Sunday, July 2, 2017

Greek and Latin

I was a Greek and Latin major in college. With the birth of my baby, it's been impossible for me to keep up with those languages. Latin is the easier language to study, since it's more recent and uses the same alphabet as English, so I'm dropping Greek and keeping Latin. The goal is to do at least some Latin translation each week. We'll see how it works!

I'm a little disappointed that the Internet hasn't proven to be a boon for Greek and Latin studies. If only computers had been developed a hundred years earlier, when it was more common for Americans to be multilingual! Most of the time, all the good online sources are ripped straight from public domain books, written before 1923. Those people did all their work by hand, and just imagine how much better they could have done, if they had computers!

For example, textual variants. All the old manuscripts were written out, copied and recopied by hand. Not every copy is the same, and it's interesting to see the various differences. There should be a website where you can hover your mouse over a line or something, to see the different variations. That'd be neat to see for Greek and Latin texts. Also, for Shakespeare's works. Oh man, we could scan all the original texts and see them for ourselves, instead of relying on typed versions of the texts!

Also, more translations would be nice. When I'm translating something from Latin, it's useful to have one or two English translations as a guide, in case I get stuck and can't figure out what the author is saying. But most of the time, the only translations available are the pre-1923 ones. You'd think there would easily be 5+ websites, with multiple translations of a single work. There are certainly enough websites with multiple translations of the Bible. It shouldn't be too much of a stretch to imagine something like that for Greek and Latin writings.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

you should translate the Nancy Drew games into Latin! :)