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Thursday, October 20th 2011, 10:53am

English Team Organization

Quoted

By Queurious:
Hey buds! I just wanted to let you know that I'm pretty good with final reviews, and since they don't require much time, I am up to the task for doing any amount of them (even if others have been "assigned" to it). I'll continue to work on individual proofreading and transcribing tasks less liberally, as they do take more time.

Thanks :kewl:
by nomada:
The 2nd round of proofreading, as well as the final review, should be done by different persons than the transcriber and 1st proofreaders, and preferentially someone who has some proofreading time on his/her back considering that there are many details on our guidelines that were included over time and the final review is the FINAL MOMENT before a project is open for translation. As we lack volunteers and we do this in our spear time, it would be great that we have a strategy well defined and that no one rushes any project but tries to perfected and improve the methods as we go.

I see a participation from everyone in every stage of the process - transcribing, round 1, round 2 - as a big plus, because it will allow for a feedback between each others through the Proofreading Notes pads, the list of recurring errors, updating the glossary and the this English section of the forum for suggestions into improving the overall process.

I feel secure with Di Ana, Vixi and MrB (MrB away for a while now) being doing the final reviews until now, because they do have many proofreading hours on these videos, feedback and improvement of the guidelines and process in general and/or professional background. I have no ability to evaluate if the others are technically skilled as I am not even skilled to proofread, as you all can notice on my replies
And that is why my suggestion for participation in all stages. The feedback between everyone and auto-evaluation will allow for each of us to know what are our best contribution.

As we are in this point, there have been some thinking for a long time now and a suggestion from Querious too, on improving the process right on the transcription stage. This stage is usually a "door" for the English team, where new volunteers join, as they are attracted to complete any specific video that they like. That is why all videos in the transcription stage are editable by any dotsub user and not protected/restricted as in the proofreading stage, ending up being done by non-English natives.
But maybe we could indeed make the transcription more "professional". Bruno transcribed some of the videos offline, using VisualSubSync, the same tool we use for timeshifting offline, and by the time of the timeshifting I didnt had to do almost anything. I imagine, knowing Bruno's skills in English - and that VisualSubSync has a spellchecker - that there isn't much to correct in orthography or grammatics in those videos and everything will flow much easier. So this is another approach to consider. But, for me at least, and with my weak skills in English, to transcribe a video according to the string structure guidelines, synchronized, and possibly interpreting an accent and researching terms that I don't know or am not sure of what they are saying, might be a really long task!!! Maybe not so much for an English native??
I suggested this to a new English native volunteer that lives in China and so to help offline is maybe his only possibility, as they don't access dotsub there. Lets see what he answers

Love :love:
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  • "Di Anna" is female

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Thursday, October 20th 2011, 2:55pm

Dear Super Wonderful LingTeam,

As I have proofed on each stage from 1st to 2nd, to final reviews, I have these thoughts for everyone: First, the role of each step in the process is equally valuable. The more eyes and ears involved, the better the end product will be. Second, I have not in any way found the Final Reviewing less time consuming than the other stages. Because I am aware that "this is it", before our dedicated translators start their work, I have spent more time proofing at this stage than in the others. It is here that I often stop to add notes to the notepad and the glossary. Also, I may have university degrees in English and teacher certification, but none of that has helped me learn the "conventions" that we as a LingTeam have decided upon. Things like "no commas at ends of lines" and omissions of colons/commas before direct quotes, or just how to edit superfluous words and phrases like "well, so," or PJ's "if you will," are proofing practices that "just take practice" as well as time. I find that the more I do it, the more I learn about how to do it, and this is always emerging, changing as we as a team decide the best conventions for clarity and purpose.

Oh, golly. I'm not sure I've been much help with this comment. I am now well aware that as anxious as I am to do the job, I can't do a good job quickly. It's tedious, but I love it! I love it because I feel it's the most worthwhile task of my day (well, except perhaps for tweeting ZeitNews :giggle: ). And I love it because I learn from doing it. Having said that, I am more than happy to be a 1st proofer, 2nd proofer, or a final proofer. And I stand in awe of our coordinators who keep this ball rolling, and I'm proud to be a part of this Team.

Love to all,
Di
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  • "JonWhit" is male

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Friday, October 21st 2011, 1:07am

Seeing our test grades

I'm probably too new to know about this subject but I, like everyone else here like to help out when I can.

