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Using online translators for a Kite Collection French Language Poem

Posted for Susan Ottignon, Digital Library and Special Collections Team:

When tasked with transcribing a French poem and prayers, written by Elizabeth Sarah Kite, and having no working knowledge of the language, I relied heavily on several online translators [1], so readily available these days, to decipher unfamiliar French words. The Villanova Digital Library, (VDL), digitized Kite’s papers and are available as part of the Catholica Collection.

After a few tries of copying/pasting words from the work into the varied translators which gave some interesting results. I decided to ‘dump’ entire verses into a translator and discovered rather quickly each system had its own distinct differences and many similarities in their translation. This wasn’t an exercise, on my part, to analyze the software or to provide an authoritative translation of Kite’s writings. My contribution, by using the translators, is an attempt to offer us, the non-French readers, an opportunity to read and feel the deep expressions of the author’s faith and love for the Lord. I leave to future researchers the task in executing an authoritative edition of Elizabeth Sarah Kite’s writings.


[1] Online Translators used: Google Translation, ImTranslator ©2014 Smart Link Corporation, Bing Translator © 2014 Microsoft and Reverso Translation.



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Last Modified: May 6, 2014

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