Feedback about our Software
Translators have to figure out how a language works before they can begin to translate. This is the grammar of the language. Steve has been working on software called FieldWorks helps them to do this. The part that helps translators with the grammar is called FLEx, which stands for “FieldWorks Lexical Explorer.”
Resolution of Thanks
The Linguistics Consultants Roundtable, Amercas Area, Catalina, Arizona, September 25, 2009
We want to formally express our deep appreciation to you, the developers of FieldWorks Language Explorer. FLEx has so many wonderful and detailed features that will be incredibly helpful to us in analyzing local languages in the Americas…We also thank you for being so very helpful when we have questions or other issues. We know that your work is largely out of the public eye, and even out of the view of most SIL people, but we are very grateful for your persistence in creating new features, working out bugs, and the whole development process. Thank you!
David Baines, one of our software testers, conducted a course in FieldWorks in French-speaking Africa. The following was from one of the participants:
…David and Evelyn came to…introduce us to FieldWorks. From the second day of the course, I saw that the program would have a great simplicity of use, thanks to its design. Despite my slowness for computer and technical things, I can say that I have learned to use this program. I even helped other participants with these problems. I am encouraged with the collection of data and research. My amazement continues to this day seeing all that these programs can do, especially [FLEx], Phonology Assistant, and Data Notebook. I came to the conclusion that God is great to give so much wisdom and knowledge to those who designed the program, and He is so good towards the weak like me.
May His name be praised in our lives forever!
Thank you very much.
Adakou Azoti, translated by David Baines.
From an email:
Boma is a first language for roughly 250,000 speakers and a second language for approximately two million speakers in Southeast Asia. The Boma language project is a highly strategic project which has the potential to impact many language communities in the same region. The Boma project switched to using FieldWorks this past year. It is being used by Boma mother tongue translators and Wycliffe facilitators for creating the Boma dictionary and for analyzing the Boma language . The Boma team feels it’s an invaluable tool that has brought great benefit to translating the Bible into the Boma language. The Boma team is very thankful for the FieldWorks team and the software they have produced.
Before the Boma translation project switched to using FieldWorks, data entry and management had to be done by us, the missionaries . Now that the project is using FieldWorks , the national team members are able to edit the dictionary, enter in texts, and even interlinearize the texts themselves! The user friendly interface of this software makes it so that the workload can be shared by more people. In addition, the team has been utilizing the multi-user feature of the program, so at times we’ve had more than one person working on the data at the same time. This was never possible before.
Curtis Hawthorne worked on FLEx as an intern and he wrote, “It was pretty cool to travel all the way to a remote village in Cameroon and see a piece of software in use that I had a hand in creating!” He interviewed some of the teams there. These are some excerpts:
FLEx is so user friendly.
Dan Grove, working on the Bambalang language in the Ndop language cluster, Cameroon
I haven’t done any training on FLEx, but I immediately started to look at this and said, “Oh yeah, I need to edit the morpheme breaks.” [Flex] immediately gives you what you need to know.
Cam Hamm, planning to work on the Bafanji language cluster, Cameroon