The Interlinear Formatter

in Admin

One of the hardest, yet most important, parts of making a language is, in my opinion, translating. And one of the hardest parts of translating is the interlinear. Interlinears, if you don’t know, are translations where each word of a language is shown broken into its most basic parts, with simple translations (glosses) for each part. These are hard to write, but they are even harder to format. So, a couple of years ago, I wrote a little script that would format interlinears into HTML tables.

Now, after cleaning up the code a little, I have decided to announce the public availability of ILF, the Interlinear Formatter. This is a small Python script that takes a suitably-prepared interlinear and outputs a page full of HTML or wiki tables. The script is available as open-source software under the MIT license, which essentially means that you can do whatever you want with it, as long as you give me credit. A ZIP file of the script, documentation, license, and a basic CSS file can be downloaded here. The whole package is only 4.3KB, and it needs no installation. It does need a working Python 2.x environment. (I have explained before why I don’t like the 3.x series.)

Here’s some actual sample output from the program, taken from an old version of the Suvile “Babel text”, a common exercise for a new conlang:

in yab idzonet en sote
in yab i- dzon -et en sot -e
and be_PAST the- earth -CL one language -GEN
conj v art- n -adj n n -case
1: And the whole earth was of one language,

This is without styling, but, if you view the source of this page (however your browser does that), you can see that each row of the table has a CSS class, as does the table itself. You can use these to make your interlinears look however you want.