difficult: We most likely need to slow the source audio down, including inserting pauses as "breathers")
  2. What audio track will we be collecting?
    1. If student saves manually, student can save either or both tracks , but need to be taught.
    2. If model imitation, we collect only student recording.
    3. If lock player/collect buffer, we collect both source and student track
    4. Listener can focus on one track by controlling the balance during playback:
    5. Listener can also split the audio tracks (= delete the source track),
      1. more easily (file / save as) in the sanako recorder
      2. More
  3. Teacher listening in
    1. Is always possible,
      1. just click the student icon in the classroom layout
      2. or use screen control / autoscan: the audio switches with the screen, this has a bit of overhead, and our computers are network are not the fastest, but we made some changes to optimize speed; best reserved for when you also need to see the student’s screen.
  4. Teacher speaking: Teacher providing on-the-fly feedback via "Discuss":
    1. Playlist Launch and open ( then you can stop each individual student (students do not work in sync, remote-controlled) .
    2. Model imitation ( : then you cannot talk to one (all students record in sync).
    3. Teacher providing non-live feedback :
      1. Teacher can provide aural feedback later when grading the student submissions from your office pc:
        1. How a teacher can use Sanako voice insert to easily add spoken comments to students’ Sanako oral proficiency exams- step–by step
        2. We recorded here how it is being done for Business Spanish: Protected: How a teacher can give students aural feedback on oral exams using the Sanako Study 1200 Lite Recorder
        3. For that voice-insert, you need to install the Sanako Recorder on your office PC.

    Slowing source audio for interpreting classes in the digital audio lab

    1. To judge from listening to Simult. Lesson 1, text 2 on Acebo Interpreter’s Edge (ISBN 1880594323), I am wondering  whether some of our students (= personalization) would need this audio to be simplified, to gain the benefit of a well-adjusted i+1?  I can pre-process the audio :
      1. Where the flatlines = natural pauses are in above graph, insert a audio signal as where students can press voice insert recording,  Example: clip_image001
      2. We can also  insert a pause and a cue at the beginning and end to set students a limit how long they can interpret, but if students operate  the player manually, there is no teacher control and no exam condition, and the students having to manage the technology tends to distract from the language practice.
      3. Slow down the audio without changing the pitch (just have to make sure not to overdo it, else will sound like drunken speech  – my time stretching software would be able to avoid “drunken speech” syndrome, but I have not been able to work on it since briefly for IALLT in Summer 2011 for 3 years now…)
        1. clip_image002
        2. clip_image003
      4. We can use this adjusted with the Sanako grouping feature to personalize instruction (find the right i+1 for each of your student, useful if there are considerable variations in their proficiency): How to group students into sessions  (in 3 different ways)

    No usable dual track audio from Sanako Study 1200 version 7 when saving as MP3?

