Create Introduction Text
The introduction text is the first part of the recorded text test. It provides the test subject with basic information about the purpose of the test and explains how to respond to the text and questions contained in the test. It may also encourage the subject and assuage his or her concerns about the test. A well written introduction has the potential to reduce errors associated with exposure to new technology and procedures. It is always translated and recorded into the test point language.
- The following steps will guide you through the process of translating and recording an introduction text using a MiniDisc (MD) recorder.
- Translate your introduction text into the LWC that you use on survey. Remember who your audience is and use wording that accounts for and respects the differences between your culture and the one you're working in.
- Find two mother tongue speakers of the test point language who also speak the LWC and can serve as translator and back translator. (The back translator does not need to be present until Step 11.)
- Explain to the first that after you read each sentence you would like him or her to translate and repeat it to you in the test point language.
- Practice the first few sentences this way, until he or she is comfortable with the process.
- If the translator appears to be struggling with these sentences, dismiss him or her with tact and thanks, then look for another translator.
- Set up the MD equipment for recording
- Negotiate a cue to help the translator to know when to repeat the sentence a second time in the test language (e.g. when you move the microphone closer, or when you gently move your hand, etc.). Practice this sequence of speech and cues to be sure that you are both ready.
- Record the introduction text. Read the first sentence and have the translator repeat the sentence back to you in the test point language. After he repeats it, begin recording and give the translator the cue to repeat it again in the test point language.
- Pause the machine. Do not mark the track. The entire introduction text should be recorded onto a single track.
- Repeat Steps 8 and 9 with the other sentences in the introduction text.
- Play the full introduction text for the back translator, pausing after each sentence to elicit his or her interpretation of the text.
- If there are errors in the translation that change the meaning of the text you wrote, make corrections and check the translation again.
- When you have an acceptable translation and recording, label the MD with the track number, title, and language of the introduction text. (Example: "Track 43: Sirba village intro text")
- Thank the translators for their help.
Introduction Text and Transition Examples
Here are two examples of introduction texts. The first is for a pilot test, and the second is for a final test. Please note that even though the second example mentions government authorization and cooperation, such a statement may not be appropriate for the places where you work.
Pilot test introduction
"Thank you for helping us learn about your language. You will hear two stories in your language. First you will hear a short story and then you will hear a longer one. When you hear a question, please answer it. We are doing this because we want to use this test to find out how well people in other villages can understand your language. Before we go to other villages, we have to be sure that we have made good questions. They are not meant to be difficult or confusing. You are helping us with this work by listening to the stories and answering the questions."
Final test introduction
"We are currently working with the regional government on a study of the Gumuz language. We have recorded some stories with this machine and would like you to listen to them. Some of the stories will be easy to understand and some of them will not be so easy. Each story will also contain some questions. Please listen to the stories carefully. When you hear a question, we will pause the machine. When we stop the machine, please answer the question. You may use Gumuz when you answer the question. Here is the first story …."
Whether the transitions statements are said live or pre-recorded, you will need to plan what you will say and how you will say it in the local language or LWC.
During the actual test situation, pause the player after the introduction and have the language helper ask questions such as, "Do you understand?" and "Can you hear the sound clearly?" If the answer to both of these questions is "Yes," then proceed with the stories:
- "Here is the first story."
[Practice story]<ref>Some surveyors use practice tests to help subjects get used to the text test format or screen out subjects who are wholly unable to take such a test. Other surveyors rely on the hometown test to do this. The choice depends on your experience with and knowledge of the culture you're working in. </ref>
- "Now you will hear this story again with questions. When you hear a question, please answer it. "
[Practice story with questions]
- "Now you will hear a longer story."
- "Now you will hear this story again with questions. When you hear a question, please answer it."
[Test story with questions]