The House of David

"dawnbreak in the west"

Friday, January 08, 2016

Status on the Casanova translation project

Here is how I've tackled the translation itself. I dealt with the transliteration earlier.

The mass of imperfectly-transcribed French went into an HTML file, which I opened with Chrome. I hit French-to-English translation, and copied the hot mess into MS Word.

On my first pass, I turned all the footnotes into true Word footnotes. Then I passed through and restored all the German; the footnotes especially had a lot of German, because, up to 1913 AD, the Germans had been doing most of the scholarship. I also restored some French where these were the titles of books and journals. There were voir plus haut cross-refs in here as well, especially in the footnotes; these became Word "bookmarks" and "cross-references", so as to keep mine own text in sync.

Now it was time to do some proto-translating. I looked up footnotes where they could be pointed to English translation. In Arabic, these would be Ibn Khaldun and the major Sunni hadith-collections; in German, Goldziher. Some of these footnotes have had subsequent commentary upon them since 1911, notably by Nöldeke and Schwally; those refs went in there too. The Qur'an itself exists in English translation, but here I wanted to keep Casanova's efforts mainly intact, so I just used the translations as a guide to my (slavish) translations of Casanova. I did however convert Casanova's chapter-and-verse, which I'm guessing came from Flügel, into the modern Egyptian numerations. Along the way I found several typoes where the printer had just plain botched Casanova's intended references.

As you saw a few days ago, that's when I'd understood Casanova-French well enough to start going through the text page-by-page. I was fortunate enough to have an earlier attempt - Ibn Warraq's - in its first para-and-half. He had his method; I have mine, but I had to start somewhere, with training-wheels.

I am now somewhere in chapter II of VII.


posted by Zimri on 17:06 | link | 0 comments

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