(I am posting my interactive Translation Progress Report here at the top so readers can easily find it. Continue reading for how I came to make it and what difficulties I encountered along the way.)

I have been translating Euthymius Zigabenus’ Commentary on the Epistles for about 5 months now and am making great headway, but it is not easy for followers of the project to gauge my progress.

On the translation page, there is a link to a Google Sheets document that tracks my daily translation progress and maps out a rough schedule for how long it will take to translate each of the commentaries of the Epistles, but the longer I look at it the more I think that no one besides me is going to want to slog through a spreadsheet.

So I decided to look into a way of visualizing the data I have there and embedding a report or dashboard directly into the translation page so readers can see immediately how far I’ve come.

The solution I decided to go with is Google Data Studio. It can import data directly from Google Sheets and allows you to easily and intuitively create reports with graphs and other visualizations. A nice bonus is that all of the graphs are interactive and show information when you hover over different data points or filter out data when you click on certain parts of them.

I spent an entire afternoon learning how to import my data, how to make graphs, deciding which graphs I wanted, how to plot my data, etc. The end result was a very nice two page report, which I’ll show below.

I ran into a problem though. It turns out that I cannot embed these visualizations into my web page because the WordPress plan that I am paying for is on the lowest tier of the plans available. I have to bump up my plan to the next tier in order to do what I want; this comes, of course, with the added benefits of allowing me to use prebuilt plugins and ridding my site of ads, but I am not in a position to pay that extra money, so I decided to abandon the idea of embedding the report into the page.

At the very least, I can remove the link to the old spreadsheet and add in a link to the Google Data Studio report for people to view if they want. I think I may just do that.

Please see my Translation Progress Report to interactively and visually view my progress.

While I’m on the subject of data and progress, I realized that how I was originally counting words during my translation has skewed my completion percentage. I was originally copying and pasting the words from the online text of the Commentary on the Epistles from the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) into Microsoft Word and running a word count on them. But I was neither removing the line numbers nor was I counting a word broken up on two lines as one word. See below for an example taken from the commentary on Rom. 1:14-15:

Ὥσπερ καὶ ἐν τοῖς λοιποῖς ἔθνεσι καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς ὀφειλέτης εἰμί, εὐαγ-   (3)
γελίσασθαι δηλονότι. Εἰς τοῦτο γὰρ ἀπεστάλην. Οὕτω κατά τε τὸ
κατ’ ἐμὲ πρόθυμον ὀφειλέτης εἰμὶ καὶ ὑμῖν τοῖς ἐν Ῥώμῃ εὐαγγελί-   (5)
σασθαι. Συνάψας δὲ τούτους τοῖς ἄλλοις ἔθνεσι, καταστέλλει κἀν-
ταῦθα τὸ φρόνημα τούτων. Ὅπου γὰρ εὐγένεια πίστεως, τἆλλα πάντα
καταπεφρόνηται· ταύτην γὰρ ὁ Θεὸς ἐπιζητεῖ μόνην.

The red highlighted words above are counted by Microsoft Word as extra words, so for the small paragraph above, I accidentally inflated my word count by 5 words. This may seem trivial, but over the course of 100+ pages of this, the count became incredibly overstated. I have hit 100% completion for the Epistle to the Romans 3 times now, even though I’m only halfway finished the last chapter. Each time I exceeded 99%, I chose to go back and artificially reduce my word counts on all of the days that I translated more than 430 words. This ruins the historical accuracy of my progress, but at least I learned what to do. And, since I no longer use the Thesaurus Linguae Graecae (TLG) at all, I now count by hand all the words that I translate on a given day and enter that into my spreadsheet. It is more time consuming, but it is the only way to track my progress now.

I will be making another post within the week, just as soon as I finish the Epistle to the Romans. In the meantime, you can view my progress using the link above (I’ll also be adding it to the translation page), and if you think of any other reports or charts I can publish to make following my translation journey easier, please feel free to let me know.


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