Digital media make it possible to bring together very large numbers of translations and explore how and where they differ.

Data visualization tools make it possible to survey them and navigate easily through them.

Statistical analyses of variation among translations can be mapped onto Shakespeare's English play texts, so we can see where his work prompts more and less variation among translations, which passages are likely to be cut, or which translations expand upon which character parts. 

This innovative concept is a 'Translation Array' - a sophisticated tool for creating as yet unseen images of world culture. 

The concept applies to any multiply translated 'world cultural text' - in literature, religion, or philosophy. Implementing it requires solving some very interesting problems of multiple text alignment, fine-grained algorithmic analysis of variation, visualisation of the results, and interactive graphical interface design.

This project began as a pilot study, funded by RIAH's Research Initiatives Fund. A recent award by the AHRC will allow the research to move into an exciting new phase. 

Dr Tom Cheesman leads the research team, which also includes Dr Robert Laramee, Dr Jonathan Hope and a post-doctoral Research Assistant.

Learn more about Translation Arrays - and keep up to date with progress on this innovative project.

alignment map