Accessing Texts in Multiple Languages
MERLOT CONFERENCE
Nashville, Tennessee
July 27th, 2005
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Litgloss is a collection of texts of literary or cultural
interest, written in languages other than English,
and expertly annotated to facilitate comprehension
by English-speaking readers. The project was
undertaken with seed funding from the University
at Buffalo, and is now supported by a $197K grant
from the National Endowment for the Humanities.
19 languages
60+ countries visiting
147 annotated texts
~200K monthly hits
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Maureen Jameson
Associate Professor of French and Chair,
Department of Romance Languages and Literatures,
University at Buffalo,
State University of New York
Project director for Litgloss
Carla Meskill
Associate Professor,
Department of Educational Theory and Practice,
University at Albany,
State University of New York
Director of Technology Assisted Language Learning (TALL)
project and Language Advocacy Project (LAP)
Co-editor of MERLOT World Languages
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Litgloss is a collaborative project involving
» language/literature specialists
» librarians
» instructional designers
» high school and higher ed faculty
» computer scientists
» sound studio technicians
» graduate and undergraduate students
» reviewers and evaluators
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Litgloss is a collaborative project involving
» language/literature specialists
» librarians
» instructional designers
» high school and higher ed faculty
» computer scientists
» sound studio technicians
» graduate and undergraduate students
» reviewers and evaluators
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Students interact with the Litgloss project
in two ways:
• as consumers of the content
• as producers of the content
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
“Fascism is an historical conception in which man is what
he is only in so far as he works with the spiritual process
in which he finds himself, in the family or social group, in
the nation and in the history in which all nations
collaborate. From this follows the great value of tradition,
in memories, in language, in customs, in the standards of
social life. Outside history man is nothing. Consequently
Fascism is opposed to all the individualistic abstractions
of a materialistic nature like those of the eighteenth
century; and it is opposed to all Jacobin utopias and
innovations.”
Benito Mussolini, “The Doctrine of Fascism,” 1932
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
“Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the
development of humanity quite apart from political
considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility
nor the utility of perpetual peace. It thus repudiates the doctrine
of Pacifism -- born of a renunciation of the struggle and an act of
cowardice in the face of sacrifice. War alone brings up to its
highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility
upon the peoples who have courage to meet it. All other trials
are substitutes, which never really put men into the position
where they have to make the great decision -- the alternative of
life or death....”
Benito Mussolini, “The Doctrine of Fascism,” 1932
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
What kinds of work do student contributors do?
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
• Annotate a text and / or check the annotations of others
• Research biographical, bibliographic and contextual information
about featured texts
• Teach an annotated text to an intermediate class
• Evaluate the effectiveness of the annotations for student
comprehension and learning
• Discover and prepare texts from cultures rarely represented in
the curriculum
• Become acquainted with other text archive projects on the web
and with efforts to develop encoding standards (TEI)
• Become skilled enough at web technologies to invent entirely
new projects…
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Texts from World Civ syllabi at Buffalo
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Voltaire, Candide (6)
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex (4)
Alexis de Tocqueville, The Old Regime and the French Revolution (4)
Rousseau, The Social Contract (4)
Christine de Pisan, The Treasure Of The City Of Ladies (3)
Montesquieu, The Persian Letters (2)
Froissart, Chronicles (2)
The Song of Roland (2)
Emile Zola, The Ladies’ Delight (2)
Albert Camus, The Stranger (2)
Madame de Sévigné, Selected Letters (2)
Cardinal Richelieu, Political Testament (2)
Ivan Turgeniev, Fathers and Sons (3)
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment (2)
Lydia Chukovskaya, Sofia Petrovna (2)
Machiavelli, The Prince (5)
Boccaccio, The Decameron (3)
Baldesar Castiglione, The Book of the Courtier (2)
Polo, The Travels of Marco Polo (2)
Marx, Capital
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Texts read in history courses at Ohio State University (1)
Homer, Odysseus
Herodotus, Histories
Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War
Aeschylus, The Persians
Sophocles, Antigone
Euripides, The Trojan Women
Aristophanes, The Acharnians
Vasco de Gama, Journey to India
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract
Catherine the Great, The Instruction to the Commissioners for
Composing a New Code of Laws
Olympe de Gouges, Declaration of the Rights of Woman and of the Female Citizen
An Aztec Account of the Conquest of Mexico
Fernão Mendes Pinto, The Travels of Mendes Pinto
Matteo Ricci, Journals
Ceremonial for Visitors: Court Tribute (Ch’ing government)
Emperor Ch’ien-lung [Qianlong], Letter to King George III
Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Communist Manifesto
Friedrich List, National System of Political Economy
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Texts read in history courses at Ohio State University (2)
Ito Hirobumi, Reminiscences on the Drafting of the New Constitution
François Carlotti, World War I: A Frenchman’s Recollections
Nadezhda K. Krupskaya, What a Communist Ought to Be Like
Benito Mussolini, The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism
Adolf Histler, Mein Kampf
John Rabe, The Diaries of the Nanking Massacre
Adolf Hitler, The Obersalzberg Speech
Marie Claude Vaillant-Couturier, Testimony on the Gassing of Auschwitz
Nikita S. Khrushchev, Address to the Twentieth Party Congress
Mao Tse-tung [Mao Zedong], “The People’s Democratic Dictatorship”
Fidel Castro, Second Declaration of Havana
Palestinian Declaration of Independence
Richard Wagner, lyrics from Tristan and Isolde
Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto
Gustave Flaubert, “A Simple Heart”
Fyodor Dostoevsky, Notes from the Underground
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Texts read in history courses at Ohio State University (3)
Thomas Mann, “Death in Venice”
Sigmund Freud, Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis
Simone de Beauvoir, The Second Sex
Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction
Cicero, Selected Political Speeches
Cicero, Selected Letters
Livy, The Early History of Rome
Plautus, The Pot of Gold and Other Plays
Plutarch, Makers of Rome
Plutarch, The Fall of the Roman Republic
Polybius, The Rise of the Roman Empire
Sallust, The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy of Catiline
Augustine, The Confessions
Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment
Caesar, The Conquest of Gaul
Bao Ninh, The Sorrow of War
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
“You, sorrowing mother, you,
widowed wife, you, the son who
lost a brother or a father, all the
victims of wars, fill the air and
space with recitals of peace, fill
bosoms and hearts with the
aspirations of peace. Make a
reality that blossoms and lives.
