Monday, February 26, 2007

Palaeography and Translation web sites

Dona Ritchie's list of handwriting (palaeography) and translation web sites include:

1) Old Style Handwriting and Printer's Ligatures - A Beginner's Guide (Smoot Family Association) -

2) Palaeography - Reading Old Handwriting tutorial -

3) Reading Early Writing -

4) Early English Handwriting -

5) Scottish Handwriting - online tutoring in the palaeography of Scottish documents, 1500 to 1750 -

6) English Handwriting, 1500 to 1700 - an online course -

7) Deciphering Old Handwriting - from a genealogy course taught by Sabina J. Murray -

8) Handwriting guide - German Gothic Resource Guide -

9) Tutorials for reading Old German, French and English Handwriting -

The free online translation sites include (each of these also offers professional translation services for a price via email):

1) Free online translation of text (English to Spanish, French, German, Norwegian, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Chinese, and vice versa) -

2) Free online translation of text (the above, plus Arabic and Korean) -

3) Free online translation of text (the above plus Greek and Swedish, but not Norwegian) - [not available now]

Note that for the translations to non-Latin alphabets, you must have the proper character sets installed on your computer. All-in-all, these sites look fairly easy to use for short phrases. The prices to translate a fairly long document may be high.

I input the last paragraph into the English to French translator at the WorldLingo site, then translated it back to English - it came out:

"Note that for the translations with the alphabets not-Latin, you must have the suitable character sets installed on your computer. All-in-all, it looks at rather easy employing these sites for short expressions. The prices to translate a rather long document can be high."

That isn't too bad, actually. These sites generally will translate 150 words for free.

At the Free Translation site, it costs $40 to translate a paragraph like that into Spanish, or $50 to translate it into Chinese. If you need a translation of something short, the free translator may be the way to go. For longer documents, you may want to pay the price or try to find someone in a local genealogy society or an educational institution to help you get it right.

My thanks to Dona for letting me post these online resources.

Do you have other palaeography or translation options? Tell me about them!

1 comment:

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