New Website, Massive Updates

Hello everyone!

It has been a long, long, long, year. I graduated from college at long last, got a job, quit that job, and somehow, amidst all of that, I finished modernizing the website. My good friend Phil Smith has moved on to follow his own writing projects (should be something amazing, I’m sure! I’ll post links to them if he decides to share them with the world, because he really is that talented and your lives would be made richer for a taste of his writing.) which means he can’t help out on the website anymore. Since I have only limited knowledge of coding, and the website badly needed to be modernized – it needed to be made responsive to people’s tiny cell-phone screens – I decided to remake the website with WordPress.

At first I was thinking that it’d just be part of the website, not the phrases and names, which are in a database that last time I’d tried, wouldn’t work with WordPress. But, after some help from my friend Auburn, I found some tools that would let me build and manage databases with WordPress! Better yet, I wouldn’t need to know any PHP! So, after a lot of trial and error (possibly more to come, actually… I haven’t figured out how I will handle the Exilic Quenya-Sindarin namelists yet) I’ve managed to make them work!

So, while I was mucking about with that, I first put together the Recorded Scripts, as a trial run for making the much more complex databases. This project that I did all those years ago finally can see the light of day on my own website! And it’s even better now, because you can view each line individually if you so chose, and you can see detailed information about it. I figured out how to do this with all of the names and phrases, and I started a wiki of translated names from the books. This will be an on-going project of mine that I will slowly add to whenever the mood strikes me.

I made a few new pages as well, like the Find Your Phrasebook! page, so that it’ll be easier to figure out which language or dialect your character speaks. I also put together the Random Name Generator, which people have been asking me to make for years now.

The coolest thing about these new phrasebooks and namelists is that they are really easy to link to. You can link to an individual phrase or name, with all of the information about it right there, not cluttering up the phrasebooks and namelists. Another cool thing is that this make translating the names and phrases into other languages super easy.

I have been wanting to provide the phrasebooks translated into languages other than English for a long time. But, I didn’t know how I would do it. These new databases make it easy. Because of this, two new people have joined my team: Alphin (German Translator) and Elaran (Turkish Translator). They are working tirelessly to make the phrasebooks available in their own languages! Eventually, we may add more languages and make more sections of the website translated, but this is our starting point. I’m really excited to see where this leads us.

Since there is so much work to be done, I enlisted the help of Faravenel to help make pages. It’s pretty mind-numbing work, making dozens of pages with shortcodes to pull up templates and access the databases, but Faravenel has really come through for me, making hundreds of pages.

With the new-found flexibility, I was able to add Xandarien’s Old English namelists to the website, and we’ll be adding a Dwarvish phrasebook as well, courtesy of my good friend the Dwarrow Scholar!

So,what do we have to look forward to in the future:

  • Slowly but surely filling out the name databases. So far there are only a handful of names – just enough for a proof of concept really – but over the next year, you will see thousands and thousands of new names added to them.
  • A Dwarvish Phrasebook! We still have some work to do before it’s ready to go, but the more difficult parts have been completed.
  • Recordings of the translations in the phrasebooks. Anyone have good recording equipment and can roll their Rs?
  • Re-vamped Quenya translations with the new data from PE22. In this latest publication, we got a small mountain of data about complex verb tenses in Quenya! I just put up the old Quenya phrasebooks because that’s what I have, but I’m looking for someone to help on that front. I’ll be going back to teaching Sindarin, and with all of these other projects, I don’t think I’ll have time.
  • The phrasebooks translated into Portuguese! We already have a Portuguese translator, but they’re busy with school until the summer. If you speak Portuguese, this will be something to look forward to!

Without further ado, Welcome!

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