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eTACT: "electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts"

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  • cejo@uchicago.edu
    The INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR ASSYRIOLOGY and ETANA ANNOUNCE the LAUNCHING of eTACT electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 13, 2007

      "electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts"

      Anyone who surfs the web searching for reliable and up-to-date
      translations of Akkadian documents knows that unlike material in
      Sumerian (and to a lesser degree Egyptian and Hittite), there is
      precious little currently available.

      For this reason ETANA and the *International Association for
      Assyriology* have teemed up to create a website where active
      *Assyriologists* will find it easy to contribute translations of
      Akkadian texts that they have already prepared (for classes or for
      publications), keeping complete control over them as well as retaining
      future rights of publications.

      The "Electronic Translations of Akkadian Cuneiform Texts" (eTACT) is
      now launched at <http://www.etana.org/etact/>. Please go there and you
      will find a full description of the project as well as instruction on
      how to contribute. A link will take you to a template that makes it
      easy for you to submit your contribution, including menus for
      selecting the type and date of the material that you are submitting.
      You will need to login just once.

      We are hoping to get all the juicy literary and historical texts from
      the cuneiform world that we have come to love, as long as they were
      written in Akkadian (however inelegant); so such texts as Gilgamesh,
      Atrahasis, annals, building inscriptions, love poems, legal
      compilations, and so forth. We welcome their translations in any
      modern language and will not mind having any of them in more than one
      language; but generally we will try not to put multiple copies of the
      same document translated into the same language.

      We will also welcome the type of documents that surfaces mostly in
      specialized studies, such as contracts, administrative archives,
      incantations, omina, letters, and the like. (You will find at the site
      an easy to access list of categories.)

      If you have prepared such a document for a study that was published in
      an article or a book, consider placing it on the web. You will be able
      to give bibliographic data on where you have studied this particular
      document and so make it more accessible to non-specialists.

      We are told by publishers that excerpting materials from a book that
      is already published tends to stimulate sales and profits all. (See
      below.) Therefore, if you and your publisher can agree, consider also
      submitting translations you have prepared for commercial books. At
      eTACT now you will find a few such texts generously contributed by
      Benjamin Foster and his publisher, Mark Cohen of CDL Press. In such
      cases, a user can click on a link that takes directly to the site from
      which to order the book.

      We have not yet resolved the issue of how to treat competent
      translations of Akkadian documents already on the web; but we would
      welcome double posting them on our site.

      Cornelia Wunsch <mail@...> has generously offered to
      coordinate the site as well as to make sure that whatever you send
      finds its proper format. She will answer any inquiry you may have
      about contributing.
      There will be a presentation about eTACT at the Moscow RAI; but we are
      already open for business and would like nothing more than to be
      flooded by contributions. We welcome them no less than inquiries.

      This is a long-term project that will fill an obvious need; but it is
      likely to take a bit of time before fully jelling. So we ask for your
      patience no less than your contribution. (Do not expect zillions of
      text by tomorrow!) We have hope that the project will appeal to
      colleagues who have always wished that researchers and the larger
      public become better aware of the rich heritage of lore and knowledge
      from the cuneiform world.

      The project was first discussed at the Muenster RAI this past July;
      but it could not have taken its present shape without the active
      support of colleagues at Vanderbilt University: Marshall Breeding, who
      designed and actualized the templates, and Bill Hook, who is/was there
      with good advice galore.

      For the IAA and ETANA:
      Cornelia Wunsch <mail@...>
      Jack M. Sasson <jack.m.sasson@...>


      TECHNICAL MATTERS: (more at the website itself)

      ● Translations can be submitted in English or any other language.
      ● Any cuneiformist who wishes to contribute is welcome, provided
      his/her translation meets the required scholarly standard.
      ● The author of the translation is clearly identified and holds all
      rights to his/her contribution.
      ● There is no honorarium.
      ● There is no user fee.

      -Translations will be displayed in PDF format but with searchable
      word-processing facilities in the background. This will provide
      consistent and appealing appearance across different browsers, but at
      the same time readers will be able to search for keywords. We also
      want search engines to pick up as many meaningful keywords as
      possible, not just in the headings.

      -We are not seeking transliteration or normalization of the documents
      you are submitting. You will find a box where you can enter remarks on
      your translations; but please keep comments to a minimum and give the
      original Akkadian only when necessary (such as when no adequate
      translation of a term is available). Try to avoid constant
      interruption of your text with too many brackets, parentheses,
      semi-brackets, etc. (Very) brief bibliographies are welcome. The
      template will give you opportunity to enter the source and most recent
      edition for the document.

      -The contributor receives the version of his/her contribution for
      proofing before it goes online. Contributors may choose to attach
      their email address to a translation.

      -The posted text can only be altered by the editor in consultation
      with the contributor. Helpful comments/critical remarks by other
      scholars may be directed to the editors and eventually posted on the
      website. Scholarly discussion should take place elsewhere.

      -Electronic manuscripts (preferably in Word) can be pasted directly on
      the template and need not be sophisticated in formatting. Diacritics
      may be used where necessary. Editorial work will mainly concern
      technical details of typesetting, uniform citation standards etc.

      -While the template is designed to accept relatively long
      texts,multi-tablets documents should be entered separately and labeled
      as such. We will find a way to connect them.

      -Given that the project relies on your participation and does not
      (yet?) have research assistance, we depend on you to submit the text
      you wish to contribute, even if it is already available in published

      We actively solicit electronic publication of published translations
      of cuneiform texts, either complete or in part. Here the copyright
      issue comes in. Some publishers revert the copyright for the contents
      immediately back to the author; others may be willing to do so upon
      request. In case of doubt, please, contact the publisher.

      We guarantee that the original book in which a contribution first
      appears will be fully referenced and we provide links to the
      publisher's website to facilitate the purchase of the book. Most
      publishers whom we asked about this issue beforehand are positive
      about this matter and believe that internet translations might
      stimulate sales rather than deter readers from buying.
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