Only One Sound Is Missing and the Whole World Seems Depopulated

The Challenges of Listening Comprehension and Transcription of Oral Documents


  • Jacqueline Oven University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts, Slovenia



FLE students, listening comprehension, transcription, decoding, encoding


This contribution, entitled Un son vous manque et tout est dépeuplé : les défis de la compréhension orale et de la transcription de documents oraux (Only one sound is missing and the whole world seems depopulated: the challenges of listening comprehension and transcription of oral documents) proposes to list and analyse the difficulties and errors noted in the copies of FLE students in the second year of their License degrees, as part of the course Français en usage 2 - Listening comprehension (corpus of 300 copies  collected between 2016 and 2020), which proposes, among other things, to realize the transcription of oral documents. The analysis makes it possible to draw up an inventory of the errors committed according to the phase during which this difficulty occurs (decoding, encoding, decoding and encoding). The most frequent errors in decoding are, on the one hand, linked to lexical gaps and, on the other, to a faulty breakdown of the sound flow, which confronts the student with phenomena such as homophony and paraphony (lexical and translexical). As far as the encoding is concerned, two types of difficulties are noticed: on the one hand, errors of inattention (in the event of successful decoding) and, on the other hand, attempts at textual reproduction directly from the sound stream, based on perceived phonemes, with complete abstraction of the decoding phase, to alleviate the fear of white space. In addition, we observe at the level of decoding and encoding the difficulties of the students to recognize different phonemes and to take account of the liaison. Finally, some proposals or recommendations resulting from occurrences identified in the corpus and based on contrastive considerations, are listed to help students and teachers for a better approach and performance of this type of know-how, with an identification of the causes and areas which are at the source of these difficulties and errors.


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* 300 copies d'étudiants de 2ème année Licence (2016-2020)



How to Cite

Oven, J. (2021). Only One Sound Is Missing and the Whole World Seems Depopulated: The Challenges of Listening Comprehension and Transcription of Oral Documents. Journal for Foreign Languages, 13(1), 467–480.