(long-term?) - Parallel Texts? (parallel versions of the same book).
I was wondering if you might think about supporting parallel texts, which is a way that some learners like to read their books.
I should say that I'm not really thinking of an actual parallel-ised version of a book (although that might be another option), but when you have, say, an e-book in your target language, and a translation of it into your native language as another e-book.
I think with suitable "screen gymnastics" it's probably possible to read a book in parallel already with something like Calibre, but it would be great if there were a tool specifically designed to make this easier.
i.e. display the pages of the book side by side, and advance them together (allowing the user to optionally adjust, because it would be pretty hard to always make sure they were in sync automatically.
If it helps, I could probably let you have some e-books I have in more than one language, for testing the idea.
Users could still click on the target language words to translate them and have them saved for learning or reference, but also have the English meaning (in context) on the other side to refer to, for cases where it wasn't 100% clear, etc.
It might also be good to be able to hide the native language version (or the target language version), at will, if one only wanted to concentrate on the target language for a while (or alternatively, to read a passage thoroughly in the native language without distraction for a while, then go back and read it in the target language, or variations on that theme).
I really like this idea. In fact I’ve been thinking about something similar for a while.
When a text is far beyond your reading level a side by side option would be ideal. And when you aren’t struggling so much, it’s probably better to show the translation only for sentences or paragraphs as needed, like you suggest.
No promises on this at the moment though I’m afraid, I have a lot of other work to do first.
It would be great if the translations were community shared on the public texts, like in Wikipedia. I know from my experience that a beginner might translate a passage differently than a more experienced or native speaker of that language. I have also found some classical texts have been mistranslated or omitted passages due to the political norms of the time. It would be good to have such passages retranslated correctly as the author intended.