Author Archives: Karolina Grzech

The language-speaker relationship

Dear All,

At Language Landscape, we have decided to re-design our database a bit in 2017. We have recently realised that for all the amazing recordings we have on the website, we actually know very little about how the people who made them and appear in them relate to the languages they speak. At present, when users add recordings to the website, we have no way of knowing – other than listening to them and trying to evaluate their fluency – what their relationship is to the language they chose to record.

We want to include some parameters on the website that would allow us to quantify this in a more precise manner. So far we have thought of three aspects that clarify the speaker-language relationship:

1) The speaker’s relationship to the place where the recording was made (local, tourist, temporary resident,….)

2) language proficiency (fluent, intermediate, beginner,…..)

3) The speaker’s relationship to the language  (mother-tongue, one of multiple mother-tongues, language of education, heritage language, …..)

We really hope to get this right from the start, and that’s why we would like to hear what you think about these categories, and what your thoughts are on any additional categories or choices we should give to our users. The reason for including this extra information is to make the data on the website more transparent, and also easier to use in language-related research.

It would be great to know your thoughts on the relationship of the speaker to the language. We’d also appreciate suggestions for any relevant readings!

Do It Video

After successfully launching the 1.0 version of the website, we started looking for new ideas on how to improve Language Landscape. Because of the feedback we were getting about the upload process, we decided we should explain it better. This is how the idea of the Do It Video emerged.

DIV will be a short, animated clip, explaining how to contribute recordings to the website. The use of language will be limited to the minimum, in order to make it accessible to people from all linguistic backgrounds. To make the shooting process simple and cheap, we will record actors’ silhouettes on greenscreen and add effects and animations to that image showing people uploading recordings to the Language Landscape using different types of devices (see picture below). The images will be accompanied by a soundtrack composed specially for the DIV.

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The idea is simple, but we still need some resources to make it happen. That is why some time ago we have launched a crowd funding campaign: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/language-landscape-do-it-video . So far, we’ve managed to raise almost 50% of our intended goal. This is great, but the campaign will be ending in 5 days, and the other 50% is still missing. Please spread the word about it and support us, and soon you will see Language Landscape getting even better with our great animated DIY. 

Also, a massive thank you to all those who have supported the campaign so far!