3.6 Justification transcriptions and translations
Our goal with MeMO is to provide critical normalising transcriptions. This means that transcriptions will be fully written out and solved. Solutions to abbreviations, diacritical symbols, etc. are not marked. We decided not to provide diplomatic transcriptions, in part because we intend the user to also have access to photographs of the objects. We have corrected previously available transcriptions whenever necessary/possible, based on our interpretation of photographs. When no photographs were available, we copied transcriptions from publications, or used transcriptions sent to us by other researchers.
Middle Dutch transcriptions
- The transcription follows the original text on the object as faithfully as possible. When certain abbreviations cause doubt, the abbreviated word is given so that no undue interpreting takes place.
- Spelling of person names: the name of the commemorated person is spelled as it is written on the object. Patronymics are written out in full. Note: the transcriptions of the texts on memorial pieces were copied from the now retired website and database Memoria in beeld, in which patronymics were not written out in full.
- Exceptions: in same cases the letter is transcribed so that it corresponds with the modern pronunciation of the intended word, so:
- the letter y can become ij when the pronunciation is now ij, e.g. wyf becomes wijf (wife)
- the i can be replaced with a j, e.g. Ian becomes Jan
- the u can be changed into a v, e.g. begrauen becomes begraven (burying, buried)
- the w can become u(u), e.g. Wlbe becomes Ulbe Note: the letters s/z and v/f remain the same, so siele, frome etc.
- The transcription will use the same numeral system (Roman or Arabic) as the original text.
- Punctuation marks are added where necessary to improve legibility of the text, without changing the meaning of the sentence in the process. The use of capital letters is in line with the modern standards: capital letters are used for the names of places and persons.
- Texts that are currently illegible, or that have disappeared, but which are still known to us thanks to older sources or literature, are placed between square brackets. Where certain letters or words may be safely assumed to have originally been present, for example because they were part of a fixed phrase, the text is placed between square brackets, so ‘int [jaer ons] Heren’.
- When there is reason to doubt the validity of a transcribed word, the word will be followed with (?).
- The end of a verse line will be marked with a ‘space-dash-space’ ( / ).
- Remarks concerning the transcriptions are added in the Remarks field below the transcription in question.
- The order and style of the original text is followed as precisely as possible; so ‘In het jaar ons heren XVc XXIV op den XIII dach van september’ becomes ‘In the year of our Lord 1524 on the 13th day of September’ rather than ‘On 13 September 1524’.
- Spelling of the names of persons: the name of the commemorated person is spelled in accordance to the modern Dutch spelling as used in the secondary literature (the standardised Dutch name). When no modern version of the name exists, the name in the transcription is given (the Middle Dutch name). Only internationally known individuals will have their names translated to English, so for example Charles the Bold will be used for Karel de Stoute.
- Spelling of topographic designations: the names of towns and cities, counties and duchies, etc. are given in modern Dutch (with the exception of The Hague for Den Haag and Flushing for Vlissingen).
- Numbers: Roman numerals are converted to Arabic numerals.
- Religious feast days: the name days of saints are indicated as ‘the feast(day) of St …’. Example: ‘op Sint Margarieten dach’ becomes ‘on the feast(day) of St Margaret’. Note: Keep in mind that ‘the eve of St Margaret’ is actually the day before the name day.
- The Dutch title ‘heer’ is translated as ‘sir’ for an ecclesiastic person, and as ‘lord’ for a worldly ruler.
Modern Dutch translations
- The order and style of the original text is followed as precisely as possible; so ‘In het jaar ons heren XVc XXIV op den XIII dach van september’ becomes ‘In het jaar onzes Heren 1524 op de 13e dag van september’ rather than ‘Op 13 september 1524’.
- Spelling of the names of persons: the name of the commemorated person is spelled in accordance to the modern Dutch spelling as used in the secondary literature (the standardised Dutch name). When no modern version of the name exists, the name in the transcription is given (the Middle Dutch name).
- Spelling of topographic designations: the names of towns and cities, counties and duchies, etc. are given in modern Dutch.
- Numbers: Roman numerals are converted to Arabic numerals.
- Religious feast days: the name days of saints are indicated as ‘the feast(day) of St …’. Example: ‘op Sint Margarieten dach’ becomes ‘op de (feest)dag van St. Margaretha’. Note: Keep in mind that ‘the eve of St Margaret’ is actually the day before the name day.
- Transcribed words for which the modern translation is unknown or uncertain, are replaced with: [?]. Uncertain translations are followed by: (?).
The rules for the transcription and translation of Latin texts are similar to the rules for the transcription of Middle Dutch texts, There are a few additional matters to take note of:
- The i and j are always transcribed as i.
- Y and ij always become ii.
- U and v are represented as u if the letter is in a vocal position, and as v if it’s in a consonant position.
- When a c is used instead of a t before an i, and when it is used as ch instead of with an h, as in nichil, the spelling is not normalised.
- Illegible text is marked as […]; reconstructed letters are placed between square brackets [ ].
- Proper nouns, numbers, and feast days are spelled and referenced in Middle Dutch.
- The end of a verse line will be marked with a ‘space-dash-space’ ( / ). Information about the nature of the verse (dactylic hexameters, distichs, Sapphic stanzas, etc.) is placed in the Remarks field.
- Emendations (corrections to mistakes present in the original Latin inscriptions) are not applied to the transcriptions; where applicable, information regarding this will be added in the Remarks field.
- Bible verses are copied directly from the text in the inscription, rather than being copied from a standard version of the Vulgate. The reason for this is that inscriptions often paraphrase the Vulgate, shorten it, or adapt it to a specific context.
Note: The Latin transcriptions for inscriptions for graves are currently of a temporary nature. Most of these inscriptions could not be fully analysed, and also good photographs were not always available for all of the floor slabs. In many cases we used transcriptions as provided by older literature (listed in the bibliography of each entry in de database), but these were not always reliable.
In the transcriptions of both Middle Dutch and Latin texts the original spelling has been maintained. But in the translations, both in English and in Dutch, we have opted for applying a spelling in standard modern Dutch, except in a few cases involving renowned persons such as Charles the Bold. Users of the English translations need to be aware that family names still were not generalized during the late medieval period. Two alternative types of nomenclature often occur:
- First name plus patronymic, of the type:
- Pieter Dirkszoon / Pieter Dirksz (Peter the son of Derrick)
- Margriet Jansdochter / Margriet Jansdr (Margaret the daughter of John)
- First name plus toponymic, the connection being made by elements like ‘van’, ‘vander’, ‘te’, ‘to’, ‘tho’ (of/from), e.g.:
- Gerard van Imstenraedt
- Eppo tho Nansum
- Also combinations of patronymic and toponymic occur: Gijsbert Hendriksz. van Heel
- Sometimes a patronymic is added after a family name: Arnt Berck Jansz.
- Sixteenth-century neo-Latin inscriptions often present the names in strongly latinized forms: Joachimus Schuttorpius
- Latin names occur even in Middle Dutch texts: Anno 1568 […] starf de w.h. heer Aucko Ludolpi Oldehem […].
First names in the northern provinces (Frisia and the formerly Frisian speaking surroundings of Groningen) were extremely varied and often have no modern Dutch equivalent. In the remaining parts of the country, first names were generally the more common ones. A few correspondences between Dutch and English:
|Arend, Arnt, Aernout||Arnold|
|Gerard, Geer(d)t, Gerrit||Gerald|
|Jan, Johan, Johannes||John|
|Klaas, Claes (= Nicolaas)||Colin, Nicholas|
|Tryn, Trijn, Trijntje||See Catrien|