More on QuickGreek

I’m still stuck at home with a temporarily dodgy leg, so I’ve been looking again at QuickGreek.  This is a bit of software to help people like me, who know Latin, deal with polytonic Ancient Greek text. 

The idea is that you paste in a bunch of unicode Greek into one window and hit Ctrl-T. 


It reads through the Greek, splitting it up into short bits (i.e. when there is a comma or colon or whatever).  For each bit it parses the individual words, looks up the meaning and displays something underneath the word.

The sections and the meanings are interleaved like this:


Listing the meanings one after another does not make a sentence, but it’s a start on producing your own.

You then hover the mouse over the Greek word you wish to inspect, and you get a morphology in the bottom left — nominative singular etc — and whatever information I have about the word in the bottom right.

In this way you can build up a translation of short sections, even if you don’t know much Greek at all.  Which is sort of the idea.

I’ve done a little more on the thing today, and I’m quite pleased with what I’ve done and what I’ve got so far.  It needs more work in every area.  The problem is that I can never devote very long to it at any one time, and it takes a while to get back into it.

I might make a  version available for download for people to play with.  I think it’s reached the point of serving some purpose.  But I need to play around with texts with wrong or no accentuation now.


11 thoughts on “More on QuickGreek

  1. Interested to see the error in the displayed analysis — not because it’s an error, ambiguity happens, but because I’m not sure how you deal with it.

    θείων could be a Homeric participle for “running”, but is much more commonly the adjective “of the divine”.

    Do you have dialect information in your morphological analyser at all? You could use that to demote analyses, giving priority to Attic and/or Koine. If you had stats on relative frequency of lemmata in a corpus, you could use that too.

    And where there’s ambiguity, you should make sure users have access to the ambiguity — that they can get to the “of the divine” analysis if “running” doesn’t make sense to them. Maybe highlight the ambiguous words in the analysis?

  2. First of all, I’d like to say that I have followed your blog with considerable interest. I very much appreciate all your projects, particularly all your efforts in translating Eusebius.

    I notice many places in your example where it fetches the wrong word, or gives an awkward synonym. Since fetching the correct word seems more about context than anything, I wonder if it would be easier to utilize the perseus’ project and their readily available lexicon tool?

    I very much like the interface and the idea behind the program. Maybe it is possible provide a lexicon entry underneath the parsing information, or, if there are multiple hits for a given word, it can parse both and let you select whichever you feel is most likely given the context?

    Just some thoughts and suggestions (and by no means meant to criticize).

  3. Nick, thanks for the thought. I will have to look and see if I have dialect, or can generate it somehow. I wondered about “running” when it obviously meant “of the divine”, but I hadn’t realised that this was why. I suspect I ought to be able to find it, and the tip is very valuable; thanks. It isn’t Homer that will usually be under examination; rather patristic texts.

    Highlighting the ambiguous words is a good idea. But most words have more than one result. I’m highlighting words that didn’t get any results in red. I’m putting punctuation in blue (at least, I think I was the last time I worked on this). I could underline these.

    The two versions should be visible in the bottom left box. But idea of ordering by dialect would probably reduce the crud.

  4. Ben, thanks for your feedback, which is very welcome!

    I was interested in the Perseus tool idea. The only Perseus tool I know about is the web-based one. If there is one that can be run on my PC, I’d be most interested to hear about it.

    My real interest is not in competing with the professionals in doing morphology. Their stuff is excellent, but the interface is quite wrong for doing translation, where you need to skim over the words. If I could plug their stuff into QuickGreek, and it gave results quickly, I would do so, happily.

    The lexicon entry for each result is in the box at bottom right. So if you have multiple rows in the bottom left, you may (or may not) have multiple lexicon entries. You can click on the one you want.

    I’ve taken the view that material from the New Testament is to be preferred to stuff from classical Greek in general. That may be wrong, of course!

  5. It is a pity that Morpheus is not available; such a thing would be of great value.

    Kalos is good, and I did communicate with the author to see if some kind of interface for my purposes might be added. But the product is not really being enhanced now.

  6. *wishes there was an edit comment feature*

    I just checked through my own bookmarks again real quick, and found Diogenes, which is an open-source application with morphological functionality.

    He appears to use an implementation of the Porter Stemming Algorithm to create “roots” and then parses them accordingly:

    “How are the Perseus data generated?

    The Perseus morphological parser (Morpheus) is written in C and would be inconvenient to merge into the architecture of Diogenes. Instead, Morpheus is run over all the words in the PHI and TLG databases, and a list of all parses is sorted, linked to dictionary entries and mapped in reverse (for morphological searching). The scripts that do this are available for download.”

  7. No sir,

    Thank you for all the hard work you put in on bringing ancient and often forgotten knowledge back to our fingertips.

    Be well,

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