I should point out that I read and translate Japanese. During my 4 years there I started in the automobile sector, completed the 4-stage course of the Nihon Kagagaku Gijjutsu Kyokai and branched into patents. When I started preparing Hermann Bohner’s work (a brilliant translator whose quality I’ll never attain) for the Web in 2006, I took up Kanbun (i.e classic Chinese with reading marks), initially to compare his translations.
So far I only borrowed Vols. 1 and 2. Their introduction mentions that the texts were translated into Japanese from Oldenbergs 1881 edition of the Vinaya. I assume the suttas will be based on other PTS editions – no point in translating that into a third language from the Japanese. This Japanese academic argues for any new translation to be based on the 6th council texts.
Sorry, are we talking about the same book here, the Nanden Daizokyo? – and not the Taisho? which is written in Kanbun .
Looking at the ND, apart from the fact that some pre-reformed Kanji are being used the type is clear. The text is modern Japanese ( – assuming one does not take Manga-Japanese as the standard). Special Buddhist readings are given as furigana – nothing special here, provided one has a bit of background knowledge. The style as such is of course antiquated, but then so are some of the suttas as such (just try and find a translation of the Metta Sutta in any Western language that makes pleasant reading).
I agree that the aim must of course be [quote=“sujato, post:10, topic:363”]
creating good PDFs
To this end I have explored various technical (open source) options available. I have spent most of today refining on the script semi-automatically preparing a XeTeX-frame to create a usable pdf from that (and I think we agree – herein differing from Oxford Univ. Press – that LaTeX produces the best results).
By providing a ToC at least down to subsection level (and backlinks) plus placing correct page numbers (i.e. pdf matching the original) the file becomes usable since at least the headings are machine readable (and would show up as search result even when on archive.org). Since image quality has be checked anyway adding a few headlines causes not too much extra work. For me, say 4-6 hours, i.e. a dreary German winter evening, is not too much effort to put into “post-production” cleanup for each volume. (I’ll look into the numbering once I scanned Vol 2).
Providing the scans of course has, like any web-based presentation, take into account ALL potential users.
The lack of OCR and therefore accessibility excludes most visually impaired.
Removing the frame (and superfluous info outside) will, should sometime in the future a workable OCR solution become available, make it easier.
In the same vain is my insistence on creating pdf-A (or pdf-U) standard compliant files on a level that major online repositories/libraries use – these pdfs will be permanently portable as long as electronic “permanence” will exist.
(Note: I am well aware that regarding “standard compliance” the old technician rears his head Some of my explanations are too technical, particularly if one is not academically inclined , e.g. not liking footnotes etc.)