Transcribing

These days I’m transcribing the interviews from my trip to Bergen. Normally, I’d put that task out to someone else, because it’s so extremely time-consuming. However, I’ve[1] decided to do two interviews myself to get into the feel of the interviews. So I’m sitting there with the foot pedal and a Word document, going back and forth every four seconds or so. It’s a grueling thing. After half an hour, I check to see how far I’ve come in the interview: Exactly, on the second, five minutes. And it’s more than an hour of tape to transcribe.

But that isn’t the worst part of it. No, the worst is how ridiculous it sounds, listening to yourself stammering, backtracking, changing sentences mid-ways through and generally sounding like I hardly know how to speak. Luckily, so do my informants, and somehow, the conversation comes along nicely[2]. It’s still somehow both boring and embarrassing to listen to, so I’ll be glad when I’m done. From now on, only statistics or document analysis for me.

[1] Read: my adviser.

[2] Wittgenstein had something to say about how people manage to communicate orally despite hardly ever pronouncing a sentence where two words are correctly placed in relation to each other. It was thanks to thinking about these things he completely turned around in his view of language.

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