Collaborative translation

As I’ve mentioned, I intend to run an online collaborative translation project to do Book 1 of Eusebius of Caesarea’s Chronicle. I’ve been attempting to find people in the Armenian-speaking world to help, and indeed these links give some ideas.

I’m also writing some software to run on my website to allow us to view the original and enter a translation. As before, it will be PHP scripts, but this time based around entries in a mySql database. The difference to the stuff used for Jerome is that there are several columns; original Armenian, if I can get it; Latin translation; German translation; and various other partial translations or whatever.

So far I’ve got the Latin and German in, and am now faced with trying to split both into chunks and align them. This is not trivial to do. I’ve started by splitting the texts into sentences, and loading each as a chunk. But this misaligns; sometimes the German has several sentences where the Latin has one, or vice versa. So my first exercise is to realign these.

What I’ve done is to have three tables. The main table just has a numeric key from 100-nnn00. The 100 rather than 1 allows me to enter new entries without renumbering everything. Then there is a Latin table, with its own key, a foreign key which contains the relevant main table numeral, and the text sentence. A German table is done in the same way. So to move a bit of Latin or German up or down, all I have to do is change the foreign key in its table to point to the main row above or below. Likewise to split an entry in the Latin, I just create a new entry in the Latin table after the one I’m working on, copy the bit of text in it, and renumber all the foreign keys on rows that follow.

It’s working, so far, but is slow.


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