transcribing from video

Valerie Sutton signwriting at MAC.COM
Tue Jan 2 03:10:44 UTC 2007

SignWriting List
January 1, 2007

Ha! We could use ELAN in the SW Video Transcription course if you would be a fun example for the ELAN developers, showing them  
how SignWriting could write their analysis. We could take an ASL  
video we own, like Darline Clark Gunsauls ASL version of Sleeping  
Beauty, or Kevin's signing of the One Harbor poem, and use ELAN and  
then write the results ELAN gives us...

But I am worried now that it is getting too complicated...I just  
wanted to help Kim and it doesn't seem this is meeting her needs ...  
Kim...if you have a Quicktime version of the video you are  
transcribing, the ELAN could help you apparently... but the question  
is...are you able to create a Quicktime from the video you are  

Thanks for informing us about ELAN, Stuart...and if you want to use  
it that will be fine...Val ;-)


On Jan 1, 2007, at 6:45 PM, Stuart Thiessen wrote:

> I should also add that there is a little bit of a learning curve to  
> learning the program. I recommend the Getting Started Guide that is  
> available on that page that I mention below. I am also available to  
> help with questions you might have since I have some experience  
> with the program. Once you learn how to use it, I think it will  
> become a valued part of your toolkit.
> Thanks,
> Stuart
> On Jan 1, 2007, at 20:41, Stuart Thiessen wrote:
>> Another helpful tool related to viewing and analyzing video data  
>> is the ELAN program. Very excellent software. It can be used to do  
>> linguistic analysis, but what I like about it is that I can do the  
>> initial analysis of a text to separate it into its logical parts.  
>> Then you can just play back sections of the text and even have it  
>> loop again and again. You can also adjust the speed of playback so  
>> that as it repeats it also does it slower or faster.
>> Here is the link:  The program  
>> is available for both Mac and Windows. It is written in Java so it  
>> should be pretty portable. It accepts video files in a Quicktime- 
>> compatible format. So, it might not accept WMV quite as well.
>> Worth looking at for the analysis and transcription process. Maybe  
>> someday we can actually write in SW in ELAN. Keep dreaming ... it  
>> will happen. :)
>> Thanks,
>> Stuart
>> On Jan 1, 2007, at 19:28, Kimberley Shaw wrote:
>>> Hello Shane:
>>> point taken! I'll try to have more patience as practicing
>>> transcription continues.
>>> And captioners do indeed impressive and often thankless work.
>>> -- Kim from Boston
>>> On 1/1/07, Shane Gilchrist O hEorpa  
>>> <shane.gilchrist.oheorpa at> wrote:
>>>> Kim,
>>>> u ll have to use your memory to develop a 'mind-mapping' technique
>>>> can be annoyed at first - its the same with subtitle makers - they
>>>> have to go thru stuff over and over to get the words in right.
>>>> Shane
>>>> On 01/01/07, James Shepard-Kegl, Esq. <kegl at> wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> >  Kimberley,
>>>> >
>>>> >  Imagine Gutenburg creating a page block by block -- very time  
>>>> consuming.
>>>> > But once done, thousands (or today, millions) of copies can be  
>>>> made in
>>>> short
>>>> > order.
>>>> >
>>>> >  Two words of advice:
>>>> >  1) If you don't sign, get a signer to assist you.  (You would  
>>>> not want to
>>>> > confuse an involuntary twitch with a grammatical marker.)
>>>> >  2) The process becomes easier with practice (and a decent  
>>>> glossary file).
>>>> > But, it is still labor intensive, so plan your time accordingly.
>>>> >
>>>> >  -- James
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >  on 1/1/07 12:53 AM, Kimberley Shaw at skifoot at wrote:
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> > Hello all:
>>>> >  and a very happy New Year to you all!
>>>> >  Val, I only get more and more impressed by the day by the  
>>>> things you have
>>>> > done! I have been trying to transcribe a poem of Ella Mae  
>>>> Lentz ("Travels
>>>> > with Malz"), and it has become an exercise in frustration.As  
>>>> an ASL
>>>> student
>>>> > who has just been placed into a 2nd-year ASL class at a  
>>>> univiersity level,
>>>> I
>>>> > am trying to figure out why it is being so diffficult to  
>>>> simply write down
>>>> > sentence by sentence from the VHS (no, the video her poem is  
>>>> on has never
>>>> > been released to DVD, alas), and I am wondering how on earth  
>>>> you were able
>>>> > to transcribe from video when you were not yet a signer.
>>>> >  Was it the dance training?
>>>> >  Have all of you other signwriters got some special wisdom to  
>>>> share with
>>>> me?
>>>> >  Or just useful tips?
>>>> >  You don't even want to know how many times I have had to hit  
>>>> "pause" and
>>>> > "rewind" just to get the first sentence down on paper.
>>>> >  All the best,
>>>> >  Kim from Boston
>>>> >
>>>> >
>>>> >

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