Mid-2020 Report and New Website Launch

As with the rest of the world, our project has been dealing with the effects of COVID-19. Our Winter Semester intern returned early amid concerns of the pandemic, and the collection of interviews ground to a near standstill. Accordingly, our Cambodia team shifted focus to producing transcripts of existing interviews while our BYU campus group turned its attention to creating a database and new website. The database and new site are now operational, though we continue to tweak and refine both. We are continually expanding the database to include more photos, interviews, and detail. Below are the project statistics as of July 2nd, 2020:

  • Total Interview Count: 4762           
  • Total Transcription Count: 1768       
  • Published Interviews: 1924 
  • English Translations: 12

Our aim is to make these inspiring and poignant stories accessible to both Cambodians and non-Cambodians alike. To that end, we are seeking better ways to translate interviews to English, including reaching out to bilinguals in Cambodia, to former missionaries, and to heritage communities. We are also exploring machine translation and natural language processing approaches toward more efficient processing. In the meantime, we hope non-Khmer speakers will get a sense of the interview content through our Instagram feed and Facebook page, where there are excerpted translations of selected interviews. Please see also a recent story in the BYU Humanities Magazine and a BYU Communications video piece, Saving Cambodia’s Lost Stories, produced by Julie Walker highlighting some of the stories. In addition, you can see the list of translated interviews by clicking on the “translation” header in the database. Be aware that the database is current loading slowing (up to several minutes off-campus). We continue to work to speed up the database loading as we add interviews (To this date, the site displays around 2000 of nearly 5000 interviews).                                                     

Thanks to the BYU team members who have had a part in the website re-make:

Digital Humanities
Dr. Brian Croxall with student developers Scott Cheng, Caleb Thompson, Eddy Hsu, and Jinlin Zhu.

COHP Student Team
Jeremy Hills
Allison McIllece Lasswell
LENG Theary
PEN Seyon
Hans Nilsson