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Old 02-21-2009, 03:19 PM   #1
gczobel
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Bilingual books

Hi!
I want to make a bilingual book, this is, take an english edition and a spanish edition and synchronize the two text together.
I saw some pdf examples made in two colums.
But I don't know if is possible to make something similar in lrf format.

I think that one solution is synchronize entire pages, this is, one in english, one in spanish. But I think that visualization will not be ok changing the zoom.

Any idea, clue?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
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that's a very interesting idea, and it seems like ebooks would be great particularly if you are using one with a dictionary. i think for the formatting, 2 columns might be a bit difficult on a 6" screen, because each column would be very narrow and you would have to use a pretty small font to fit more than a few words on each line of the column, but if you want to play with it you could try creating a word document with a page the size of the screen, then insert a table with two columns, and put one language in each column. then you could make your word document into a pdf. this would work better on a device with a larger screen, of course, and those are coming, so depending on what device you have it could be a good solution.

alternately, you could try one paragraph in language1 and one in language2, using different fonts (serif / sans serif) for each language, but i don't know how comfortable that would be to read and it might be a lot of work.

there might be other options ; perhaps someone else will have some ideas.
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Old 02-21-2009, 03:31 PM   #3
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i think i'm going to move this thread to the workshop forum, now that i think about it ; i think you might get more answers there.
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:22 AM   #4
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Table support is very poorly implemented in many eBook formats. Eg, Sony's BBeB format doesn't support tables at all; some Mobi implementations support it (to some extent or another), others don't.

I honestly can't think of a good way to do this!
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Old 02-22-2009, 04:28 AM   #5
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I've done a couple of bilingual (or more) books:

Coplas por la muerte de su padre
La divina commedia

Since both are poetry books, I opted for having crosslinks between the different languages at every stanza (or few stanzas). In a prose book, I guess I'd add the links at paragraph breaks, avoiding the middle of dialogues and similar situations.
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Old 02-22-2009, 11:31 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Table support is very poorly implemented in many eBook formats. Eg, Sony's BBeB format doesn't support tables at all; some Mobi implementations support it (to some extent or another), others don't.

I honestly can't think of a good way to do this!
that is why i suggested creating a pdf at the end, my theory being that a table embedded in a pdf would not cause the problems of a table in other formats. i've not tested that though so i don't know for sure.
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Old 02-23-2009, 01:42 PM   #7
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Hi

For reflowing formats (prc/mobi, lrf, lit, etc…) I would go with alternate (language) paragraphs.

Best regards,
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:55 PM   #8
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A step-by-step guide how to make bilingual books

I know I'm bumping an old thread, but I think some people might find it useful. It's a fairly quick process, once you have the right tools and set them up. I use Linux, but you should be able to make it work on other operation systems.

You need Perl, Python, a program to split a text into sentences, a program to align the text, and Calibre. All the programs are, as far as I know, free software.


The program to split the sentences (Perl script) is here (go to Download -> Tools):
http://www.statmt.org/europarl/

It is not necessary, but it makes it easier for the text aligning program and improves the results.

The program to align the text is here:
http://mokk.bme.hu/resources/hunalign/

You can do without a dictionary, but with a dictionary it is better. The dictionary is just a text file in the following format (assuming that I want to have German as source and English as destination language):

englishword1 @ germanword1
englishword2 @ germanword2
...


It might seem like a lot of work to do, but you can take the shortcut. Google "most frequently used words in English" and you will get a list that will do the job. Then copy/paste in Google translate and select German as destination language. Use a spreadsheet program (or other tools) to create the dictionary file by copy/pasting. Then save as a plain text with spaces as separators or just paste into a text file again. Note that you should always use Unicode. Save the file as "en-de.dic" and you are ready to go.

Get the sources of the texts and convert them to text format. I used "The Sign of the Four" from the MobileRead Library in German and in English. Clean the files so that they have only the main text, as there are differences in the table of contents.

Below I assume that all your scripts and files are in the same directory.

You can convert using Calibre:

Code:
ebook-convert engtext.epub engtext.txt

ebook-convert deutext.epub deutext.txt
Use the sentence splitter:

Code:
perl split-sentences.perl -l en < engtext.txt > en.txt

perl split-sentences.perl -l de < deutext.txt > de.txt

Use the align texts program.

Code:
hunalign -text en-de.dic de.txt en.txt > book.txt
You have a text file that needs to be processed further. I found a Python script here that produces a html file from the result in a table format. It gives good results for the html file, but for a 6 inch reader it is not a very good option. I modified it to reduce the text of the destination language and made it gray and italic (find the script as an attachment).

Code:
python hun2htmlgray14.py book.txt > book.html

And then again Calibre, with the option to linearize tables:

Code:
ebook-convert book.html book.epub --linearize-tables --authors "Arthur Conan Doyle" --title "The Sign of the Four"
I've attached the final result. It looks good in Calibre and in the stock reader in Nook Simple Touch. It is possible that in other readers it will be different, but it works for me.
Attached Files
File Type: epub The Sign of the Four - DE-EN.epub (261.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: zip hun2htmlscripts.zip (2.2 KB, 10 views)
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:24 PM   #9
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Nice tutorial!

BTW, there's hunalign wrapper by Andreas Farkas: LF Aligner.

Also check out Aglona Reader.
It should be relatively easy to modify your script to generate Aglona Reader books or convert Aglona Reader books to epubs.
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Old 08-01-2016, 07:57 PM   #10
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I know about both, but I had some problems with LF Aligner and it was easier to just use hunaligner than find where the error was coming from. For someone else it might be the program of choice, though.

As for Algona, it seems to use its own format, so for me it is not an option (as I can't open it on my eink readers). Epub/mobi is best in terms of portability, IMO.
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:55 PM   #11
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This would be a great wiki entry for our wiki. That would make it available for anyone without having to find the thread. This thread could be referenced for discussion if needed.

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