European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research (ESIT)

In October of this year, ESIT Project Network Manager Axel Schiller, for long having been interested in the topics of deafness, hearing-loss and, at the same time, languages and interpreting, has started training in the innovative profession of speech-to-text-interpreter (STTI), or speech-to-text-reporter (STTR), combining all these aspects by joining the first academic course in this area at the University of Vienna's Postgraduate Centre. This is an article of the Austrian Translators and Interpreters Association "Universitas" showcasing this novel training opportunity for language professionals and a short statement of Axel, highlighting his motivation to join the course:

By means of this course, entitled "Barrier-free communication - Speech-To-Text-Interpreting", Axel gains the skills necessary for creating real-time interpretations of spoken texts into written ones that can then be read as subtitles by deaf or otherwise hearing-impaired individuals on a computer screen or other projecting device. Whilst deaf people, when they are native users of sign language, prefer sign language interpreters, STTIs are often requested by individuals having become deaf later in life and/or who are hearing-impaired and prefer written language, or in scientific/technical settings, which are more easily interpreted into writing.

By making use of this service, barrier-free communication and inclusion is made possible for hearing-affected hospital patients, pupils, university students, employees or in many other settings. With the help of modern technology, STTIs can work both "on the spot" as well as remotely from an office, from where their interpretation is sent via online platforms to their clients' computers or even mobile devices.

For speech-to-text-interpreting, two techniques are mainly used: 1) the conventional computer keyboard and a system of shortcuts, as well as 2) speech recognition that allows the automatic creation of texts via re-speaking, a method also used for television live subtitling.

Since tinnitus is very often associated with hearing loss or (single-sided) deafness and qualified STTIs are still very rare anywhere in Europe, we welcome Axel's initiative to join this training very much and are indeed looking forward to seeing his news skills being brought to practise!

ESIT PhD candidate Marta Partyka, conducting her research on the neuroscience of tinnitus at the University of Salzburg's Brain Dynamics Lab, completed a preprint highlighting the intersting outcome that "Phantom auditory perception (tinnitus) is characterised by stronger anticipatory auditory predictions", DOI: 10.1101/869842.

We congratulate Marta and her collaborators on this achievement and wish all the best of success for the publication of this piece of cutting-edge research!

As a very tangible outcome of ESIT, it has been envisioned even before and already from the start of the project to review and update the major tinnitus-related articles on the open online encyclopedia Wikipedia.

Using the already quite detailed English version as a basis, it is planned to amend the main article relating to the condition in other languages (especially those covered by the international ESIT consortium) or, and this is the case for many language versions of Wikipedia, translate the English version into certain languages for the first time and update it on this basis.

As an indeed successful head-start for this project, ESIT PhD student Albi Dode (pictured below), originally from Albania, translated the English Wikipedia article on tinnitus into his mother tongue, Albanian, which could be published shortly after submission, making it the first article on tinnitus for this language.

In fact, this new article has already become the Article of the Week on the Albanian Wikipedia platform! We are immensely proud of this achievement and congratulate Albi on his outstanding efforts in this regard that could likely be of benefit to tinnitus patients and health care professionals in Albania, Kosovo or other Albanian-speaking regions! Përgëzime!

The article can be accessed here or by clicking on the image above.

Further ESIT-led Wikipedia updates for a variety of languages will follow shortly and we're very much looking forward to making a science-based impact on a wide-reaching, open-source platform like Wikipedia, and thereby increasing its reach even more. In fact, Wikipedia is frequently used by lay audiences and professionals alike as a first source of information on an almost endless variety of topics, importantly including health issues as well, which clearly highlights the importance of our project.

ESIT project PhD candidate Jorge Simoes, working at the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy of the University of Regensburg, achieved a new publication entitled "Big Five Personality Traits are Associated with Tinnitus Improvement Over Time", in the open-access scientific journal Nature Scientific Reports, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-53845-4.

For this article, Jorge collaborated with ESIT's Winfried Schlee, Martin Schecklmann, Berthold Langguth, Patrick Neff, as well as Daria Fahrahmand.

The paper can freely be accessed here.

Congratulation from the whole ESIT consortium on this outstanding success, and we're already looking forward to new publications from members of our pan-European research teams!

In November, ESIT Project Scientific Coordinator and PhD supervisor PD Dr Winfried Schlee was kindly invited to present recent tinnitus research findings to the very active German patient organisation "Hast du Töne? - Leben mit Tinnitus" (German for: "Hearing Sounds? - Living with Tinnitus" in the city of Bergisch-Gladbach.

It was a thoroughly informative event for both sides, patients and research, and we are convinced that collaboration and exchange between these two "stakeholders" is indeed crucial, thence an important focus of ESIT generally. For this very reason, besides "Hast du Töne?", the international self-help organisation "Tinnitus Hub" (see reports below) is also an integral part of the ESIT consortium.

We'd like to thank Holger Crump, founder and director of the patient group, very much indeed for their invitation and are already looking forward to all upcoming common projects and cooperation with the ultimate aim of finding therapies for individual tinnitus patients.


Key Facts

Social Media

facebook icon twitter icon

Upcoming Events

No events found