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10/29/2003 Archived Entry: "Project We Say Tomato (Phase I)"

Project We Say Tomato: Phase I: Recording Samples
The purpose of Project We Say Tomato is to collect a diverse range of language samples for an interactive presentation to be shared on this website in the near future. This is a 100% non-commercial, purely not-for-profit project. The efforts of all who volunteer to add their voices are very much appreciated.

Project We Say Tomato: Quick Links:

  • Listen to the Contributions
  • Watch How-To Video With Voice Narration (818K)
  • Watch How-To Video Without Narration (541K)
  • Add Your Voice!
  • (Free Flash 6 Player or higher required.)

    Phase I Description
    If you have a microphone connected to your computer, you're invited to participate in this global language survey. Please click the link below to add your voice:

    Project We Say Tomato
    Launch Project We Say Tomato: Phase I

    (Free Flash 6 Player or higher required.)

    Why Project We Say Tomato?
    There are two main reasons for the name, one practical, the other whimsical:

    In order to ensure that the recordings are complete (and not accidentally clipped short at either end), I have added the word "tomato" to both the start and end of the text to be recorded. Including the word "tomato" in this way will help maintain a proper volume level throughout the most important section of the recordings, too. I had planned on removing these "tomato-handles" in the editing process, but as soon as the first entries started coming in, decided it would be better to include them in the files presented for playback.

    Of course, the tomato theme is also an intentional reference to one of my favorite jazz pieces, "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" by George and Ira Gershwin (and, specifically the line, "You say 'to-may-to', I say 'to-mah-to'"). The song's lyrics play with the differences in pronunciation among people. Ultimately, the song emphasizes that we are all unique, and how wonderful that is--which, in short, is exactly the philosophy behind Project We Say Tomato.

    Related Entry: Technology Description

    (NOTE: Because this is an ongoing project, this blog entry will remain at the top of journal until further notice.)

    Replies: 6 comments

    [Updated November 5, 2003]:

    Listen to the Contributions Already Accepted

    (Free Flash 6 Player or higher required.)

    Posted by Jim Duber @ 10/30/2003 01:24 PM PST

    It looks like the FlashCom hosting server that I use is down! Sorry for the inconvenience. I've contacted the administrator and hope that the problem is resolved shortly.

    Posted by Jim Duber @ 11/11/2003 04:16 PM PST

    I just learned this morning that the company that I contracted to host my FlashCom applications has gone out of business. They closed down quite suddenly without notifying their customers. Nice one, eh?

    The good news is that I've already moved to a new host and Project We Say Tomato is up and running again.

    That bad news is that all the files in the "second batch" of project submissions have been lost. If you made a submission during this period and are feeling generous with your time, could you please add a new recording?

    My sincerest apologies to all those whose files were lost, as well as to everyone who attempted to contribute a recording during the past 3 days and was not able.

    [Update: Nov. 24, 2003--Rumors of going out of business may have been exaggerated. Eight days after being down and with no notification, the FlashCom host I used to use is back online. The good news is that all the lost submissions have been recovered! I've also learned to make backups more frequently!]

    Posted by Jim Duber @ 11/12/2003 02:35 PM PST

    it's wondefull

    Posted by luba @ 01/10/2004 05:44 AM PST

    Sincere thanks for your original ideas as to multimedia used in TEFL. Being new to the sphere, we're just learning and accumulating information, hoping to make a multimedia English course for students of economics. It's no that easy living in Ukraine, you know, but challenging. Thank you once again.

    Posted by Irina & Alexander Kamensky @ 02/02/2004 08:28 PM PST

    I've heard all the recordings and found that they don't represent dialectal difference of pronunciation. Rather, they show personal difference of pronunciation. Somehow I learned that everyone wants to communicate each other but keeps their difference. Thank you so much for your project. When I get a microphone, I'll join, too.

    Posted by Chilli @ 04/12/2004 11:30 PM PST

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