I’d love to get on with Eusebius (see below) but I can now work on that in weekends. But for the last two days I have been working on my Syriac-English program, which has needed some uninterrupted time spent on it. The idea is to allow you to paste or type a bunch of vocalised (or not) Syriac text into a window, hit a key and get some kind of English translation back. Also you will be able to hover over a word in Syriac and get a transcription, and grammatical details.
Coding for right-to-left text has various pitfalls, which I have been labouring over, but have solved and written up a summary online. Likewise I wanted to use modern test-driven development with it (a decision that proved itself yesterday) and this also was less easy than it should have been. Again I have written a summary online.
I decided to use (by permission) George Kiraz’ database SEDRA. This contains all the words in the New Testament, with morphologies and basic meanings. This itself is quite difficult to fight with, and you do need the article that he published in Symposium Syriacum.
Yesterday I finally made some progress, and I was able to paste the first chapter of John into the program, hit the button, and find it recognise all but 3 words (and I think that missing spaces in the HTML Syriac text that I used were the case for these). Now I need to output the right information for these words.
There is only one fully vocalised Syriac text in Serto available online. I found that the site is clearly about to disappear, so spent some time in mirroring it here. The author directs enquirers to the texts at the Complete Aramaic Lexicon site, but this is very hard to use.
I wonder what I’ll do today. That darned sun is shining again, and my hedge-trimmer is calling to me…