My number one hated stage in transcription work is segmenting. I would sit there fuming while manually segmenting the recordings I made before I could even start transcribing. It was frustrating because it seemed like something that a machine could to a relatively good approximation of instead of me sitting there for hours doing it for each file!
Luckily, it turns out that between Praat and ELAN, you can very easily have a decent approximation of segmentation done for you. Not perfect, but it saves HEAPS of time. If you have a ton of recordings to segment into units before you need to transcribe, this is the process for you!
Thank you to T. Mark Ellison for helping out with this heaps.
First load the sound file that you want to segment into Praat (Open > Read from File). Create a Praat Textgrid file based on silences.:
This next part is our best setting after a few trials:
The resulting text grid should look something like this:
The *** is where Praat has segmented for sound. It’s not perfect, but it gives a pretty good shot at things, and you can adjust the boundaries manually in Elan. Save this text grid now.
Import your Praat text grid:
Cheers Hedvig for letting me know that if you tick the “exclude silences” box, you can have ELAN automatically remove any empty segments from the Praat text file:
And you will have your segmented Praat text grid as a layer in Elan looking something like this!
The longest file we tried it on was a 1 hour recording of Samoan (cheers Hedvig Skirgård from Humans Who Read Grammars for providing the file!). It took about 8 minutes for Praat to segment. A 10 minute recording is done in no time.
Now be on your merry way setting up your tiers and transcribing to your hearts content 🙂