My thought is that I learned best from the feed back I got when I got my tests back. The questions I missed are obviously the areas I need to know more about. When I pick out vid to process, I tend to do it rather randomly and may or may not ever look at it again. I would love to go back after it is completed and see what was done to it after I had my turn. Especially after the final review. Perhaps, a link emailed to me by the admin or FR until I feel confident .?.

:clown: Isn't it funny that someone will offer "a penny for your thoughts", yet you always put your two cents worth in even when no one asked for it? :pinch:
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Friday, October 21st 2011, 2:05am

Know what, JonWhit? I think that's a good idea too. If we become really close as a team, I don't see why we just can't communicate via PM to the proofer who did the session before us as noted on the Wiki. That is, if we see anything worth mentioning?? I would love that too. Yepper, I think feedback is VERY, VERY GOOD!
Great idea! :idea:
Maybe we could talk about this at the meeting on Saturday??? I hope you'll be there! :smiley:
((hugs)) from me,
Di
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  • "Queurious" is male

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Friday, October 21st 2011, 10:45pm

Just a quick comment (I may edit this post)...

I think the way we construct subtitles, through everyone pitching in on DotSub, is very flawed. As my first time proofreading I found it very difficult and time consuming to analyse each string and compare it to others so that I can make the appropriate adjustments; when I could have just done it in the beginning myself in a much shorter span of time. I do not mean to insult anyone by this, or imply that only native English speakers - or equivalents - should participate in the transcription/proofreading process. Instead, I propose that we (anyone) gather the transcription in a general format, such as a word document, and then pass them on to competent timeshifters/proofreaders; who can space and insert them appropriately.

I also feel that the way all the information regarding the linguistic team is organized, is confusing, difficult to find, and too spread out. We have a wiki, subtitle editing website, forum, Google documents, separate translation website, and who knows what else :ummm: . It will be very difficult for me to continue on these projects if we cannot find an alternate process or organization method.

-Just an aside to that, I also don't know if we're affiliated with The Zeitgeist Movement or The Venus Project, and if that impacts the structuring of our websites and tools.

So, how do we go about organizing ourselves so that we can be efficient and very productive? I'm just a newbie here and have no influence on the design of the website and choice of tools, so I pose this question to those who do have the influence.

And just a comment on my private message to nomada... I did not know that this would become quoted in a public message, so allow me to clarify.
- I did not know how many people were involved with this project and if there were selected final reviewers, I do apologize.
- I witnessed many transcriptions in the final review process and thought that final reviewers were needed, so I made such a comment.
- I requested to participate in final reviews as a way of me helping with the analysis of the accuracy of the subtitles, not be a "sole final reviewer".

---To be continued... :whistle: ---

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Saturday, October 22nd 2011, 1:31am

A reply...

I think the way we construct subtitles, through everyone pitching in on dotSUB, is very flawed. As my first time proofreading I found it very difficult and time consuming to analyse each string and compare it to others so that I can make the appropriate adjustments; when I could have just done it in the beginning myself in a much shorter span of time.


Dear Queurious,
Thank you for this comment. There's no doubt that every tool we use for our transcription and proofreading is surely flawed in one way or the other. We are all searching for better ways of doing things, and I too have found it frustrating when technologies that were strange to me (like dotSUB, Wiki, forums, etc.) were not what I expected them to be. There may be better methods and methodologies, but I am not that expertise to know what they are. Because I don't know better ways, I am willing to simply "do", where we are now-- if it's the 1st proofing, 2nd proofing, final proofing, etc. And I am grateful to learn from anyone who comes before me or after me. We are all just one team, you know, and yes...supporting both TVP and TZM, trying to find the best way to spread this message to the world. Perhaps your idea is better than what has been done before. If so, I am sure it will emerge as the best. But this much I know...none of us can "just do it ourselves", because we all need each other to progress. I know that my eyes and ears are not reliable enough for me to do it all by myself, no matter what technological tool is used. I need to learn from others. And such an important message as ours may take some time to translate to the world. But whatever it takes, it's worth it!

In peace,
Di
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  • "Queurious" is male

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Saturday, October 22nd 2011, 1:51am

Perhaps your idea is better than what has been done before. If so, I am sure it will emerge as the best. But this much I know...none of us can "just do it ourselves", because we all need each other to progress.


