Monday, May 31, 2010

Greek Legacy Fonts to Unicode Converters

This is an update of a post from 2008.
Everyone should really be using Unicode for Greek fonts now, but there are still a few publishers who request Greek be rendered in one of the older legacy fonts. You may also have some older documents with non-Unicode Greek fonts, and you want to convert them to Unicode. The problem with the older TrueType fonts (e.g., Sgreek, SPIonic, Graeca, etc.) is that they each have their own character encoding, so there is no single way to convert these fonts to Unicode. What's the solution? I have gathered all the Greek font converters of which I am aware. Many of them allow conversion to/from Unicode. Note that it is possible to convert from a legacy font to Unicode back to a different legacy font if necessary.
Also note that most of the converters are Microsoft Word macros or templates. If you try to convert a file that has footnotes with Greek, the footnotes might not get converted.
Let me know if I missed any.

Greek Transcoder (Word document template) - excellent, free converter; handles the following fonts

  • Beta Code (Betaread)
  • GreekKeys (Athenian, Bosporos, Kadmos, Xanthippe)
  • Ismini
  • LaserGreek (GraecaII, GraecaUBS, GreekSansII, GreekSansLS, Hellenica, Odyssea _/F/UBS, Payne, Payne Condensed, SymbolGreekII, UncialII)
  • Paulina Greek
  • SGreek (SGRead, SGreek, SgreekFixed)
  • SPIonic (SPIonic, Tadzoatrekei, Takeros, Talaurinos)
  • SuperGreek (Achille, Graeca, GreekSans, SSuperGreek, SuperGreek, SymbolGreek, UncialLS)
  • Vilnius University (Anacreon, Attica, Corinthus, Corinthus Lector, Grecs du roi, Greek Old Face V, Greek Grotesque, Hellenica, Hierapolis, Milan Greek V, Odyssea)
  • WinGreek and Son of WinGreek (Aisa, Angaros, Athenian, Grammata, Grecs du roi WG, Greek, Greek Garamond, Greek Old Face _/C, Korinthus, Milan Greek, Standard Greek)
  • Unicode

Galaxie BibleScript (Word macro/template)
  • Use the Windows Installer to Galaxie Greek/Hebrew fonts and Word template
  • Involves a two-step process converting legacy fonts to Galaxie fonts and then to Unicode
  • Greek fonts handled: Alexandria, Koine, Gideon, Mounce, Bwgrkl, SymbolGreekP, Graeca, WinGreek, GraecaII, SuperGreek, Sgreek (also Hebraica/II, Bwhebb, SuperHebrew, Shebrew)
BibleWorks BWGRKL to Unicode (Word macro)

BibleWorks BWTRANSH to Unicode (Word macro)
Sgreek (from Silver Mountain; used in BibleWindows and Bibloi)

  • Bibloi 8.0 includes a Unicode Type Assistant for Sgreek to Unicode
  • Silver Mountain also sells ($49) a Beta Export program for use with the Beta Code TLG and PHI data which converts those texts to Unicode.
SIL (Word template and standalone SILConverters 3.1)

  • IPA93 legacy fonts (Doulos, Sophia, Manuscript) to Unicode
  • Check here and here.
Meander's Nod (online)

  • GreekKeys (Athenian, Attika, Sparta, Salamis)
  • WinGreek
  • Bosporus(GreekKeys format)
  • Kadmos (GreekKeys format)
  • ISO 8859-7 (Modern Greek)
  • Beta Code
  • > Unicode, Beta Code, GreekKeys, WinGreek
Logos3: Graeca/GraecaII to Unicode (within Logos program converting Word docs - I cannot find a similar converter in Logos4.)

Multikey (Word macro)

  • Aisa
  • Logos Gramma
  • Athenian
  • OldGreekSerif
  • WinGreek
  • WP Greek Century
  • WP GreekTimes Ancient
  • MgPolAplaM
  • TimesTenGreekP
  • Kadmos
  • Grk
Greek and Hebrew Encoding Converter (Ken Penner - online: copy/paste textbox)
  • From: Unicode, SPIonic, Greek BETA, SGreek, LaserGreek, AG, SPTiberian, Linguist HebraicaII, B-Hebrew transliteration, Greek Unicode NFD, Unaccented Greek Unicode, Greek Code Page
  • To: Greek Unicode NFD, Greek BETA, Unaccented B-Greek, SPTiberian, B-Hebrew transliteration, SuperHebrew, Unaccented Greek Unicode
 JBLC (paid conversion service for RTF files)

  • "...transforms texts with legacy fonts like SPIonic, SuperGreek, Bwgrkl, and others to any Unicode font"
Antioch ($50 for registered version: Word macro)
  • includes keyboard and converter
  • To Unicode from WinGreek / Son of WinGreek, SGreek, GreekKeys, Linguist's Software (also called LaserGreek), Vilnius University coding, SIL, SPIonic, Lector, Titus and Ismini.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cardo and Google Web Fonts

Google recently opened up 18 fonts that can be freely used on the web. (A selection is displayed above. More info here and here.) What is important about this is that it means you can reference those fonts on your web pages and be assured that they will show up as you intend even if the person does not have that particular font on their system. You can get the embed code by clicking on the font from here and following the links. There is a nice font previewer here that even generates the code you want with text effects applied. To download the fonts so that you can use them as you design web pages, grab them here.
Of particular interest is that Cardo--a long time favorite for those using biblical languages because it contains a complete set of Unicode Greek, Hebrew, and diacritical marks--is among those released. Cardo's designer, David Perry, has provided some additional information about this development. He's been working on a updated edition of his resource, and now book, Document Preparation for Classical Languages, which will be released in June. He is also going to provide an update to the Cardo font set which was last revised in 2004. This is all good news!
Now for the disclaimers...
For now, at least, the Cardo font that Google is providing is only a subset and does not include the Greek and Hebrew characters. (I don't know that they will ever do so, but it sure would be nice...) OTOH, Weston Ruter pointed me to FontSquirrel. For someone who is industrious and knows their way around CSS, it makes it possible to create and serve up your own font set.
BOTTOM LINE: Thanks to Google, the web should be a more attractive place and hopefully one more attuned to Greek and Hebrew. Thanks to David Perry, we can look forward to an update to Cardo and a great new resource.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Considerations for Translating New Testament Greek to English

A bit off-focus for this blog, but this is the best place I have for soliciting some help from others of you who regularly with the Greek NT. I am teaching an Advanced Greek class, and I have split the class into translation teams working on translating Luke 16:19-31, the story of the rich man and Lazarus. As one part of the course, we have spent nearly the whole semester working through each verse of the text. Now I am asking them not to simply translate the Greek but to compose a translation of the text. (There is a difference...) I was unable to find any resource that concisely described the types of things I wanted them to keep in mind as they worked. So, I have tried to compose and organize a list of considerations when composing a translation. Here's the introduction I wrote:
When translating New Testament Greek into English, we sometimes are seeking simply to confirm the accuracy of an existing English version. Sometimes we can look at the Greek and produce a translation in our mind that reflects our understanding of the text. In the considerations that follow, however, I am trying to note the kinds of things we should be thinking about if we are actually trying to produce a share-able translation. That is, we are trying to produce a translation that is faithful to the original Greek text, will stand independently from our explanation of it, and will communicate effectively to its readers.
HERE is the 3 page PDF of what I pulled together. If anyone is interested enough to read it and comment upon it (corrections, additions, suggestions...), I would be grateful. If you know of a similar sort of list to which you can point me, that would be appreciated too.