Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures in transcription

One of the things I enjoy most about this job is the variety. For the last few days, I've been transcribing a journal that one of the mission trips composed on a trip to a far away place last summer.

I am really enjoying the stories, and today, I realized that I am also rewriting bits of them.

The journal was passed around so that each team member was able to handwrite an entry. I've been reading and interpreting fonts that aren't really of this universe yet. My own handwriting is a challenge;one that has come in handy on occasion. My girls haven't been able to decipher holiday shopping lists for years. whew.

I've been wrapped up in the stories as I've been typing them from scribble to keyboard type, and today, I realized that I may be getting some of the story not quite right. The front desk receptionist and I chipped away at a few of the unintelligible words today, she's an expert- being a sudoko warrior.

There was one word that neither of us could quite get, though, so I asked for some help from one of my staff pals.

The paragraph involved celebration and a crowd and another "c" word. I was able to pull apart all the other words in the grouping except for this one. Dag nabbit. My friend breezed through the paragraph, hesitating only slightly when she got to the mystery "c" word. Her reading was different than my transcription, though. Hmmm.

I gave the journal to another passer-by and asked for a reading of this paragraph and they came up with the same thing. Good guesses for all words and only slight hesitation on my challenge word.

My friend asked me to read what I thought it was and before I had gotten half way through the piece, she had to take a break- catch her breath- put her teeth back into her mouth. Her laughter shook my plants right out of their pots.

Her reading went something like this:We went to a celebration and luncheon this afternoon Our bus pulled into a crowd with costumed dancers, a tent area with chairs, tables and a large crowd gathered to celebrate the young children...

Mine went this way: We attended a celebration and luncheon. This afternoon, our bus pulled into a crowd with Costumgo Dancans, a tent area with chairs, tables and a lance crown gangled to celebrate the young children.

I was wondering a few things as I typed. Who the heck was Costumgo Dancans, and was it a cultural thing to celebrate children with lance crowns and whatever those were, they didn't sound too kid friendly.

My friend rolled her way downstairs to her office and shot off an email to me asking to speak with Costumgo. Funny, very funny. Then, her youngest son called me and asked to speak with Mr. Dancans. I told him to hold while i transferred him to his voicemail and then I hung up.

I've pretty much decided to attach a copy of the original journal with my transcription. That way, the readers can choose whichever version they prefer.


Anonymous said...

Can't wait to read it - you didn't ask those of us in the kitchen- there were a few English teachers there! Loonygin

Anonymous said...

I'm certain that Mr. Costumgo Dankans will be missed by one and all.
Love, Your Staff Buddy

Church Lady Chronic-ails said...

Later on in the text editing, I came across "We saw Marry Sanana Tret" I figured it was many banana trees and made the change. and I thought interpreting 2 year old speak was a challenge!!