Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pupils From Tanzania Say Hello

As most of you reading this probably know, I was in Tanzania from May until August this year working on the Hoja Project. I took a video camera out with me and did some filming.

Yesterday I hacked together some of the footage I have of our pupils at two different schools - the vocational and secondary students at the VTC (referred to as "Hoja Secondary School" throughout the video), and the secondary students at Lupunga Secondary School. So here it is:

Let Us Introduce Ourselves - Hoja-COCO Students Part 1 (7 Minute Version) from Phil Hatchard on Vimeo.

I'm hoping to use this as part of a project to start up some dialogue between one or more schools in the UK (or elsewhere), and our students in Tanzania. The kids also asked some brilliant questions they'd like answered by UK students, which I'll edit and get up.

If you'd like to get involved in this, email me at and we'll get the ball rolling.

There's loads of footage I'm finding difficult to use at the moment - as it's in Swahili and needs translating and subtitling, something quite difficult to do when using iMovie for editing, which is what I'm doing at the moment. It's also a much slower process.

This also helps explain why there aren't so many girls in the video - a far larger proportion of girls chose to speak in Swahili, as they were not so confident. You might be interested to know that their exam data shows there's a significant and growing gender gap in attainment.

Rest assured I will use that footage eventually, though.

In other news, Oswin is arriving in the UK today (he's in charge of the Hoja Project in Tanzania), which is another reason to have cobbled together this video very quickly. He's never been to the UK before, and I'm looking forward to seeing him again next Friday when I go up to Newcastle.


  1. Youtube is quickly increasing its support for both captioning and automatic translation.

    Right now I think you can upload a file with a transcript and Youtube will automatically align the captions with the video (with correct timestamps). Once you have captions in the original language, you can do automatic translation to any other supported language (Swahili included).

    The only thing I'm not confident of is that the caption alignment will work for Swahili. It might be English only right now (i.e., if your problem was that the video was in English and you wanted Swahili captions you'd be sorted). But it should be improving dramatically over the short term.

  2. Yeah, I saw some of the help files on that but aside from telling me the type of file, they weren't much help in telling me how to write the text in the transcript file.

    The other translation issue is that I'm not entirely fluent.

    Figured out workarounds to make iMovie subtitle more effectively, works quite well.


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