joye the obscured (dustthouart) wrote in linguaphiles,
joye the obscured

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parallel translation helper tool

mentalguy, a friend of mine, made this tool for me a while ago, and it just occurred to me that other people might find it useful.

Duizhao (named after the Chinese word for placing things side by side for comparison, 對照) is a parallel translation helper and HTML generator. It gives three windows to enter text into, and it outputs a nicely formatted HTML version using tables.

It is ideal for things like song lyrics and poetry with lots of line breaks, but it's good for all kinds of parallel translation. It's especially good for translating between languages where one language takes more space to write than the other, like Chinese to English, but I think it would help with any language.

The nice thing about this approach is that you can make sure that a line or paragraph is always right next to what it's a translation of. It isn't dependent on how wide or narrow the person viewing your webpage has set their browser window. It takes away all the work of doing the tables by hand. I also find it useful just for writing the translation, because I can quickly glance between the source and my translation.

Here is an example with just two sections filled out:
This is an example sentence.這是一句例話。

And here is a longer example with three sections (original is liner notes and lyrics from Cold Fairyland's Bride in Legend, translation is mine):
依兰依兰想起村里从前嫁出去的姑娘,从未有哪个回来探亲的,心里疑惑,再问阿妈,阿妈就沉默不答了。Yīlán Yīlán xiǎngqǐ cūnlǐ cóngqián jià chū qù de gūniáng, cóngwèi yǒu nǎ gè huílái tànqīn de, xīn lǐ yíhuò, zài wèn Amā, Amā jiù chénmò bú dá le.This recalled to Ylang-ylang the previous maidens of the village who had gone out to marry. They had never come back home for a visit. Her heart full of doubts, she asked Ama again, but Ama became silent and didn't answer.
栽一棵通波亚在依兰依兰出嫁的地方zāi yī kē tōngbōyà zài Yīlán Yīlán chū jià de dìfāngplant a welwitschia in the place where Ylang-Ylang leaves to marry
让它代替姑娘留在家乡ràng tā dàitì gūniáng liú zài jiāxiānglet it stand for the maiden and remain in her homeland
栽一棵无忧花在依兰依兰出嫁的地方zāi yī kē wúyōuhuā zài Yīlán Yīlán chū jià de dìfāngplant an ashoka tree in the place where Ylang-Ylang leaves to marry
让它驱散姑娘的无尽悲伤ràng tā qū sàn gūniáng de wújìn bēishānglet it dissolve the maiden's unending sorrow

If you experiment with changing the size of your window, you should see that no matter what size you make the window, the translations stay lined up. :)

Anyway I hope this is useful to some of you. I find it very useful for posting translations on chinesesongs and Flip Song Words, my erratic translation blog. (Hey, might as well get my own plug in.)
Tags: internet resources, links, translation

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