Video transcription game

So, what has the EPOTI group been up to latey?

Well, we've been playing a video transcription game in the EPOTI mailing list. The rules are simple: someone picks a short and interesting video, people write one or two sentences from the video, and invite others to make corrections or continue the transcription.

With little contributions we've accomplished outstanding results. Everyone's done an excellent job. Below is a sample of a completed game. Thank you to all those who helped complete it.

If you want to play too, then just join us! It's free & fun!

Watch the video here
(Opens in a new window; embedding of the video has been disabled)

(Tip: hover the mouse pointer over the underlined words in order to reveal their meaning)

«Almost as famous as Hannibal himself are the elephants used in battle. These were the Carthaginians terror weapon: small numbers of elephants could have a massive effect. It's not hard to imagine why. The sight of charging elephants would strike fear into any right-thinking person facing them.

Elephants are mainly terror weapons. They scare the living daylights out of the enemy and make them run away. They are big, they are gray, they make strange noises, they're smelly, they frighten people. They're something that no one's ever seen before. Particularly for a Roman, you've never seen an animal that that's sort of size—and you certainly haven't seen one bearing down on you in great numbers. So all it has to do is turn up and come charging towards you, and you're already pretty scared.

You cannot imagine how fast an elephant can be if you… if he goes wild. The most people… they think an elephant is very slow because he is so big… He is like 40–45 kilometers per hour, he can move very, very fast. So I think it's very effective weapon in the war.

The elephants used by the Carthaginians were a smaller —now extinct— breed of African elephant from the foothills of North Africa's Atlas Mountains. The deployment of the battle elephant wasn't particularly subtle. Immediately before the battle the elephants were first plied with wine.

I can imagine he used some alcohol because elephants they like alcohol, like beer or wine or something like this. They will… they will drink it. And it's like… the effect is like for people… some people are very shy, so, eh, they drink some alcohol and they're the biggest fighter in the world. And this isn't with an elephant. You can turn the… the character with alcohol.

The elephants will then be prodded in their ankles. In their inebriated state this would have made them as mad as hell. Then it was simply a matter of pointing them at the enemy and charging. And hanging on.

The elephant is very big and very large, and it's just gonna trample its way through any formation. So they're very formidable. They can break up particularly dense bodies of troops. And covered as frightened by terrifying the horses.

Hardly a weapon of surgical precision, the idea was that they would bat at the enemy, breaking their lines.

When the elephant attack1 people, he will use his whole body, so first of all, they will roll the trunk in, they get down with the head and they attack with the trunk and hit very hard. If they have tusk, and use the tusk, you will maybe… already be dead by… by a hit from the tusk. And the feet… they… they go on and… and smash everything under the feet, they go like tomato juice.

However, there was a fundamental flaw to this weapon system. They were inherently unpredictable.

The problem is that they're temperamental creatures, they really don't naturally do this sort of thing, and they don't want to be in a noisy colorful swirling battle.

By and large, if you have a 5-ton fighting machine, it is better if it isn't temperamental, drunk, and knows who its enemies are. Since running amok is something an elephant can also do very well.

He don't2 know the difference between… eh… Roman people and Carthaginians. They only learn to attack people, and it's don't matter what —black, white, yellow, green— they go. And attack everything.»

Notes:
(1) The man who speaks is probably not a native speaker of English (he has an accent). This sentence should really be «When the elephant attacks people, …»
(2) The same man again; the sentence should really be «He doesn't know the difference between…»

Comments

Jola said…
Ignacio, thank you very much for the whole transcript on our website. It is a great idea to do this.
Legal said…
It is an inspirational stuff. Thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

Read legal transcription provider

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