Since in order to be able to speak English fluently, we need to be able to hear what the native speakers are saying. So why don't you allow the transcription requests as the proposal by an another user gets net 6 upvotes for audio/pronunciation uploading request?

  • 1
    Six upvotes is hardly overwhelming community support, especially on a featured post.
    – M.A.R.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 20:14
  • @M.A.R. Okay, I may have rushed in too much, but **why is there the tag "transcription" and the service is not welcome?" Isn't it contradictory?
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 22:42
  • 2
    Although transcription requests are off-topic on the main site, I think there's a decent chance people would be willing to help with them in English Language Learners Chat. (ELL chat is a bit on the dead side at the moment, but I think a few people still check in and see if anyone needs help from time to time.)
    – user230
    Commented Oct 1, 2019 at 19:31

1 Answer 1



That feature request is not:

  • a request to allow audio recording request questions from learners;
  • a request to allow transcription request questions from learners;
  • a request for respondents to record their entire answer or some other lengthy work.

It is a request for a feature that would allow users to easily supplement their well-written, high-quality answers with audio recordings. In other words, users would have the option to provide a recording of a particular word, for example, in order to demonstrate their point. It hasn't even been implemented, but if it were, we would still limit or prohibit pronunciation/transcription requests as they are too broad or too localized (e.g. Here's an essay I found. Please read it aloud for me; Here's ten minutes of audio. Please transcribe it for me; Here's a random clip I found on Youtube. What is the word the speaker is saying in "You guys have a XXX every weekend?")

If I understand correctly, you're asking

Why are transcription requests prohibited while there seems to be support for an audio clip feature?

Well, firstly, the audio clip feature is meant to be a supplementary feature. It's meant to supplement well-written, high-quality answers that we typically expect on the site.

Transcription requests are, generally speaking, too broad (Here's ten minutes of audio, What does it say?) or too localized (only a few people are going to listen to this). Even if the audio has mass appeal to learners, I don't think it's the site's goal to become a transcription database. I'm sure there are other good reasons why transcription requests are off-topic.

If you are able to provide your own transcription, but are unsure of a particular word or phrase, then that seems "passable", as far as I can tell. I wouldn't be surprised if that too received close/down votes though.

As I see it, a transcription request roughly parallels a proofreading request. These have been discussed previously, though I couldn't quickly find an exact one on transcriptions:

If you meant transcription in a different way, like supplementing a question about some audio, then that's kind of mandatory. For example, if you heard "nails on a chalkboard" in a dialogue on Youtube and you want to know the meaning, then you are expected to provide a transcription of the dialogue. The post must be as self-contained as possible. A link to the clip without a transcription of the dialogue is not sufficient.


Your posts

I still don't understand your problem, but I think I'm getting closer. I think you want to know why your post was closed, yet there's support for a "similar" feature.

In a now-deleted answer, you made reference to these three questions you posted:

  1. What do the phrase “Reeyan's seacrest” and the word “fraggle” mean in a sketch?
  2. The tense of “God”
  3. Could anyone tell me what the “robby ( robbie? ) way” is?

Actually, they all received a score of +3. The first got an answer with +10 and and the second got an answer with +6. The third was closed with no answer.

All three asked about something you heard: the first on a comedy sketch, the second on a song, and the third on a debate.

They all had links. They all had context (e.g. your own research or understanding of the problem).

But the first two had transcriptions. The third did not. It didn't even include a timestamp (you should always include one).

I didn't listen to all the audio, but I assume your first two transcriptions were mostly correct. The third one, you simply stated the thing you heard (which turned out to be wrong).

Regardless, the first two had instructional value. Users were able to explain words or grammar points that were confusing. In the third, you heard "robby", but they were saying "Roe v. Wade". As a user commented, the third one seem more like a one-off error that had very little instructional value* for future readers. (Remember, posts are not only for you. They're for future visitors as well!) That's why that post was closed.

Like I stated previously, even if the audio clip feature is implemented, that does not mean all audio related questions will be on-topic. I imagine we will limit or prohibit question like "Did I hear this right?", "Did I say this right?", etc. We will always ask for specific problems/concerns and context. If you don't provide that, your question might be closed. Meta is a little different, but the idea is roughly the same. If you had clearly explained your meta post and provided all the context from the beginning, then we could have more easily addressed your concerns (and may be you'd have fewer down votes).

You personally

You said in a comment

Yes, you are right. But sometimes, only because OP( I ) asked for what he or she (native speakers)are saying, I had my threads closed in my experience.

