General principles

Transcription is the systematic representation of language in written form, based on the utterances of speakers. In order to protect endangered languages, our Commission encourages all speakers (individuals and communities) to write their language in a simple system and find the utmost consensus to make written products accessible to as many people as possible. In addition to popular transcription for widespread use, there are scientific transcriptions that aim to provide accurate documentation and to make the data comparable. For this purpose, VLACH follows the phonetic principles of the International Phonetic Alphabet in the subtitles of its videos. Since many different regional traditions and models exist worldwide, there are numerous deviations of the transcription systems, which is why, in the following, common principles for all transcriptions on VLACH are first compiled. After that you will find the transcription principles and examples for each language. Our main principles when making scientific transcriptions are as follows:

  1. We write what we hear: Texts are transcribed as they sound in the utterances of the speakers.
  2. Pronounciation errors are usually not corrected.
  3. Slang words and regionalisms are kept as used.
  4. We avoid italics and bold.
  5. We do not use more than one space between words.
  6. We do not use the tab button. 
  7. Write in capital letters what usually is written in capital letters: beginning of sentences, toponyms, words like Bible. Follow the standard, if there is one, e.g. Serbian language uses upper cases for ethnic groups, Bulgarian languages does not.
  8. We do not use abbreviations and numbers in the original language, but write the way they are pronounced.
  9. As the names and roles of our interviewed persons are known in the metadata, we do not mention the speakers in the subtitles.
  10. Mentioning sound events and body language is optional.