Help:Transcribing

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Transcribing documents is a difficult task and one that should not be done casually. It requires multiple steps to be done properly. This guide will help you transfer a text from a printed transcription to this wiki for translation. If you would like to transcribe from the original source manuscript, only upload to this wiki the transcription with all abbreviations spelled out in full.

1. Grabbing the Text

Main page sample.jpg
When using Archive.org documents, a copy of the text is automatically created as a .txt file, listed on the main page for the document as "FULL TEXT".

When you follow this link, you will usually find a rather poor-quality transcription of the entire published book. In most cases, you will not be copying the entire book but only a small segment. Find that section by doing a browser search for the first line that you are intending to transcribe or by searching for the title of the section you want to transcribe.

For this example, the text to transcribe is from the Chronique Abrégée de Guillaume de Nangis. The FULL TEXT transcription produced this:

"Après le roy Looys le neuvième ( x* ) fiz le roy Phelippe le Biau , morut son Uer"' ' ^^"' ^'^ Johan qui er ^ estoit du royaume de France et de Navarre ; commença a ré- gner le roy Phelippe le quint lan de grâce m. ccc. e xvi. et fu couronnez le * 3. 9 janvier dymeuchc après la tifaine ^. Cel roy trouva son royaume empeschié de plusours contées de Flamens, e des fiés dArtoys e de Picardie. Et tant fist par son sens"

2. Unscrambling the Text

There are numerous problems with this transcription which can be best remedied by looking at the original source page of the book. In this case, it is on page 652 and appears as thus:

Sample text.jpg

What is immediately obvious is that there is text on the left sidebar which is messing up the text to a considerable degree. There are also Roman numerals, which are originally printed in small caps which the OCR transcription does not know how to handle; the lines are also automatically broken, which is unnecessary for the Wiki's version; there are multiple superscripted letters which break the flow of the text; accents have been added to some words for no apparent reason, while other accents are missing; and some letters have become switched due to the OCR's inability to recognise characters (this is especially the case with "c" and "e", "f" and "t", and "l" and "i").

Thus, you must compare the FULL TEXT transcription to the original print version and, line-by-line, bring them into harmony. A correction of this text would therefore produce this:

"Après le roy Looys le neuvième (x*) fiz le roy Phelippe le Biau, morut son fiz Johan qui er* estoit du royaume de France et de Navarre; commença a régner le roy Phelippe le quint lan de grace M. CCC. e XVI. et fu couronnez le dymenche après la tifaine.* Cel roy trouva son royaume empeschié de plusours contees de Flamens, e des fiés dArtoys e de Picardie. Et tant fist par son sens"

One thing to note is that the superscripts are moved outside of punctuation (except when in parentheses) and are converted into simple asterisks. This is because there is no continuous notation as there is in the original document, so they must match the Wiki's setup. For the moment, the sidebar notes are set aside.

3. Formatting the Text

Now that everything has been corrected, it's time to insert them into the Wiki. On the page you are adding the transcription (see Help:Creating a new page), type out the following:

== Name of Section, Chapter Number, or Paragraph Number ==
{{Paragraph block
| summary = Type a one-sentence summary of the content
| original sidebar = Insert the original sidebar contents here (see below for more information)
| trans sidebar = This is where you insert the translation of the sidebar
| original text = Insert the transcribed text here
| trans text = This is where you insert the translation of the text
}}

This is your translation mainframe – the place where everything happens. You do all your transcribing and your translating in this simple template. And best of all, you don't have to do it all at the same time. Once the transcription is inserted (either typed or pasted from another place), it's a good idea to save.

If your source has original rubrics and/or chapter headers, you can instead use:

== Name of Section, Chapter Number, or Paragraph Number ==
{{Paragraph block
| original rubric = Type the original rubric
| translated rubric = Type the translation of the rubric
| original sidebar = Insert the original sidebar contents here (see below for more information)
| trans sidebar = This is where you insert the translation of the sidebar
| original text = Insert the transcribed text here
| trans text = This is where you insert the translation of the text
}}

4. The Little Things...

Once the transcription is inserted, there are a few task that still have to be done. All those small caps Roman numerals, for example, must appear in small caps on the Wiki as well. You can do this by typing {{sm|NUMBERS HERE}}, with the numbers placed in the brackets. If you have any text that appears superscripted (besides citations or sidebar references), type <sup>TEXT</sup>, with the text in the middle. Finally, if you have any citations (for sidebar references, see below), use the standard <ref>REFERENCE TEXT HERE</ref> template, and make sure the bottom of the page includes a reference list.

For many documents, this is all you need to do to insert a transcription. You can now move on to Help:Translating!

5. Inserting Sidebar Content (Optional)

If your text includes a sidebar, then you have a little more work to do because you must not only include that sidebar content, but you must also place it beside its text. This can be a rather tedious process, but it is necessary for appearances. Fortunately, when later translating the document, the text can usually just be copied over and tweaked slightly. The goal is to get the text to appear beside the line it references (marked with an asterisk). Type <br/> repeatedly before a caption to get it where you want. Each <br/> corresponds to one line of text. Use the preview option to check progress. This task does not have to be perfect, but the final edit should closely place the sidebar beside the referenced text. Once this is done, press save and your transcription should be completed.