Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Toolbox-ing Clever

I never thought I would ever say this... but this post is an ode to how useful analytical software is.

Toolbox is a database program, which is basically a dictionary where you add entries, then when you put longer texts in -eg. sentences and stories - it will help you analyse the words into English based on the words in your dictionary.

I was putting the words from yesterday's session in, and getting a bit tired of how mundane and repetetive the process is in the early stages. I added the word 'eight' which is 'ki' - and Toolbox flashed up a screen saying "you've already got that it means 'who'" - so I looked though my notes and there it was! I had a tone minimal pair - that is, they were exactly the same in every way except one had low tone and the other had high tone. Toolbox also noted that 'he' and 'one' were also the same - another tone pair! I got A. to confirm them today. I possibly would have noticed it myself, but never as quickly as Toolbox did.

Apart from my moment of excitement it's been going well, but it's hard. In 90 minutes of recording there is so much data, but you have to absorb as much as you can and get ready to do it all again tomorrow. And without the luxury of other people being there you have to listen to your doubts but not let them overwhelm you. Luckily, Ktm has lots of cafes with nice cake, which is a short term panacea to my worries.

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