Hello to all! I am a PhD student in psycholinguistics. I am currently designing my first experiment regarding cross-cultural differences in gestures production. For the needs of my study I will videotape people of different native languages speaking and gesturing. My problem is how I am going to analyse their speaking since I don't know arabic and dari (these are the languages I am going to analyse). Do you know if there is a translation software (ideally free) that I could use to analyse their discource?
I really think you would need to hire research assistants to transcribe and translate the language use. That is assuming that the participants will be producing sentences. Unless your experiment simply involves them producing single words to label or describe or pictures or similar (in that case it might be possible for you to learn the words and do it yourself), I can't see how you would be able to do this without having research assistants who can do the translation for you.
Ps. Looking at papers that report similar experiments will probably show that this is what others have done (unless one of the authors happened to know the target language and could do the translation).
If you are only looking for gestures/speech combos you could use basic software to find the important segments and then properly translate the important bits. I would assume that most of the audio will not be that important to your research question and it would be easier to focus on the important gesture parts. Also translation bots might be good enough to understand the speakers mood/topic that won't require high level translation like idioms would require. So if you can't properly translate everything I think you could design a system to narrow down your focus.
Is your PhD funded? If so you may be able to apply for funding for the research assistant. I hired a research assistant for one of my PhD studies and was able to pay her at the typical rate (about £15 per hour), covered by my research budget. I had not stipulated that I would need an RA beforehand (ie when I wrote my proposal), but it was still OK to call the research council admin team and check with them, and then fill out the expenses form. If this is not an option with you then I'd be asking my research supervisor. Often they have a pot of money that can be used to help toward these things. They want the research produced to be high quality too. Hope this helps.
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