This is a part of a long-term project on Shakespeare's global rewritings -- translations, adaptations, versions, in all languages (including Englishes), from all times. But it's not only about Shakespeare...
We want to make digital tools to help us explore world culture, by comparing how the same work is translated differently, over time and space, in the same and different languages. We want to develop text analysis and data visualization tools which will contribute to cross-cultural understandings and enable new research, new learning and teaching.
Our first prototype tool is a "Translation Array" based on 37 German versions of Othello (1, 3), with visual interfaces designed by Studio NAND, and 'back end' software by Kevin Flanagan. It is accessible here -- you simply sign in as a guest. URL: www.delightedbeauty.org/vvv (or ow.ly/ccpaw). This is a fully open-access installation: data may be changed by any user.
A read-only (more stable!) installation of the tool is here. URL: www.delightedbeauty.org/vvvclosed. Please contact us if you wish to use the tool in research: email@example.com
Another prototype tool for visualizing version variation, designed by Zhao Geng with Robert Laramee, is presented here: draft article, slides, and a video. The article was published in July 2013.
Presentations of our work during 2012-13:
Meanwhile, translations crowd-sourcing continues as part of the same project...
We invite contributions to a collection of the world's rewritings of the last words spoken by the Duke of Venice in Shakespeare's Othello. These lines are in Act 1, scene 3. In the 'Moby' Open Source Shakespeare, lines 646-7:*
If virtue no delighted beauty lack,
Your son-in-law is far more fair than black.
These lines raise controversial questions for readers, actors, directors, critics, and editors, as well as translators.
See Multilingual Materials for the growing collection of versions. We expect to collect over 300, in perhaps 100 languages.
Can you help? We want versions with literal back-translations into English, source details, and (optionally) your correspondence address and further comments. Media files, or links to them, are welcome. This will become a site of sound, vision, and animation.
You can contribute in 3 ways: 1. use the Comments feature of this site; 2. fill in the form at Contribute; or 3. write to:
Tom Cheesman — firstname.lastname@example.org
Department of Modern Languages, Swansea University, SA2 8PP, Wales, UK
February-September 2012: the 'Translation Arrays' project was supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, under the 'Digital Transformations' theme: AH/J012483/1. The project title is 'Translation Arrays: Version Variation Visualization (Phase 2)'. The Principal Investigator is Dr Tom Cheesman, with Co-Investigators Dr Robert S. Laramee and Dr Jonathan Hope, Software Architect Kevin Flanagan, and Design Consultant Stephan Thiel. Work by Zhao Geng was supported by the 'Bridging the Gaps' initiative at Swansea University funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Phase 1 of the work (2011) was funded by Swansea University (Wales) College of Arts and Humanities, with Co-Investigators Dr David M. Berry, Prof. Andy Rothwell, and Dr Laramee, and Research Assistants Alison Ehrmann and Zhao Geng.
Organisations which are supporting us in kind are listed in the column on the left.
*Also: in The Oxford Shakespeare, ed. Michael Neill (2006), lines 287-8. In The New Cambridge Shakespeare, ed. Norman Sanders (updated 2003), lines 285-6. In the British Library's First Quarto, page 17:
Image from: The tragedy of Othello, the Moore of Venice. As it hath beene diuerse times acted at the Globe, and at the Black-Friers, by his Maiesties seruants.
Written by William Shakespeare. Quarto. 1622. Owned by and © British Library, London. Page 17.