Help:Translating

From Medieval Texts
Jump to: navigation, search

Translation is the essential project of this wiki. Therefore, it must be done right. While anybody can – and should! – transcribe documents to this wiki, only people with appropriate skills, knowledge, and abilities should attempt to translate the documents. That being said, if you feel you have those traits, it is your purpose on this wiki to go out and help translate material from its original source language into modern English.

This guide is to help those wishing to translate to do so properly.

1. Find an Untranslated Item

This seems pretty obvious, but it's not. Don't translate something that somebody else is already working on and don't translate something that already has a translation, available on here or elsewhere. There is so much out there in need of translation that you should never waste your time translating materials that are already available in modern English. Find something new and bring it to the world!

2. Draw from Transcriptions

There are many untranslated transcriptions available on this website and many more out there in the wild. Make sure that what you are translating already has a transcription available here. Check the list of chronicles or follow the transcribing guide if you want to add a new transcription to the site. Make sure to search the site thoroughly for your document first, though, because you don't want to accidentally double the work.

If you want to transcribe a document that already has a transcription on this site, but that transcription is from a different manuscript, you are encouraged to contribute this new and different material wholeheartedly. At the same time, though, it may be better to transcribe and translate something entirely new rather than something that is only moderately different.

Finally, if you'd like to translate an original manuscript, make sure to do a transcription as well.

Remember: Every translation needs an original-language transcription beside it! Without the transcription, your translation will be removed from the site.

3. Stake Your Claim

To stake your claim, click the "Edit" link for the section for the section of text you want to translate (if you want to work on a whole page of text, click "Edit" at the top of the page). Beneath the header line, type out:

{{translating

| Your Username (without [[User:...]]
| Any additional comments you may have (this is optional)

}}

This will produce the following banner at the top of the page or section:

This section is currently being edited by User: Your Username . Please do not edit this section for two hours beginning from 05:15, 20 October 2017 (UTC). Thank you!
Any additional comments you may have (this is optional)

Click "Publish" when you are done. If you are creating an entirely new page, staking your claim is not necessary.

4. Copy the Layout of the Transcription

When translating, try to stick closely to the format of the original document in regards to sentence and paragraph structure, sidebar-notes, and headers. Only use your own layout if you are translating an actual manuscript, in which case make sure your transcription and translation match and that there are adequate notes on the title page article describing the original layout and organisation of the manuscript.

5. Make the Text Readable

While sentence and paragraph structure should be retained, other aspects such as the addition of punctuation marks (commas, colons, semi-colons, question marks, dashes, etc.), the capitalisation and modernised spellings of proper nouns, and the slight reorganisation of sentences is understandable and is expected, although it should always be conducted with care. Only add additional punctuation when it is necessary in understanding the sentence, and do not capitalise things such as titles unless they are clearly being used as a proper noun. Variations between different translators is expected and not a negative thing, so when peer reviewing, try to keep this in mind.

Note: Proper names should be kept in their modern vernacular spelling, so "Phelippe" (Old French) should be "Philippe" (French), not "Philip (English). Place names should also be in their vernacular spelling "Bretagne" rather than "Brittany".

6. Note Your Problems

There is no shame in not knowing what a word or phrase means – this is one of the great benefits of a crowd-sourced project such as this. If you do have a problem with a word or phrase, ask yourself a simple question: do I feel comfortable to guess the translation?

If yes, use {{ word | OriginalText | TranslationAttempt }}. This will produce TranslationAttempt, which shows your translation attempt as the primary text, but colors it and makes the original phrase visible upon hovering over it. It will also insert the page into a category for articles with uncertain translations.

If no, use {{ prob | OriginalText }}. This will produce [Original Text], which shows the original text colored and within brackets. It will also insert the page into a category for articles with problem text.

These two simple tools will allow readers to notice that something is off when they are reading the text and, if they have the skills, they can then fix these problems. Remember that there is no shame in not knowing something in a dead language – we're all learners.

7. Save It!

Once your translation is done, or at least you are done for the day, remove the {{translating}} banner from the top of the page or section and save the document. If you haven't finished the translation of the section (i.e., only a part of the paragraph is done), also append {{inc}} to the end of your text. This will let readers know that the translation is incomplete and it will also insert a category marker for the page so people searching for incomplete translations will know where to look.