    1. We have not been using the dual track recording capabilities of the Sanako much here yet, or have relied on the diachronic separation of channels that the Sanako voice-insert mode provides. Now, however, we want to apply the Sanako to consecutive interpreting in our MA program where there is more of a need for the reviewing student/grading teacher to switch between source and target language on the recorded dual-track audio.
    2. As far as I remember, dual track recording, one of the core features of the digital audio lab, used to work out of the box in Sanako (up to version 5 on XP?), but to my surprise, no more when I saved a student exercise, the left and right channel were identical (and the source and interpreter voices very hard to separate, the entire interpretation impossible to follow).
      1. I had noticed before that with version 7 (at least, we skipped 6) all recording was dual channel, but simply duplicated the left and right audio channel (isn’t this a waste of bandwidth and storage resources?).
    3. I tested our 7.1 installation (on Windows 7 64-bit), by changing the advanced collection settings, for an interpreting audio file, clapping from the teacher station:
    4. First I changed the tracks to be saved:
    5. Test1: image.This mixes student and program down onto each channel: image
    6. Test 2: clip_image004, Program track only, as expected (no clapping)clip_image005
    7. Test 3: clip_image006 Student track, as expected (only clapping – pretty much)clip_image007
    8. Workaround: After trying whether I can save manually from the student station, it occurred to me to change the file format also
      1. WMA:
        1. dual track
          1. works with “Save AS” from the student.exe (where the mp# options is conspicuously absent, or am I missing something): image
          2. won’t work with “collect” from the tutor.exe: both tracks (saving both is – fortunately – only an option for “save as“ WMA from the  student exe. You can also save only the student track as WMA) get mixed down to one (and the student is far too soft) , as you can witness here: image
        2. WMA is a technically nice, efficient (small file size)  and widely supported format, but does require an add-on installation on the MacOS X, not to mention mobile devices.
        3. WMA on Windows plays in Windows Media Player, but from version 12, Windows Media Player has no easy way to adjust the balance anymore, you have to dig relatively deeply into the OS (mmsys.cpl) itself.
      2. MFF:
        1. dual track works also (saving single track is actually not an option in this format)both using
          1. the student recorder “Save as” (which can also mix both tracks, see above)
          2. “collect” from the tutor.exe: you can fade in the left and right channel with the balance tool that you find in the student recorder to the left of the timeline.
        2. Unfortunately,
            1. the file size quickly gets out of hand: image
            2. and for no obvious reason, the biggest here is 12 times the size, but not longer than the smallest, and also only a 5-minute recording (I know that mff stores also the user’s bookmark information, but  this can hardly be the culprit): image
            3. compare this with how WMA compresses: image
          1. MFF is a proprietary format, which only the Sanako recorder can play. This may be a nice way to get more adoption of the free Sanako student recorder which is great for language learning. However, I had not originally planned on forcing my users to use it who are most comfortable with mp3.
      3. In addition, I now have a the problem with how to switch the Sanako default collection to MFF for interpreting teachers without confusing regular users.

    How to use the Sanako dual-track audio recorder

    The Sanako Student Recorder (available for free here) allows you to listen on the source track while speaking/recording on the student track. Useful e.g. for interpreter practicing shadowing or simultaneous interpretation. It is as simple as pressing the red record and green play button:

    After recording and reviewing, click file/save, and choose your output format.

    Microsoft & the future of interpreting

    Microsoft is at it again: making predictions on the future of interpreting right at the beginning of their new “FUTURE VISION video: In 5-10 years, how will people get things done at work, at home, and on the go?”. The glasses should state “Interpreting” instead of “Translating”, yet anything that aids in cross-cultural communication would be most welcome. But will it happen in “5-10 years”? (This movie is also about the past: viewing it from their own site in Google’s Chrome brought down my computer with a BSOD relating to video driver (phone camera did not start up quite fast enough to capture it).

    Film-and-media-collection.xlsx online database under construction

    2011/10/13 1 comment

    Sneak preview (larger view here) of the searchable online database with internet background information lookup (Note: work in progress, hard-“head” area!):

    Friends of the UNCC-LRC can open this link in Excel-web-app (in your web browser, internet explorer or Firefox):

    More than one LRC assistant can edit the sheet at the same time, just not the same cell. so: if there is more than 1 lab assistant on duty, the one whose first name is closer to the end of the alphabet starts from the bottom row of the spreadsheet and works her way up

    Click on the link “try UPC lookup”,

    On the page that opens, if there is a picture of the movie with “buy from amazon”, right click on the link to, select “copy shortcut”, and paste the shortcut into the column “buy from amazon”

    Find the original movie title on the page, copy it into spreadsheet  column “UPC title original”,

    If there is title English translation, copy it into “UPC title English translation”

    Click on link “try worldcat”,  do the same as above with the spreadsheet columns “ISBN title original” and “translation”,

    How to conduct an easy oral exam with Sanako Study-1200 (Model imitation/Question Response) – Part I: The exam administrator’s perspective

    This 7-minute screencast explains how to operate the Study-1200 software interface to administer an oral exam, using as audio source the teacher, providing cues live:

    1. 0:00: from selecting the activity and program source,
    2. 1:50: over start and use of the autoscan screen control feature to monitor both audio and screen of the examined students
    3. 3:45: to ending the exam and automatic collection of the exam files.

    For an implementation during an actual class-wide oral exam, see Part II of the Study-1200 oral exam.

    No- and Low-cost Language Labs in a Tough Economy. Presentation EUROCALL 2009

    Or digitizing the London Metropolitan University City-of-London Conference Interpreting center.
    Or download a screencast of my presentation.