Ben Crowder

Blog: #languages

48 posts :: tag feed :: about the blog :: archive

Thai consonants chart

I’ve wanted to put the Thai alphabet up on our wall so my kids can start learning it, and I’ve learned a lot about design since I made the Thai script card (which was really just a touchup on an existing card design I received in the MTC), so I made a new Thai consonants chart:


This one adds the consonant class (low/medium/high) and colors the initial consonant transliteration so it’s clearer.

I made it in PlotDevice, using a setup very similar to the Latin conjugation charts — YAML data file with a script that turns it into a PDF.

I’m planning to make two companion charts later — one for vowels and one for the miscellaneous marks, numerals, tones, etc.

Reply via email or via office hours

Greek and Latin vocab lists

This is cool: Haverford College has created a tool called Bridge that creates Latin or Greek vocab lists from texts and textbooks. For example, I was able to start with the vocab from Moreland and Fleischer’s Latin: An Intensive Course (the text we used in my first Latin course in college) and then limit it to just nouns and verbs. You can export to Excel/TSV as well. Pretty neat.

Reply via email or via office hours

Egyptian uniliterals chart

I’ve missed doing language charts, so I put together one of the Egyptian uniliterals:


To go along with it, I’ve also made some worksheets, intended to be printed and filled out:


The graded worksheet is a new idea I had, to gradually introduce new characters over the course of the worksheet. Both my wife and I worked through it and by the end we both felt fairly confident in our newfound knowledge of the uniliterals.

Oh, and I made all of these in PlotDevice. It’s quite handy, especially for the worksheets where I’m generating the contents programmatically.

Reply via email or via office hours

Some fun Anglo-Saxon words

Some words I came across in J. R. Clark Hall’s A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary that struck me as amusing or interesting:

  • alb: white garment
  • brægnloca: brain-house, head
  • cossian: to kiss
  • deaðwang: plain of death
  • dreamcræft: art of music
  • dreamleas: joyless, sad
  • Eastermonað: April
  • faroðstræt: path of the sea
  • felasynnig: very guilty
  • hamfaru: attack of an enemy in his house, a housebreaking
  • handscyldig: condemned to lose a hand
  • insocn: brawl in a house
  • instæpe: entrance
  • lobbe: spider
  • manweorðung: adoration of human beings
  • nydniman: to take by force
  • orðanc: cleverness, skill
  • paddanieg: toad-meadow, frog-island
  • rihtæðelcwen: lawful wife
  • scremman: to cause to stumble
  • tintregðegn: torturer, executioner
  • utlendisc: strange, foreign
  • wælmist: mist of death

Reply via email or via office hours

On digital Greek and Latin texts

A good blog post by Gregory Crane (editor-in-chief of the Perseus Digital Library at Tufts) back in February about the Digital Loeb Classical library and the digitization of Greek and Latin texts:

We need transcriptions of public domain print editions to provide a starting point for work. These editions do not have to be the most up-to-date and they do not even have to be error free (99% may be good enough rather than 99.95%). If the community has the ability to correct and augment and to add features such as are described above and to receive recognition for that work, then the editions will evolve rapidly and outperform closed editions. If no community emerges to improve the editions, then the edition is good enough for current purposes. This model moves away from treating the community as a set of consumers and towards viewing members of the community as citizens with an obligation to contribute as well as to use.

The post has links to some fascinating projects I didn’t know about, like the Open Philology Project and the Homer Multitext Project.

Reply via email or via office hours

Ancient Greek OCR

This is cool:

Ancient Greek OCR is free software to accurately convert scans of printed Ancient Greek into unicode text and PDF files, which can be easily searched, copied, archived, and transformed. It uses the excellent Tesseract OCR engine, tailored for Ancient Greek typography, syntax and vocabulary.

I haven’t used Tesseract in 10+ years, but back then it wasn’t too great. According to their website, however: “Between 1995 and 2006 it had little work done on it, but since then it has been improved extensively by Google.” That’s encouraging. (I wonder if that’s what they’re using behind the scenes for Google Books and Google Drive and their other things.)

Reply via email or via office hours