Transcribing Authentic Videos

I used OTranscribe, an excellent tool. The aim was to help a pre-intermediate learner who is going to Vancouver in June to practice listening. Our current lesson is about places and learning how to talk about them/describing. I decided to use youtube short travel guides videos and add to the lesson. This one in particular was worked in class with her. It is the first time she tries something like this. We used the first 30 seconds in class. I played a group of words couple of times, asked her to write down what she heard, then played again and then I dictated for her the group of words just heard so she could compare with the previous attempt.

I assigned the other 2 minutes for homepractice. I transcribed it myself and instructed her to do it herself in her own time, and then compare with my version. Here is what my version is like.


A link to the doc. Edition allowed. Comments appreciated.

0:00I’m Karen Schaler, editor of therapy Are you bored? Need some inspiration? Try this.
0:10 Vancouver British Columbia in Canada is one of the coolest cosmopolitan cities with an eclectic exciting mix of unique travel therapy and experiences. Here is my top 10 things you shouldn’t miss.
0:23Number ONE. Stay in one of the trendest hotels in the world, Opus Vancouver, where chic boutique vibe mixes with intimate residencial feel. I love all the little extras at this playful hotel where you’ll find funky and fun original artwork in all the rooms from local artists. And you get your own smart phone and ipad to use complimentary during your stay, along with the complimentary wifi, a welcome drink, mountain bikes and even chaufer rides downtown.
0:52 Number TWO. At Opus you find one of my favorite new Vancouver restaurants, La Pentola, where chef Lucas whips up fresh take on family style northern Italian cuisine using seafood highlights.
1:03 And Number THREE. The bar scene at Opus is a great place to try a signature cocktail or sip a glass of wine.
1:10 Number FOUR. Opus is in one of Vancouver’s trendest neighborhoods called Yaletown where the hippie and happening go for top restaurants, drinks and shoppings. Be sure to check it out.
1:20 And when in Yaletown, my number FIVE pick is to enjoy Vancouver Seawall where you can walk for miles along the water soaking up the sun and scenery.
1:29 Number SIX. Take an adorable acquabus over the Granville Island, a local’s favorite, where you find everything from cute shops and restaurants to art galleries and the theater.
1:41 And number SEVEN on Granville Island there is one of the best public markets I have ever enjoyed. It’s packed with merchants selling all kinds of things from local products to fresh seafood.
1:52 Number EIGHT. Another Vancouver neighborhood not to miss is historic Gastown where Vancouver begin and still has a quint couple* of stones streets and Victorian buildings.
*I’m not sure which one does not match.
2:02 Number NINE. Take in some inspiring scenery at Lynn Canyon Park sprout across more than 600 acres. And walk across the suspension bridge that dangles more than 160 feet over a lash canyon.
2:15 And number TEN. Visit Deep Cove a favorite hide away for locals where is all about relaxing and enjoying the simple things in life.
2:24 Reporting from Vancouver BC in Canada. I’m Karen Schaler. Editor of Until next time. Safe travels.


If anyone out there who reads this post has a minute or so to listen and read to check if transcription is accurate before I sent it to her would be most appreciated. I’m not sure about couple of places.


8 thoughts on “Transcribing Authentic Videos

  1. hi rose,
    …is one of Canada’s coolest…
    …therapy experiences…
    Here are my…
    Stay at one…
    …where a chic…
    …chauffeured drives..
    …you’ll find one…
    …whips up a…
    …hip and happening…
    ..over to Granville…
    …where you’ll find…
    …that’s packed…
    …Vancouver began…
    …quaint cobble stone…
    …sprawled across…
    …a lush canyon…
    …where it’s all about…


  2. Hey Rose,
    I agree with Mura’s edits. I put them in the doc. (If you click on “Last edit was made __ ago”, it should show the edit history.)
    Hope it’s helpful!
    I think this is a great activity and gives a sense of how fast people talk in some contexts (like when they have 2 minutes to give a top 10!).


    • I really appreciate your help guys. Thanks a bunch Anne. It’s interesting though how much we miss when listening. I’m going to use John’s suggestion and start using DVDs (movies and tv series) because they have the subtitles and I believe Vick Hollet’s website Simple English should be good to use in the same way. She has already put the transcripts there from trailers. have you guys ever used it? Do you ever user this kind of activity? Listening and transcribing?


  3. Hi Rose,

    This looks like a really interesting activity. I’m helping a Spanish friend prepare for a trip to San Diego in May. Doing something like this would really help him get his ear used to the sounds of American English. Thanks for the idea!

    I listened to the video as I read the transcript and I was going to post about some minor mistakes that I noticed but other people have beat me to it! 🙂 I also thought that you might leave some minor mistakes in the transcript and have your student try to find them. Maybe tell them that there are 10 mistakes they need to listen for and correct.

    ‘See’ you soon in the blogosphere!



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