Live Pages App Gets New English Translation of ‘War and Peace’
An English-language translation of Lev Tolstoy's War and Peace is now available on the Live Pages mobile app. Students at HSE's Linguistics and Philology Schools were involved in developing this project.
In 2015, War and Peace was the first book to be included in the Live Pages interactive library. Since then other famous works by Russian authors have followed suit, including Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, The Captain's Daughter, and Eugene Onegin by Alexander Pushkin, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak. All these novels have, until now, only been available for download in the Russian language. But in 2017, not only were English-speaking Russian literature enthusiasts able to get to know War and Peace, the most popular Russian novel among international readers, they could also review the additional material relating to the characters, the historical context, the mores and daily life of the epoch in which the novel is set, and gain an insight into particular linguistic phrases and rare Russian words.
Although the students had already enhanced the Russian-language version, the English language version was a task in itself, not least because there are significant differences in the structure and content of the Russian and English language versions of War and Peace.
'We used the Louise and Aylmer Maude translation published in 1922-1923, based on the second edition of the novel (1868-1869), which differs from the version Russian readers are more familiar with, uploaded into the app in 2015,' HSE Philology School student Veronica Feinberg said. 'For the English-speaking world, War and Peace is six volumes, while for the Russian reader it is four volumes.' In addition, for convenience, the Maude translation was set out differently from the canonical approach taken to the Russian version of the novel: the text was divided into 15 books by year (from 1805 to 1813) plus two epilogues (1813-1820). The English version uploaded to the virtual library also has different chapter divisions from the Russian original, 'their chapters are merged, so we had to pay close attention to chapter length to ensure the contents and chapters are correct in the app,' Veronica Feinberg said.
Participants also specially adapted literary portraits, timelines of events, the intersection of characters' destinies, and historical commentaries. One of the most striking additions for international readers is a quiz, which offers you the chance to appreciate the expressiveness and imagery of the language used in the Russian original. A frequency dictionary for the English translation of War and Peace was used to select rare Russian words and Russian loan-words. The game involves guessing the names of objects in a picture or selecting one of four possible right answers to the question – what a word means, for words such as kvass (kvass), sitets (chintz), or sterlyad’ (sterlet).
The Live Pages app is a joint project between Samsung Electronics, the Tolstoy Digital group, the HSE, and developers from Articul Media Group, which was launched in 2015. To date, the number of downloads exceeds 200,000. The app can be downloaded free to any Android device.
Three new novels are now available on the Living Pages app library: Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol, The Captain's Daughter by Alexander Pushkin, and The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov. The app was developed by the HSE School of Linguistics together with Samsung and experts from Tolstoy Digital group.
Third year software engineering student Vadim Drobinin took part in the Hacktrain hackathon last weekend in Britain (November 21-22). The project, developed by the international team Vadim is part of, will be presented to the British Minister of Transport and compete for 25,000 pounds worth of investment.
During a recent conference at Stanford University, Leonid Bolshukhin, lecturer in HSE Nizhny Novgorod's Faculty of Humanities, presented a discovery dating back to Boris Pasternak’s school years. This concerns a page from a classmate’s journal on which Pasternak wrote a musical phrase, along with a note and signature.
Second year Software Engineering students Vadim Drobinin and Alexander Zimin have been named the winners of the WWDC Scholarship. In June they will take part in the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which is an annual international conference for Apple developers held in California 8-12 June.
A voice navigator for the visually impaired, English language learning games, teaching computer programming to children are the results of two days intensive work by young people at Hackathon (forum for developing software), Hack for People at the HSE Centre for Prototype Development. The participants had just 48 hours to formulate the concept for a project, write a strategy to promote and create it or fine-tune a prototype.