what’s a survey?

What a good question! 🙂  I get so used to hearing people talk about surveys and other kinds of language-related trips that I sometimes forget everybody doesn’t always know what I’m talking about.  Thanks Laura! 🙂

The kind of survey that I’m referring to is a language survey.  This involves one person or a group of people going to a remote location and studying the variations in languages in that area.  Survey is used to figure out how many languages are in an area and how many dialects there are in each language.  Survey is also used to discover mutual intelligibility between dialects, or the amount of crossover in language that is understandable by both dialects.  The information from surveys is used to decide where to do translation work and how many different translations are needed for the area.

Whew.  I’ve gotta get back to work, but did that make sense?  It’s a very fast definition of survey, and I’m not sure I explained it very clearly. 🙂

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Published in: on January 25, 2006 at 10:39 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] anything yet. We have been offered the opportunity to go to southern _country_ in March to do a language survey. (This link will take you to a previous post where I explain what language survey is.) This trip […]


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