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CIMEC 2005 ARENA Project: a Multilingual Portal for Archaeology Irina Oberländer-Târnoveanu CIMEC – Institute for Cultural Memory.

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Presentation on theme: "CIMEC 2005 ARENA Project: a Multilingual Portal for Archaeology Irina Oberländer-Târnoveanu CIMEC – Institute for Cultural Memory."— Presentation transcript:

1 CIMEC 2005 ARENA Project: a Multilingual Portal for Archaeology Irina Oberländer-Târnoveanu CIMEC – Institute for Cultural Memory

2 CIMEC 2005 Greetings Good afternoon (EN) Bon giorno (IT) Bonjour (FR) Bună ziua (RO) From a simple greeting we can notice: What languages belong to the same family (Italian, French and Romanian as Romance) Some languages use diacritical characters which indicate the pronunciation and may change the meaning (see ă): Bună = good but Buna = also granny

3 CIMEC 2005 Why does language matter? Language is related to identity, culture, and memory. Loss of language could mean loss of valuable culture and irreplaceable knowledge. Therefore diversity of languages is a value in itself, similar to biodiversity. It should be protected like endangered species.

4 CIMEC 2005 Cultural heritage is especially sensitive to language issues because: Terminology is less standardised; Terms may have different meanings from one language to another; Names of historical periods cover different chronological limits (starting and ending dates), depending on geographical area; Terms from one language may have no equivalence in another; Professional vocabulary is often not included in general language dictionaries.

5 CIMEC 2005 One or many languages? The diversity of languages is a strong reality. We cannot speak all the same language. Languages are vivid organisms that always survive, transform themselves, assimilate and transmit. We think, write and read in our native languages, for a specific language community. English – the modern lingua franca.

6 CIMEC 2005 Why English? 'A language does not become a global language because of its intrinsic structural properties, or because of the size of its vocabulary, or because it has been of a great literature in the past, or because it was once associated with a great culture or religion… A language becomes an international language for one chief reason: the political power of its people - especially their military power. The explanation is the same throughout history. (Crystal 1997)

7 CIMEC 2005 One or many languages? In humanities, most of the scientific information is still written in national languages (including databases and other large cultural heritage resources). There is no easy way to improve access and communication among languages.

8 CIMEC 2005 Getting access to knowledge By learning others' languages By translating from one language to another By using a common international language Scientific vocabulary – easier to understand

9 CIMEC 2005 Clues for content Scientific text is accompanied by many representations non-linguistic in character: maps, plans, charts, diagrams, drawings and photographs. Therefore, it is easier understood by specialists in a field than any literary text in the same languages.

10 CIMEC 2005 Small languages and translation Small languages remain isolated from the great fluxes of scientific literature. Few people in the world would understand Norwegian, Polish or Romanian. The only scientific information cited abroad is that available in largely spread languages.

11 CIMEC 2005 The Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights, Barcelona, 1996 the right to be recognized as a member of a language community; the right to the use of one's own language both in private and in public; the right to the use of one's own name; the right to interrelate and associate with other members of one's language community of origin; the right to maintain and develop one's own culture.

12 CIMEC 2005 Languages on the Web Source: Global Internet Statistics (http://global- 50.4 % of Web users speak a native language other than English; 43 % of Web users do not speak English at all only 35.8 % from the almost 80% a couple of years ago.

13 CIMEC 2005 ARENA - Archaeological Records of Europe Networked Access European Project ( ) Culture 2000 Programme (ref. no. 430 CLT2001) Extending online access and digital preservation of European archaeological archives Website:

14 CIMEC 2005 ARENA - Participants 1.United Kingdom - Archaeology Data Service (ADS), York University – project coordinator 2.Denmark - National Agency for Cultural Heritage, Copenhagen 3.Iceland - The Institute of Archaeology [Fornleifastofnun lslands - FSÍ], Reykjavík

15 CIMEC 2005 ARENA - Participants 4.Norway - Museum Documentation Project, University of Oslo 5.Poland - Poznan Archaeological Museum 6.Romania - cIMeC - Institute for Cultural Memory, Bucharest

16 CIMEC 2005 Main results on-line: ARENA Portal for Archaeological Archives ARENA Portal for Sites and Monuments Records

17 CIMEC 2005 Multilingual access interface: why and how To allow the first contact in the language most familiar to potential visitors of the site to facilitate access, translation and reading of archaeological information in the languages of the participating countries To provide the basic information and search terms (periods, site categories, location) in several languages.

18 CIMEC 2005 ARENA Multilingual Approach User interface, introduction and search index in six languages (Danish, English, Icelandic, Polish, Norwegian and Romanian) Content in the language of each country (for the records of sites and monuments and the archaeological archives made available on-line by the partner organisations).

