Today I am beginning work on the software to aid translating the Mandaic Book of John, and am using this blog post as a means to get my thoughts and design goals in order.
The original thought was using a collaborative wiki-like environment to manipulate and edit the content which can store Mandaic text in a standard transliteration for editing, but otherwise output it as images (or whatever other format we need) for viewing.
From that basic idea, for this to be a successful and useful tool, I feel it will need:
Some other features to implement once there is enough data in the system to experiment with would be:
- A means to store each manuscript we're working from, separately.
- A means to divvy up each manuscript into workable "chunks."
- A way to display each parallel chunk of the manuscript side-by-side for comparison purposes.
- A means to annotate the Mandaic texts with footnotes, cross-references, and lexical tags.
- A means to display the Mandaic text as images, unicode (Hebrew, Syriac, and Mandaic if it goes through) or other encodings.
- A place where all members of the project can access and contribute to the English translation and tag the Mandaic texts.
- A means to annotate the *English* text with footnotes, cross-references, and lexical tags.
- A way that all changes are tracked and can be rolled back or reviewed.
Right now I'm going to see about sketching out some potential workflows and database models and get a "toy" version working to play with.
- Automatic export features to a variety of formats (.doc, .pdf, LATEX, etc.)
- Automatic concordance and lexicon/dictionary generation.
- Adding in hooks for standard Natural Language Processing (NLP) libraries.
Labels: Mandaic, translation