Dennis Cokely Parallel Corpus: Data and Materials

I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr. : ASL translation by David Hamilton, et al. [HD Video]





Download Full Text (620.8 MB)

Download Standard Definition (480p) video (.mp4) (258.7 MB)

Download ELAN annotation file (.eaf) (247 KB)

Download Alignment of English text and ASL translation units (.xlsx) (110 KB)

Download Excerpt of the English speech that was translated (.docx) (17 KB)

Download Full English speech and background information (.pdf) (986 KB)


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An American Sign Language translation of English excerpts taken from Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Translation was prepared by MJ Bienvenu, Patrick Graybill, Dennis Cokely and performed by David Hamilton. This is part of the Cokely Parallel Corpus collection. Additional materials are provided here for corpus-based research.

English Source Text

I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation. Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand, signed the emancipation proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But 100 years later, we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free. 100 years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment I still have a dream. The dream is deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self evident; that all men are created equal.” I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state withering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today. This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning: “My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring. When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”

Publication Date



American Sign Language, translation, parallel corpus, American political speeches


Language Interpretation and Translation | Linguistics


To fully use the Cokely Parallel Corpus (CPC) data provided here, you will need to download and install the latest version of ELAN (this software application is free). You will also need to have access to spreadsheet or database software such as Microsoft Excel, or Google Sheets. The above download links include:

  • Two versions of the .mp4 video file for download, one Standard Definition, the other High Definition. These video files need to be downloaded in a local directory and be associated as a linked media file with the respective .eaf files from within ELAN
  • An ELAN .eaf file that contains primarily the ASL ID-Gloss annotations within marked utterance boundaries. Note, the English source text is only loosely annotated for general reference on a symbolic tier in ELAN since the video itself is in ASL only. The tight alignment between the English source text and ASL translation units is in the respective .xlsx spreadsheet file
  • A Microsoft Excel .xlsx file that contains four sheets:
    • English source text divided into numbered sentences and idea units
    • ASL translation transcription divided into numbered utterances and idea units
    • An alignment between the source text and translation idea units represented by adjacent rows
    • Identification, coding, and analysis of metaphors in the English source text and ASL translation and how these were handled by the translators (see the Research Guide and Roush, 2018)
  • A .docx file that contains the English text excerpt with numbered sentences
  • A .pdf file of relevant pages from the American Freedom Speeches Instructor’s Guide that contains the full English text with the translated excerpts highlighted with a gray background. It also contains pages that provide historical and biographical background to the English text

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 License.

Recommended Citation

Sign Media, Inc. (1994). American freedom speeches (2012 DVD) [Videos containing political speeches and documents translated into American Sign Language].

Roush, D., & Schilling, A. (2021). The Dennis Cokely American freedom speeches parallel corpus (1.0) [Dataset]. Eastern Kentucky University Libraries.

Contact Information

Daniel Roush or
Amy Schilling

I Have a Dream, by Martin Luther King, Jr. : ASL translation by David Hamilton, et al. [HD Video]