PHONEMICA.

A worthy project: “Phonemica is a project to record spoken stories in every one of the thousands of varieties of Chinese in order to preserve both stories and language for future generations. [...] Our mission: Bringing the richness of oral Chinese to a wider audience, through the words of natural storytellers, from every corner of the world where Chinese is spoken.” You can read more about it here:

We begin by finding storytellers. We interview them – sometimes in the dialect of their home village, sometimes in a variety of standard Mandarin – then put the recording online, transcribe it into Chinese characters, into a Romanized (Latin alphabet) version, and into the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Also, we translate each story into English.
All this work is done by Phonemica volunteers, both online and off. If you’re interested, please get involved!

A great idea, and I hope similar things are being done with other languages.

Comments

  1. What a great project! The (English) name is weirdly non-China-specific; I wonder what’s up with that.

  2. S Patel says:

    Maybe the’re planning to add other languages later?
    Either way, what a cool project.

  3. Thanks for the mention, LH!
    Yes, agree that “Phonemica” is “weirdly non-China-specific” — couldn’t have said it better myself. And yes: we have vague plans of expanding Phonemica into an umbrella platform in the future, although there’s no doubt that Sinitic languages provide plenty of space to work in for the time being!

  4. a project to record spoken stories in every one of the thousands of varieties of Chinese in order to preserve both stories and language for future generations.
    Isn’t this what the Grimm brothers did?

  5. Isn’t this what the Grimm brothers did?
    The Grimms had no Chinese, only German.

  6. You’re thinking of the Glimmer twins, Glumbry.

  7. “The Grimms had no Chinese,”
    Well in those days they were rare and expensive, beyond the reach of people like the Grimms.

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