19 CIMEC 2005 Six flags for Six Languages: the ARENA Portal

20 CIMEC 2005 Is the language option just a courtesy for our public? A tool to facilitate access to multilingual archaeological information Not just a simple translation from the English version in five other languages; we had to –Understand each other –Index our digital records using common terms –Find the right equivalencies for archaeological realities described in several languages –Explain the concepts behind the words.

21 CIMEC 2005 Search for sites and monuments You can choose to search for sites within a certain period range. Choose a type of monument/site from a list of archaeological themes. Using a map of Europe choose the area you would like to search.

22 CIMEC 2005 Search by period

23 CIMEC 2005 Search by category

24 CIMEC 2005 Definition of category

25 CIMEC 2005 Search where on the map of Europe

26 CIMEC 2005 Search where in the selected country by zooming in

27 CIMEC 2005 Selection criteria defined

28 CIMEC 2005 Selection criteria (in Polish)

29 CIMEC 2005 Search result

30 CIMEC 2005 List of sites

31 CIMEC 2005 Full record

32 CIMEC 2005 ARENA Archives Portal

33 CIMEC 2005 Search for archives

34 CIMEC 2005 ARENA - List of Archives Dankirke, Denmark Hjelm, Denmark Vorbasse, Denmark Hofstaðir, Iceland Egge, Norway The Archaeological Repertory of Romania: Archive Digitisation Project The Chronicle of the Archaeological Researches in Romania ( ) Cottam, United Kingdom. Danebury, Hampshire, United Kingdom Ager Tarraconensis, Spain Kowalewko, Poland Biskupin archaeological reserve, Poland

35 CIMEC 2005 Danish excavation archive: Dankirke (in Danish, with English summary)

36 CIMEC 2005 Romanian archives (in Romanian or English)

37 CIMEC 2005 Romanian archives: drawings from 1876 by Butculescu

38 CIMEC 2005 Romanian archives: images of archaeological sites

39 CIMEC 2005 Romanian archives: Axiopolis Roman City by 1900

40 CIMEC 2005 Polish archives: Kowalewko cemetery 1 st - 3 rd centuries A.D.

41 CIMEC 2005 Polish archives: Biskupin Late Bronze Age settlement

42 CIMEC 2005 British archives : Cottam: an Anglian and Anglo-Scandinavian Settlement in East Yorkshire

43 CIMEC 2005 British archives: Ager Tarraconensis (Spain) Field Survey

44 CIMEC 2005 British archives: The Danebury Excavations Digital Archive

45 CIMEC 2005 Norwegian archives: two farms, Egge and Hegge

46 CIMEC 2005 Icelandic archives: Viking pagan temple at Hofstaðir, in NE Iceland

47 CIMEC 2005 Icelandic archives: Hofstaðir in Mývatn, NE Iceland

48 CIMEC 2005 Multilingual approach limited to multilingual main search screens; a short list of general sites and monuments categories, accompanied by short definitions; a restricted list of historical periods and short introductions to archaeological archives.

49 CIMEC 2005 Work behind the scene Each of the six partners had to assign hundreds of sites types in the national records to common categories. A chart of historical periods, showing chronological covering in each country and area, was designed. Translations from original version to other languages using Excel spreadsheets and Lots of s and discussions.

50 CIMEC 2005 Benefits for the users This analytical process 'behind the scene' is to the benefit of the users: their time and effort to put together records in many languages and establish the equivalencies in each case will be spared in part. Access in a familiar language favours longer visits, deeper understanding, and more satisfactory results.

51 CIMEC 2005 Conclusions Terminological tools for cultural heritage communication need large scale co- operation projects. They cannot be only by-products of other projects. Until this area will not enjoy proper attention we cannot expect significant progress.

52 CIMEC 2005 Multilngualism in a broader sense Multilingual access is effective if users get more than a thin multilingual surface. Money should go to translating content, mapping controlled vocabularies, explaining concepts and regional terminology Cultural heritage presented on-line in minorities' languages and for people with disabilities too.

53 CIMEC 2005 Conclusions The linguistic aspect of access to cultural heritage resources is just the surface of a much deeper phenomenon: cultural and scientific interest for other regions. Are we really wishing to share knowledge? Multilingualism should be promoted not only in official statements and international conventions but also at the level of each cultural heritage organisation and educational body.

54 CIMEC 2005 Conclusions The web is a good medium to disseminate multilingual information in digital format. But language is not enough: understanding depends on common theoretical approaches in interpretation, on common standards and procedures in research and documentation.

55 CIMEC 2005 Conclusions Multilingual – multicultural – multidisciplinary: the first addresses to understanding, the second to cultural specificity, and the third to other fields of knowledge. They all mean open-mindness, tolerance, curiosity and respect, key factors to progress and a healthy social environment.

56 CIMEC 2005 Conclusions Globalisation and Information Society seem to push us in different directions: either accepting English as a 'lingua franca' or preserving cultural and linguistic diversity. However, these do not need to be in opposition to one another. As difficult to reconcile as they seem, these trends are complementary. We must openly discuss and identify the needed actions.

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