Sunday, October 31, 2010

Aozora Bunko Translation Project Update

This just in from Molly Des Jardin of University of Michigan:
Hi Beholdmyswarthyface-

This is Molly Des Jardin - I messaged you quite a while back about our mutual friend Boyd whose name I saw mentioned on your blog. Now I'm writing again because I'm interested in the Aozora Bunko Translation Project you and your colleagues are putting together.

I'm back at the University of Michigan now after a year of research in Japan, and looking at developing projects in the digital humanities that specifically use Japan-related resources. I've been looking at some collaborative translation sites out there and getting a lot of inspiration related back to your project.

Given that our department has an abnormal number of Meiji specialists (both grad students and faculty) my brainstorming is leading toward embarking on some kind of collaborative Meiji translation project that would put English and Japanese text up on the web, marked up in a way that would also make it useful for future text manipulation and data mining. I have no idea if I can get a critical mass of interest for this, but the money is there within U of M to make this kind of thing happen. Anyway, my thoughts on it reminded me to message you and see what's going on with your translation project. I checked out your blog updates on the translation list and it looks like a Meiji team would nicely complement the Taishō/early Shōwa texts that are on your priority list.

Let me know your thoughts if you have time. Hope this finds you doing well in Tokyo and slightly warmer than I am here in the windy Midwest.

Hello Molly,

I'm glad to hear you're interested in our project. Recently I've been so busy with other projects (mainly teaching an undergrad literature course at Sophia U. and gathering material for my dissertation) that I haven't had much time for it, but the project is definitely still on the agenda, and we're always looking for more people to contribute. It would be great if you could head up the Meiji division. I'll put Sally Suzuki in charge of the Taishō/Shōwa eras. (She usually does what I tell her to do.)

And it would be wonderful if you could get U. of Michigan to provide some kind of sponsorship for the project. I will ask around at Sophia and Tokyo University as well to see if anyone is interested.

Anyway, we'll discuss more in detail later. I'm out the door right now and into the typhoon that just hit this morning!

For now, I'll put together a list of people who are willing to contribute. (Anyone who is interested should leave his/her name, affiliation, and email address in the comment section below!) 



Tom Kain said...

Sign me up. Tom Kain, Diablo Translations.

D. Boyd said...

Count me in, too. D. Boyd, Tokyo University.

BlakeMB said...

Definitely interested. Blake Baguley, student at Shizuoka University, until next year at least.

Chris Castle said...

Me, too. Chris Castle, Phoenix, public schoolmaster.