Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Talmud in Italian

TALMUD WATCH: When in Rome: Talmud Gets New Italian Translation, First in 500 Years. Ambitious project, possibly first of its kind headed by a woman, will present initial completed volume on April 5 at ceremony hosted by the country’s president (Anna Momigliano, Haaretz).
In 1553, the authorities in Rome burned all the Talmuds they could find in a Counter-Reformation crackdown on Jews. But now, nearly half a millennium later, the Talmud is once again being translated into Italian in an ambitious project funded by the Italian government.

The first translated volume, the Rosh Hashanah tractate, will be presented on April 5 during a ceremony in Rome hosted by Italian President Sergio Mattarella. The book is being published by La Giuntina, a company that has specialized in Jewish texts since 1980, and will be available in bookstores the same day.


The translation project began in 2010, when Clelia Piperno, a law professor at the University of Rome, approached the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research with the idea, and then-Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini agreed to allocate 5 million euros ($5.6 million) to the project.

The "once again" is an odd non sequitur. At least according to other news reports, this is the first time the Talmud has been translated into Italian.

That having been noted, there is a lot in this article, so read it all before it goes behind the subscription wall. But one more excerpt, cross-filed under Technology Watch:
What makes the Italian project unique is that it is entirely a digital effort, with new software that was designed specifically for it.

In order to allow several translators to work simultaneously on such a complex text and let them exchange inputs and feedback in real time, researchers at the Institute of Computational Linguistics created a software program called Traduco (Italian for “I translate”).

Traduco is “a collaborative Web environment” designed to support the simultaneous work of several translations on particularly complex text. Originally designed for the Talmud, Traduco could be extended in the future “to ensure the translation of other texts and other languages,” said one of its creators, Andrea Bellandi, in a statement on the Institute of Computational Linguistics’ website.