Digital humanities in languages

TraduXio Project: Latest Upgrades and Feedback

Lacour, Philippe ; Bénel, Aurélien.
TraduXio is a digital environment for computer assisted multilingual translation which is web-based, free to use and with an open source code. Its originality is threefold-whereas traditional technologies are limited to two languages (source/target), TraduXio enables the comparison of different versions of the same text in various languages; its concordancer provides relevant and multilingual suggestions through a classification of the source according to the history, genre and author; it uses collaborative devices (privilege management, forums, networks, history of modification, etc.) to promote collective (and distributed) translation. TraduXio is designed to encourage the diversification of language learning and to promote a reappraisal of translation as a professional skill. It can be used in many different ways, by very diverse kind of people. In this presentation, I will present the recent developments of the software (its version 2.1) and illustrate how specific groups (language teaching, social sciences, literature) use it on a regular basis. In this paper, I present the technology but concentrate more on the possible uses of TraduXio, thus focusing on translators' feedback about their experience when working in this digital environment in a truly collaborative way.

Spoken word corpus and dictionary definition for an African language

Nganga, Wanjiku ; Achebe, Ikechukwu.
The preservation of languages is critical to maintaining and strengthening the cultures and identities of communities, and this is especially true for under-resourced languages with a predominantly oral culture. Most African languages have a relatively short literary past, and as such the task of dictionary making cannot rely on textual corpora as has been the standard practice in lexicography. This paper emphasizes the significance of the spoken word and the oral tradition as repositories of vocabulary, and argues that spoken word corpora greatly outweigh the value of printed texts for lexicography. We describe a methodology for creating a digital dialectal dictionary for the Igbo language from such a spoken word corpus. We also highlight the language technology tools and resources that have been created to support the transcription of thousands of hours of Igbo speech and the subsequent compilation of these transcriptions into an XML-encoded textual corpus of Igbo dialects. The methodology described in this paper can serve as a blueprint that can be adopted for other under-resourced languages that have predominantly oral cultures.

Optical Recognition Assisted Transcription with Transkribus: The Experiment concerning Eugène Wilhelm's Personal Diary (1885-1951)

Schlagdenhauffen, Régis.
This article proposes use the Transkribus software to report on a "user experiment" in a French-speaking context. It is based on the semi-automated transcription project using the diary of the jurist Eugène Wilhelm (1866-1951). This diary presents two main challenges. The first is related to the time covered by the writing process-66 years. This leads to variations in the form of the writing, which becomes increasingly "unreadable" with time. The second challenge is related to the concomitant use of two alphabets: Roman for everyday text and Greek for private issues. After presenting the project and the specificities related to the use of the tool, the experiment presented in this contribution is structured around two aspects. Firstly, I will summarise the main obstacles encountered and the solutions provided to overcome them. Secondly, I will come back to the collaborative transcription experiment carried out with students in the classroom, presenting the difficulties observed and the solutions found to overcome them. In conclusion, I will propose an assessment of the use of this Human Text Recognition software in a French-speaking context and in a teaching situation.