Make hope a code of conduct
and endeavor....”
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat's
Address to the Israeli Knesset
November 20, 1977
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
An excerpt from Sadat’s speech with target vocabulary
hand-numbered
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
The numbered
items are then
copied out in a list
with English
equivalents
provided in a
second column.
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
The Arabic letter “ta,”
at the end of the word
Sadat, as scanned in
at high resolution.
The computer sees
only black dots and
white dots. It doesn’t
recognize this “ta” as
writing, but sees and
renders only black
pixels next to white
pixels.
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
http://wings.buffalo.edu/litgloss/e3/temp_annotate/
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
How will we grow to accommodate
expanding numbers of contributors?
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Goals of the collaborative interface
 Promote collaboration in humanities
 Exposure to and collaboration with others who
have similar interests
 Widespread collaboration:
 Capture expertise of large number of people
 Capture expertise in languages not represented at UB
 Leave a teaching legacy
 Experts leave their mark with their annotations
and even recordings
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
What we were looking for
Interface
 Editors would be able to see an image of
the text they were annotating as well as the
OCR text
 Editors would have a text-editing area to
enter annotations
Authentication
 Four levels, from “passerby” to
“omnipotent”
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Models
WikiWikis (Wikipedia): users can edit entries
without approval
Template publishing tools: users can edit
designated parts of a template to produce a
web page
Collaboratories: online collaborative
environments specifically designed for
scholarly collaboration
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
The collaboratory model
 The Suda Online (SOL):
http://www.stoa.org/sol/
 Users can register to edit entries, and are
approved on basis of expertise in translating
ancient Greek
 Managing editors oversee editing
 Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders:
http://www.pgdp.net/
 Same basic model, but no particular expertise
required
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
One of the most important
collaborative efforts
will focus on
assessment
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Testimonial: Classics Professor, University of Iowa
I had them [my students] do one of the poems that is glossed there,
and they did like it. We were in the Cargill classroom, and so I opened up
the page on the Smart Board, and then they also went to the page on their
individual computers, and we worked through the Catullus poem as an
in-class group project. There
"Poem 13," by Catullus
were several comments as I
annotated by Don McGuire
recall as to -'why don't they
do more,‘ [texts] to that effect. Cenabis bene, mi Fabulle, apud me
paucis, si tibi di favent, diebus,
If more Latin like that goes up, si tecum attuleris bonam atque magnam
cenam, non sine candida puella
I know it will be very
et vino et sale et omnibus cachinnis.
useful for teachers at both
haec si, inquam, attuleris, venuste noster
HS and college level.
cenabis bene; nam tui Catulli
plenus sacculus est aranearum.
sed contra accipies meros amores
seu quid suavius elegantiusve est:
nam unguentum dabo, quod meae puellae
donarunt Veneres Cupidinesque,
quod tu cum olfacies, deos rogabis
totum ut te faciant, Fabulle, nasum.
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Testimonial: High School French AP teacher
I have done some crossword puzzles based on the
vocabulary for selected texts; I have also developed
worksheets to guide
the students with
Le chat
comprehension.
Dans ma cervelle se promène
Ainsi qu'en son appartement,
Un beau chat, fort, doux et charmant.
Quand il miaule, on l'entend à peine,
Tant son timbre est tendre et discret
Mais que sa voix s'apaise ou gronde,
Elle est toujours riche et profonde.
C'est là son charme et son secret.
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
FL Faculty
CASES
Heritage
Learners
GenEd
Student w/ FL
background
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
How can you get your own
Litgloss merchandise?
 Annotate some texts
or
 Sign up to review
the work of others
or
 Participate in a case
study
 [email protected]
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Special thanks
for their support of this presentation go to
MERLOT
National Endowment for the Humanities
Research Foundation of the State University of New York
SUNY University Centers at Buffalo and Albany
Staff of the Nashville Convention Center and
Renaissance Hotel
Accessing texts in Multiple Languages :: MERLOT
Thank you for your interest!
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