Comments on my post asking how to get an English translation of the Homilies of Origen were enthusiastic. So I think we will conduct a little experiment with this one, and see if we can get somewhere.
Today I have written to an academic/publishing person I know, and asked if they can find us a translator. They have the contacts, and I am reasonably optimistic. I’ve suggested a price of 3-4 p (UK = about 5-7 cents US) per word of Latin — because English and French translations already exist as a guide, reducing the labour — but negotiable (well, you have to be realistic). I’d specify a condition that the first bit is done as a sample, and nothing is owed unless the sample is satisfactory.
I have also suggested no-one is committed beyond one homily at a time, neither the translator nor ourselves. That reduces the size of financial risk and commitment down to something trivial. We can always stop at any point, in other words; homilies we translate are an advance on nothing; those we don’t get to, well, we’re no worse off than now. Of course I hope to do the lot!
Money comes from me in the first instance. A couple of commenters stated their willingness to donate — much appreciated. What I suggest is that we donate for a homily, and get our name on the bottom as “translation made possible by a grant from xxx” (or whatever wording you like). A condition of the project is that everything becomes public domain.
That’s all the project mechanics that I can think of; now, where to start?
I suggest the homilies on Genesis, unless anyone has a better idea?
There are 16 homilies on Genesis. A French edition in the Sources Chretiennes series exists, critical text and translation. (And I have a copy!)
Some numbers: the first homily, on creation, is 52 pages (i.e. 26 pages of Latin), about 8 words a line, 30 lines a page, i.e. 240 words a page, = 6,240 words, or about $400. That’s a big price, for a big homily; indeed the biggest of those on Genesis, which don’t otherwise run to more than around 20-30 pages (i.e. 10-15 pages of Latin, or about $200 each). But I can stand that, as the price of the experiment.
Let’s see whether we can get a translator.