Friday, August 11, 2017

Status of my reading project

This is translation and it teaches me myriad lessons about languages, but I still think of it as a 'reading' project.

We are now at the significant milestone of 555 chapters (out of 929) and so by this measure nearly 60% complete. Words in completed chapters are just under 50% and verses about 53%, but words to do are just under 40% since there is quite a bit of work in process based on the guessing algorithm. Here are the percentages complete by major section of the Hebrew Bible.
Books Chapters Verses by vs Chapters 'Done' Verses compl ch Words compl ch weeks rem. % 'done' by ch
1 Torah 187 5843 25% 90 2721 38225 26.0 48.1%
2 Former Prophets 147 4297 19% 50 1439 23190 23.8 34.0%
3 Later Prophets 166 3928 17% 70 1475 22860 20.4 42.2%
4 The 12 67 1050 5% 67 1050 14357 0.0 100.0%
5 Books of Truth 223 4502 19% 217 4331 33401 1.4 97.3%
6 The 5 Scrolls 39 745 3% 39 745 10118 0.0 100.0%
7 Other 100 2791 12% 22 493 7450 19.2 22.0%
Totals 929 23156 100% 555 12,254 149,601 90.9

Every chapter I do results in changes to other chapters. Just looking at completed verses, in the first 11 days of August, there have been 9 chapters (185 verses) published on the blog, but as it happens 39 verses outside these chapters were also changed because chapters I work on reach into my phrasing or glossing of other chapters. Of these 30 were in completed chapters and so were also changed on the blog if required. The blog is a partial backup so I keep it up to date. My main backup is an extract from the Oracle database which I can fully operate off the web. It seems odd, but over 64,000 individual gloss records in the database have been changed in these 11 days. No way I could manage this degree of control manually.

Estimated time left in the project (90 weeks above) is debatable. It depends on my reading speed and the number of hours I spend. This will change over the next year since my son's family is arriving in a few weeks to stay in Victoria with a permanent position here. So we will have a different life-style and different demands on our time. 'Done' is also a relative word as you can tell from the 20% impact of 9 new chapters on the 546 that had already been done as at the end of July. 

The pattern of development has been this. The first book completed was the Psalms. Then I did Job, Jonah, Song of Songs, Ruth, Lamentations, and Qohelet. These provided the seed bed of glosses for the remaining chapters as I gradually developed the computer algorithms to automate my concordance rules. Now I generally translate first those chapters which have been 'guessed at' by the algorithms. At the moment there are 73 chapters that are more than half translated when I start reading them. Sometimes all I have to do is press one button to confirm the guesses. Those that are comprised of guesses based on 3 to 6 words in sequence usually require little or no change. This process has evolved into a reading strategy. I do about 10 of these, then I take a break into some of the lesser guessed chapters wherever I choose. When the book of Proverbs is finished, I will probably choose a latter prophet as my respite. (Or I may work on the Aramaic seed chapters).

I think I chose right to translate the Psalms first. So if anyone asks me what to read first in the 'Old Testament', my answer is Psalms. The impact on the words of the Psalms on the chapters I have done over the last 18 months is about 10%. The style is not different from my explorations in Seeing the Psalter, but there have been changes in gloss, some of which I have noted specifically on the blog. The Psalms are key to interpretation, and a key must be ground to the right shape to fit in the lock and turn easily.

The following table shows the status of each book. You can see from the last changed date that completed sections are all impacted by the work in process. It seems I at least can't do one book in the puzzle without doing the whole puzzle at once. Books that are not complete are changing every time I rerun the guessing algorithm, so their dates would all be today.

Changed Books % (words) complete
EXODUS 67.8%
JOSHUA 54.0%
JUDGES 32.0%
1 SAMUEL 44.9%
2 SAMUEL 37.9%
1 KINGS 54.4%
2 KINGS 67.8%
ISAIAH 48.9%
2017-08-07 HOSEA 100.0%
2017-07-29 JOEL 100.0%
2017-08-11 AMOS 100.0%
2017-07-07 OBADIAH 100.0%
2017-07-09 JONAH 100.0%
2017-07-10 MICAH 100.0%
2017-08-07 NAHUM 100.0%
2017-08-07 HABAKKUK 100.0%
2017-07-09 ZEPHANIAH 100.0%
2017-05-21 HAGGAI 100.0%
2017-07-09 ZECHARIAH 100.0%
2017-08-03 MALACHI 100.0%
2017-08-08 PSALMS 100.0%
2017-08-09 JOB 100.0%
2017-07-25 SONG 100.0%
2017-07-09 RUTH 100.0%
2017-08-07 LAMENTATIONS 100.0%
2017-08-03 QOHELET 100.0%
2017-07-19 ESTHER 100.0%
DANIEL 15.2%
EZRA 22.3%