As I have shown above, the question was closed because of the CONTENT of your post, not because YOU asked it.

I can assure you: no one is targeting you. I took a look at a few of your posts, and in fact, it looks like they were mostly positively received (e.g. more positive scores than negatives, very few closed posts). If you occasionally receive close/down votes, that does not mean users are targeting you. That you means there is room for improvement. If you consistently follow that feedback, you will consistently receive positive attention.

*In my view, it might be worth exploring the theory/linguistics behind what you misheard (not sure), but I'd leave that up to the community.

  • >>Transcription requests are, generally speaking, too broad (Here's ten minutes of audio, What does it say?) or too localized (only a few people are going to listen to this). Then the question should be closed. >>If you are able to provide your own transcription, but are unsure of a particular word or phrase, then that seems "passable", Then why is transcription not allowed? That Mari-LOu-A's idead,though only available to "trusted" people, but IMO, transcription is easier to go, if the range of the question is blatantly broad it just needs to be closed.
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 7:01
  • 1
    What do you mean by "transcription" and "transcription not allowed"? Do you mean "transcription requests"? Can you provide an example? Transcription requests are not allowed. But anyone is allowed to provide a transcription (question or answer) for clarity and context. I feel like that happens regularly. You mentioned earlier that you didn't see much difference between Mari-Lou A's request and your question. I think it would be helpful if you explain why you think they are similar. I don't quite see it.
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 7:23
  • So we would like to speak English. In order to talk, we have to be able to listen.I'm not saying mine is exact copy of Maii-Lou-A's but in terms of audio problems I think we are sharing the same zone.
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 8:27
  • I still don’t understand. Asking about a specific listening/speaking problem will probably be ok (like specifying a concern for proofreading). Ask for a broad transcription or recitation would be “too broad” and off-topic. Is that what you’re getting at?
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 9:17
  • Yes, you are right. But sometimes, only because OP( I ) asked for what he or she (native speakers)are saying, I had my threads closed in my experience.
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 9:28
  • @KentaroTomono I updated my answer.
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 21:32
  • Thank you for your update, Em. I can't hardly understand why you people are negative for the transcription. Okay, let's say, my first one, about the commedy sketch's. You can't listen to correctly if you don't know who the Ryan Seacrest is, and what Big Fraggle is. They are both embedded in American culture, and how would you be able to think if I can pick the correct listening without prior knowledge? English, is a primarily audio-oriented language (IMO). English is less reflective unlike Russian, lost the gender grammar difference unlike German, so you have to be very vocabulary
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 22:28
  • oriented, it would be very impossible for ELL learners, especially the beginners, so I don't understand you are putting so much hard measure on the transcription. You native speakers can pick up what the narrator or speaker is saying instantly, of course because you are the native speakers, but we are not. If you were to learn Japanese, would you be able to be so confident without listening training you can master the Japanese and speak fluently?
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 22:33
  • @KentaroTomono I don't understand what you mean by "negative for transcription". Do you mean "why we demand/request transcriptions"? We expect learners to provide a transcript for context, even if there are mistakes. We can always improve the transcript, but the context must be in the post. Presumably, you are listening to audio that you mostly understand (~70-99%). Therefore, you can mostly transcribe it, except for a few words. That's ok, perfectly allowed. The point is that we need the context in the post.
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 22:44
  • @KentaroTomono Even if you don't or can't transcribe it, other users (such as myself) will do that for you--as long as the question is clear, specific, and identifiable in the audio. Just as an example, that seems like the same criteria on JLSE. If I wanted to ask about something like that there, I would provide my own attempt even if there are some errors. If the community deems the question to be a one-off, low future-value question, then I would expect it to be closed.
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 22:45
  • >>The point is that we need the context in the post. Then how is there a tag "transcription"? You are making the bar such so high. Even if there is a tag, isn't it out of service?
    – user17814
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 0:14
  • @KentaroTomono The bar is not that high. Presumably, you're listening to something you can mostly comprehend. So you would be able to transcribe it roughly, even with errors. I didn't say it had to be perfect; we can always fix it. Also, the existence of a tag is not proof that the topic is always allowed. We have a "translation" tag, but that does not mean we allow all translation questions. Same thing with "transcription".
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 1:43
  • @KentaroTomono By the way, none of your questions that I listed were "transcription" questions. They were all about meaning or grammar. If you hadn't provided a transcript, someone would have likely written one for you. Of course, you probably would have gotten down/close votes until a transcript was posted by you or someone else. You included the context, people understood your problem, and you got up votes.
    – Em.
    Commented Sep 29, 2019 at 1:43

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