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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Query Details

Query Subject:   recording telephone conversations
Author:   Suzanne K Hilgendorf
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Linguistic LingField(s):  Computational Linguistics
General Linguistics

Query:   Has anyone had any experience in recording telephone conversations, or
would anyone know what technology is available to do so?

I've travelled to Germany to conduct research on English use within
the country. At the moment I'm trying to arrange interviews with
business managers, and am discovering that many would rather discuss
the subject over the phone than in person (I assume because it's more
convenient and flexible). A government official made the same request
earlier this week, and it was frustrating to be left with only
skeletal notes after our 45 minute telephone call.

I had planned on using a small dictating recorder, but now wonder if
there isn't some other means of doing this. A visit to a major
electronics store here in Berlin also was disappointing; the employees
knew of no software for example for doing this via a telephone hook-up
on the computer, and the one dictating recorder with a telephone
adapter gave a rather poor quality of recording. In the end, the best
they could suggest was purchasing a better quality recorder and taping
the conversation ''open air'' via speaker phone.

I've reviewed the archive of LINGUIST postings, but was unable to find
any good alternatives.

Should you have any ideas or suggestions from personal experiences,
please reply to me personally. If there is interest, I'll be happy to
post a summary of replies to the list.

Many thanks!

Suzanne K. Hilgendorf
German and Slavic Studies
Wayne State University
LL Issue: 13.926
Date posted: 03-Apr-2002


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