Okay David, let me rebut your rebuttal
I'm ready to MC this and most of the problems that I have here are not really issues with the project itself; but I'm seriously worried you'd burn yourself out on reading - and editing! - 34 hours worth of word pairs...
DavidReader wrote: ↑
July 14th, 2019, 9:52 pm
1. There is an absolute dearth of such similar project as far as I am aware of;
2. I guess Cantonese is spoken by nearly 100 million people in the world, and I think that it is worth letting English speaking people to have some inkling of how it sounds for an dialect spoken by so many people
And an audiobook is the best way to do that? I mean, you could be the next hit on youtube "HongKong Style" or something, if spreading the sound of the language is all you want, really.
Comments to the difficulties mentioned:
1. that "...the characters will be impossible to bring over to an audiobook":
This is exactly how this dictionary was presented that makes the above-mentioned difficulty of rendering the character to an audiobook disappears. The Chinese character meaning of the English word is followed by its phonetic symbols. Therefore, I will be reading both the Chinese character and the phonetic symbol at the same time.
Sorry, I was not clear what I meant. I realise that you will read the characters; the point I was trying to make is that if you intend this for learners of the language, the characters are very important. The sound can be exactly the same, but the meaning lies in the characters.
Looking at my Japanese dictionary here, the word "kyo" can mean bulletin or proceedings, clever, today, bad luck, capital, lord, sutra, a spiritual state of selflessness or uninhabited, interest or fun. The pronunciation is exactly the same, but without the kanji the meaning will be lost.
I understand that here, where you start out with the English, it's less of an issue, and of course in normal conversation the context will guide you, but this here is just a list of words.
This is the major issue:
3. difficulty for people to look up a single word:
i) I shall divide the whole work into 20 minutes each, stating for each section the starting word and the ending word. E.g. "section 3: Abuse to Arbitrator".
Good, but I think the sections are too long still. Since you get only a bit over 100 sections like this, I would suggest making 10 minute sections instead.
ii) To be even more searchable, we can add more details by stating the starting word for each minute of the section. E.g. "section 3: Abuse to Arbitrator; 2m: Account; 3m: Acquire;..." Thus, if someone wants to search "Achieve:, he/she can just search from the second to the third minute of the recording. With the versatility of Audacity, this annotations should not require too much extra work.
I don't understand what you mean here?
- You want to first record the whole 10 minutes, then add the beginning/ending word at each minute mark? That's violating our rule of "reading the text as it is written". If there is something like this on the top of each page (like modern dictionaries have), I'll let you get away with it, but if it isn't, that's a no-go I'm afraid.
- Or do you want to put text annotations into audacity? I'm pretty sure that these do not transfer over to the mp3, and even if they do for the files you deliver here, archive will make other derivatives and there is no guarantee that these will transfer.
4. that "the book is more than 100 years old: languages and pronunciations change etc...word looking for is not even in the book"
I find this a bit baffling. [snip] I admit that some of the Chinese equivalents stated seems a bit archaic and awkward (but most of them pretty accurate), but the listeners should also bear in mind the historical context of the work, and the fact that the compiler was a Scottish Protestant missionary in China who may not be totally conversant with the language. But I don't think people listening to it will treat it as a guide for their conversation with a contemporary Cantonese.
You/we have no control over where the project will end up and how. Yes, you may give all this information in the project summary and people downloading straight from LV or archive will see and (hopefully) heed it. But it's just as possible that somebody will take all your 34 hours of word pairs, cut them up and post them individually on youtube. And somehow I have the suspicion, there will be no commentary on where all this goodness is coming from.
As I said, I don't think a dictionary (no matter which language) makes a good audiobook, mostly because of restrictions of the format.
The question is probably:
- What do you want for the listener?
Do you want the listener just to get an idea of how Cantonese sounds? Then maybe recording books in Cantonese would be a better choice.
If you want the listener to really have a dictionary, then go for it!
- What listeners do you want?
Some English speaker who is interesting in learning Cantonese, then go for it!
Some a bit more advanced Cantonese speaker? Then maybe again, a novel would be a better choice imo.
I'm not questioning your determination here, because seeing what you do over in the Red Chamber, I'm pretty confident you'll push through once you get started.