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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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Summary Details

Query:   Forensic Transcription - Experiment Results
Author:  Helen Fraser
Submitter Email:  click here to access email
Linguistic LingField(s):   Phonetics
Forensic Linguistics

Summary:   Dear LINGUIST List,

Some of you may remember last year I called for participants in an experiment on forensic transcription (= use of hard-to-hear covert recordings as evidence in criminal cases). Many thanks, again, to those who took part. (If you left your email address you should have heard from me already some time ago - I hope I did not miss anyone.)

The results have now been compiled, and though they are not yet published, I have added a summary of the clearest findings to a new website on forensic transcription. (links below)

Please feel free to have a look at the results or the site more generally - and of course I welcome comments, questions or discussion.

The website also contains a link inviting you to do something called 'the pact mini-experiment'. Please note this is not the same as the main experiment from last year. It is intended as an 'experience' to introduce people to some of the problems of forensic transcription (though the results have proved useful - participants can read about them with a password provided at the end).

The mini-experiment is far more interesting to participants than the rather difficult main experiment, so even if you did the main experiment at the time you might well enjoy this new one. Especially if you tried the main experiment but found it hard going, I would recommend giving this one a go. It has had a wide range of participants and most rate it 'very interesting'. But up to you of course!

In case you want to do it free of presuppositions from reading the website, follow the direct link below.

Any problems - please do let me know.

All the best,


Website: http://forensictranscription.com.au

Straight to last year's experiment results: http://forensictranscription.com.au/the-main-pact-experiment-results/

Straight to pact mini-experiment: https://qasiatrial.asia.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_cU4dChD447wDj7L

Dr Helen Fraser

LL Issue: 24.2221
Date Posted: 29-May-2013


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