Visualizing Translation Variation: Shakespeare’s Othello

  • Zhao Geng
  • Robert S. Laramee
  • Tom Cheesman
  • Alison Ehrmann
  • David M. Berry
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6938)


Recognized as great works of world literature, Shakespeare’s poems and plays have been translated into dozens of languages for over 300 years. Also, there are many re-translations into the same language, for example, there are more than 60 translations of Othello into German. Every translation is a different interpretation of the play. These large quantities of translations reflect changing culture and express individual thought by the authors. They demonstrate wide connections between different world regions today, and reveal a retrospective view of their cultural, intercultural, and linguistic histories. Researchers from Arts and Humanities at Swansea University are collecting a large number of translations of William Shakespeare’s Othello. In this paper, we have developed an interactive visualization system to present, analyze and explore the variations among these different translations. Our system is composed of two parts: the structure-aware Treemap for document selection and meta data analysis, and Focus + Context parallel coordinates for in-depth document comparison and exploration. In particular, we want to learn more about which content varies highly with each translation, and which content remains stable. We also want to form hypotheses as to the implications behind these variations. Our visualization is evaluated by the domain experts from Arts and Humanities.


Domain Expert Meta Data Analysis German Translation Impact Index Context View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhao Geng
    • 1
  • Robert S. Laramee
    • 1
  • Tom Cheesman
    • 2
  • Alison Ehrmann
    • 2
  • David M. Berry
    • 2
  1. 1.Visual Computing Group, Computer Science DepartmentSwansea UniversityUK
  2. 2.College of Arts and HumanitiesSwansea UniversityUK

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