I really don't know what the point to your entire comment was. Again, I'm not insulting you, but I just did not understand what you were trying to say from a technical perspective.

As for the "just doing it ourselves"... I never had the intention to convey that I can "do everything myself", I just simply wanted to point out how flawed the method was and that the time it took to correct all the errors would have best been spent if I had the opportunity to transcribe that part myself. (The transcription/proofreading on individual strings is VERY INEFFICIENT)

----I also don't want people spending 5 hours transcribing something when someone will just go back and start deleting and editing entire strings (I don't want people wasting their time)

I'm sure if we found a way to recognize everyone's ability before they began doing some task and allow them to apply their better skills in the respective areas - as well as help them improve in whatever they wish - it would be much better than opening a video to everyone. (I noticed while doing my first proofreading that it was very messy on everyone's part, including myself)

The message I want to convey is that people can often become stuck with the tools they have and not seek out new ones. I'm sure we have experienced members that can organize our system into a better format than what we have right now.

So, if nomada, bruno, or other experienced members want to comment on this and maybe organize a new method, please, let me hear your ideas!

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Saturday, October 22nd 2011, 2:41am

The message I want to convey is that people can often become stuck with the tools they have and not seek out new ones. I'm sure we have experienced members that can organize our system into a better format than what we have right now.


I take no offense, Queurious. I just don't know enough about the technologies to know what's better. Maybe you know another way (or tools) to organize our system into a better format? Well, that would be great! I definitely think it's something we need to work on together. Do you plan to attend the meeting tomorrow on TeamSpeak? This would be a good time to bring up your ideas, and then everyone could weigh in.

Hope you can be there,
Di :)
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  • "brunodc" is male

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Saturday, October 22nd 2011, 9:13am

First of all, I want to say how much I appreciate this forum thread, which I think is the best conversation we've had in this forum so far. Not only does it provides us is some much needed feedback, but it also allows us to see exactly what we could improve in our system, which is hard to do when you're IN the system (sound familiar?).

About being more efficient : whenever we're talking about a technical task, the issue of competence and skills is always on the table.

It is obvious that the process could be streamlined so as to be able to finish any project within days and not months. If transcribers use a proper tool, they can deliver a guidelines-compliant subtitle file, with spot on timestamps and no spelling mistakes (because they've used a spellchecker) which would facilitate everyone's work going forward. But unless we find professionals who are accustomed to following that kind of process, we'll have to rely on volunteers to learn it, which implies that they're going to make mistakes. And we totally accept that because in the end, we have a sharp timeshifter/proofreader/transcriber who's "LTI-ready". We give everyone an opportunity to go through this learning curve, which is why the group is wide open.

The problem is that very few people stick around, which means that we lose the benefit of that precious experience and we still have to rely on newcomers to do some of the work, which explains in part why it takes to long to get anything done. We don't have enough of a core team in the English department, let alone in the most technical groups like the timeshifting unit, which, for months now has been consisting of Rodrigo and I. And you'll find that this is a problem across most teams and that means that the coordinators don't have enough time to streamline the process because they have to be a part of the process. Coordinators should facilitate everyone's work, not do it themselves!

About the issue of the multiplicity of tools: again, it comes down to competence. We want nothing but to keep things simple, but the process of creating that unified set of tools requires some serious development skills that we don't have at the moment. That being said, we still have to go forward, so everyone uses the tools that they're familiar with and which they feel will help the community engage with those tasks.

We are currently in the process of building a website that would eventually serve that purpose of unification, but we need some serious extra brain power to accomplish this. There are so many things that need doing! The lack of volunteers means that we end up filling 2,3,5,10 roles at the same time, which is completely inefficient because we can't truly focus on a single project, but again, we have to move forward and we step up when things need doing!

We never lack ideas. If you ask Ray, he laid out a map of the whole LTI process 2 years ago, just like Jacque came out with the blueprint of a circular city some 50 years ago. The transformation of these mind maps into a streamlined, universally applied system takes experimenting and is always a work in progress, which consumes a lot of resources. The resources are there, somewhere, but we can't tap into them because we're not doing a good enough job of promoting our needs. That is why the Public Relations taskforce was created.

