Confronting Complexity of Babel in a Global and Digital Age
Gregory Ralph Crane1, Neven Jovanovic2, Sophia Sklaviadis1, Margherita de Luca3, Petra Šoštarić2, Maryam Foradi4, Kate Cottrell1, James Tauber5, Farnoosh Shamsian6, Chiara Palladino7
1Tufts University, United States of America; 2University of Zagreb, Croatia; 3Sapienza University, Italy; 4Leipzig University, Germany; 5Eldarion.com, United States of America; 6University of Tehran, Iran; 7Furman University, United States of America
This panel describes work that has been and is being done to address the complexities of working with a historical record that contains far more languages than any individual could study, much less master. Individuals can realistically develop proficiency in no more than a handful of the languages, contemporary and premodern, from the current and surviving human record. DH2019, for example, despite its international community, warmly invites submissions in languages other than English but can only offer “a sufficient pool of reviews” for papers in English, French, German, Italian, and Spanish. Difficult as it is to support such a multilingual culture of five modern European languages, it is not practical for most researchers to learn, in any serious way, the additional nineteen official languages of the European Union, much less the twenty-two official languages of India, and/or Chinese, Arabic and other languages with tens of millions of speakers.