With its new “Audio to Text Fidelity Project,” Vanipedia.org, a dynamic website of Srila Prabhupada’s words, is creating accurate transcripts of all Srila Prabhupada’s recorded audio.
It’s an ambitious effort. In the 1980s, Srila Prabhupada’s tape ministry had just 700 hours of audio. In the 1990s, the Bhaktivedanta Archives expanded it with another 300 hours.
In June 2019, the Archives finally completed the release of all of the ISKCON Founder-Acharya’s audio files. Now, there are over 2,400 hours of audio in 3,804 files.
“This is a great victory for the devotees,” says Vanipedia director Visnu Murti Das. “We want to hear everything Srila Prabhupada said!Every morning during Guru Puja, we sing, ‘My only wish is to have my consciousness purified by the words emanating from his lotus mouth.’”
This was supported by Srila Prabhupada himself. In 1968, when an interviewer asked him why devotees were always taping him, he responded, “We have got so many branches, they want to hear me, my singing, my speech, therefore they record it and send it to different branches.”
All these hours have already been transcribed by the Archives, but according to the Vanipedia team there are still some errors in the transcriptions and is some room for improvement.
Thus Vanipedia’s “Audio to Text Fidelity Project” has been launched to proofread all lectures, conversations and morning walks.
“Our mission is to preserve the integrity of Srila Prabhupada’s spoken words by creating a set of transcripts that are 100% true to what Srila Prabhupada actually said,” Visnu Murti explains.
The Vanipedia team will also be translating all of the Bengali and Hindi phrases that are intertwined within the English audio. And they need help.
“We welcome all devotees who love hearing Srila Prabhupada to join us in this mission,” Visnu Murti says. “You will be attentively listening to a lecture, conversation or morning walk of Srila Prabhupada, while reading the text and correcting any mistakes you see.”
Vanipedia’s goals in the project include creating a very transparent presentation of Srila Prabhupada’s audio teachings in text form; making the texts ready for translating in multiple languages; and making them ready for printing in hard copy.
“By being part of the project, you’ll experience direct association with Srila Prabhupada as you proofread the texts of his words,” Visnu Murti says. “You’ll be offering a personal service for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada. And you’ll experience the joy of serving with your Vaniseva devotee family in a dynamic project.”
The project was developed using Trello.com, oTranscribe.com and Google Docs, making the process easily understood for participants.
Transcriptions and audio files are taken from Vanisource.org, run through these platforms, and then placed back into Vanisource nicely proofread.
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For more information, contact the Vanipedia team at email@example.com – or directly join the team on Whatsapp: https://chat.whatsapp.com/HaVzzZWapIK8Rl6NLJsscI
You can also visit the project webpage at https://www.vaniseva.org/audio-to-text-fidelity
Aug 06, 2022
Brahmatirtha das Director, Bhaktivedanta Institute for Higher Studies