I won't develop things further because the post will be too long, but I hope this helped. I reiterate what our sweet Di Anna said in an earlier post, that the meetings are the perfect place to discuss those issues :)

I hope to see you there.

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  • "nomada" started this thread

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Saturday, October 22nd 2011, 6:37pm

Yeah!! This forum thread is revealing amazing stuff! Perspectives, difficulties, questions (I think we need more of these so answers can be given or searched in those directions 8) ) and suggestions. From old members and newcomers, which is great!!! We rarely have the second one as, usually, a new volunteer, absorted with all this info, don't even have time to breath let alone brainstorm solutions :hypno: Thank you for being around, Queurious and jonwhit. :bighug:
I am glad I have put this subject in this thread. I am glad you are all participating with your best. I am super glad we have your knowledge and availability Di :loveya: And I am glad you came here with your always amazing ability of giving a step back and show the big picture, Bruno :star: I was having a hard time with that, hehe.

I guess that today in the meeting, Ray will fill us with information, news and important reminds, like he always does. That will be nice for us to see the big picture, how the English team has a very central role in all of this and how can we respond to it with the awareness of our abilities. Maybe we can remember to ask for some feedback from the Language Teams on the transcriptions that we are passing onto them? :seymour:

I wonder what Julie (gentlejewl) and Iskren have to say. Hope they can join and help in this development part.

hugs to all. Hope to see you soon in Team Speak :hangten:
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  • "nomada" started this thread

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Saturday, October 29th 2011, 6:12pm

English Transcriptions Team

Hi fellows! :smiley:
This last weeks I had the chance to timeshift several videos and compare situations in which they were transcribed. And that made me think of the possibility of creating a Transcriptions Team, focused both on dotsub transcriptions and offline transcriptions. First I will describe those comparisons between transcriptions, with examples, so you understand my motivation to post this idea here, and after that I will describe the idea 8)

1st, comparison of transcriptions and repercussions into timeshifting:
When I timeshifted the video "Peter Joseph 'when normality becomes distortion", which was transcribed by other language team volunteers who wanted the famous video ready for translations as soon as possible, I had a heavy reminding of the effort it is to timeshift videos that were transcribed without considering fully the guidelines (mostly made in 2 days rush ; That was the situation when I first joined the timeshifting team, long time ago :D ) And I timeshifted that video right after I did a couple of videos that were transcribed offline with VisualSubSync by Bruno (I link their profiles to help newcomers identify who is who :huh: hehe) , so they were almost clean already when I touched them. It was a big difference between these 2 experiences.
The video I am timeshifting now - Jacque Fresco on Global Sustainability - was transcribed by Rakosnicek; he transcribes in dotsub and did a great job!!! really easy to go through it. Not many strings to split, every situation I have to review is almost subjective if I should change or not, so the only thing to be done is the synchronization, which can be perfect only when doing it offline with VisualSubSync, for example.

2nd, the Transcriptions team idea:
Because the difference of flow between projects can change as much as several days, depending if they started with a good transcription or not, I think it is worth to focus into building a Transcriptions Team. That means, having a group of English Team members that, independently of their focus at a certain time, are good transcribers and can jump in the next sensational video to transcribe it before other hungry volunteers, not familiarized with our guidelines, jump into it.
The idea is to make tutorials on how to do transcriptions offline, using VisualSubSync for windows, and Mac if possible or another tool, and SubtitleEditor for Linux. These tools allow for a rigorous synchronization of the subtitles with the sound because of the sound wave graphic; they display information on the number of characters/string and ratio characters/second, both very usefull infos in order to make decisions on the string structure building; and include, often, a spellchecker. All these features would make the transcribing process much more technical and so much more interesting for new volunteers, at the same time that the results would ease the work in all other stages - timeshifting and English proofreading.

This team building project, if going forward, would need some strong following and support to the volunteers who would like to integrate it. It kind of started already because the first thing I did was to prospect for the reception of this idea by the LTI facebook users (3 volunteered and 1 already started to learn the offline tool) and to prospect for the availability from Iskren (timeshifter) to help developing it. Sorry that i took this initiative without posting here or asking. Well, I am doing now. What do you think? :eyeroll:

Here is a pad where we are making a script for the tutorials on "How to transcribe using an offline tool".
http://piratepad.net/TimeshiftingTutorial

feel free to expand this thread into a 7 miles size enlightening project ;)

hugs
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