LinguaLibre/Atelier de formation à LinguaLibre pour le Surui/en

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The LinguaLibre training workshop for Surui (May 20, 2022) is a first face-to-face meeting between AquaVerde and Wikimedia France-LinguaLibre, in order to materialize the common wish to create a dictionary bilingual multimedia Portuguese-Surui. A funding request Wikimedia France/Micro-financement/Demande/µFi-2022-05-201915, further details the strategic context and operating costs. This page further documents the organization and conduct of the workshop. The strategic and training objectives set have been achieved. Recording objectives were reduced due to new parameters proper to highly marginalized minority languages, by brough valuable new information for later efforts.

Lexicon recording video Surui by Almir Surui (WP) / User:AlmirSurui, accompanied by User:Yug.


LinguaLibre training workshop for lexicon Surui , with Almir Surui (WP) / User:AlmirSurui.

This workshop is the result of 6 months of making contacts, exchanges and synchronization. We took advantage of Almir's visit to Europe to bring him to Paris to participate in this training workshop. On this day:

  • Thomas (AquaVerde) enthusiastically translated from French to Portuguese
  • Almir Surui (WP) / User:AlmirSurui, elected Surui chief from Brazil, was persistent despite a long day.
  • (A bilingual Surui teacher residing in Brazil produced, as requested by Almir and Thomas, a Surui list translated from Portuguese.)
  • User:Yug organized and guided the training workshop.



A recording room has been provided rue Martel, Paris, by Wikimedia France. This room was quiet, allowing a serene session. We didn't have a proper microphone, the audios therefore have some background noise, probably due to the PC's internal fan in direct connection with the internal microphone used.

Core Objectives

  • Strategic discussion: presentation of the actors (Surui, AquaVerde, Wikimedia France-LinguaLibre), review of needs/wishes and possibilities of synergies.
    • Demonstrations of e-learning applications built on the basis of LinguaLibre: OpenEdx-Hanzi and
    • Review of the production chain of an e-dictionary: from the creation of the lexicon to the audio recording under LinguaLibre to the creation of a bilingual multimedia lexicon "Portuguese Writing / Surui Writing / Audio Surui", the entire production chain was discussed and commented on.
  • Training of Almir at LinguaLibre, native of the Surui language: 1) account creation, practice on the application in discovery mode (test), then 2) use in productive mode 👉🏻 Registration of 300+ very common expressions.
  • Tests and adjustments Lili: the lexicon provided and the recordings naturally presented errors, which we have noted, commented on, remedied. Based on the lexicon provided and the actual recording session, we conducted lexicological and lexicographical discussions, on good formatting practices for LinguaLibre, now gathered within Lingualibre:Help:List translation. In the application: adjustments when using under the account of Almir Surui (configuration of the interface to Portuguese), advanced tips for the record wizard.

Specificities observed


With 1600 natives and a community in the process of assimilation, Surui is our smallest language to date. This affects the production chain in an original way, we have thus encountered and identified the following particularities:

  • A language undergoing orthographic stabilization (~3 years). Local educational system have developed a recent and new spelling standard. Adults have never learned this spelling.
  • Associated reading difficulties, following the previous point. The adult reader required some reflection during the reading in order to identify the transcribed word. The recording speed is quite reduced, down from 800 to ~300 words/hour.

However, there is no structural blocking point.

The dictionary production chain


Each stage of the production chain is associated with caregivers:

  1. Portuguese-Surui Translation (Surui Teacher)
  2. Transmission to LinguaLibre/Yug (Almir)
  3. Cleaning the list (Yug)
  4. Betting on LinguaLibre (Yug)
  5. Registration on LinguaLibre (Almir / Yug)
  6. Download audios (Yug)
  7. Creation of a bilingual multimedia lexicon page (Yug)

Future collaborations


For the future, keep in mind:

  • a voluntary project, so...
  • a medium / long term project (6 months to 2 years)
  • multiple iterations is normal
  • improve the funding initiatives (Wikimedia microfi).

The next deliverables are:

  • Continue translation from Portuguese lexicon to Surui (User:AlmirSurui and local translator)
  • Coding a prototype of bilingual lexical list Portuguese-Surui-Surui audio (User:Yug)

In the next iteration, it will be necessary to add in the loop Emma Vadillo, who has a documented interest in America's minority languages and cultures.


Strategic Implications


The Surui project opens a "marginalized minorities" front, strongly supported by WMF, and the use of the methodology of field linguistics: going actively towards a marginalized community, building lexicographic materials with them, plan training and recording sessions.

See also