News and Views: Instant Translation Pop-Up Via Very Simple HTML

Posted August 14th, 2002.

Gentle Readers,

Although I admire and am interested in Tolkien's created languages, I don't speak much Elvish. And over-use of Elvish phrases in Tolkien fanfiction is sometimes one of my pet peeves. It's all right if you can figure it out from context, or if a translation is provided immediately - I've seen both.  

This bothered me in a story I wrote, One Ring to Bring Them All.  I wanted an Elvish phrase in the story, and I wanted the reader to be able translate it immediately, via a small pop-up.   

As anybody web-savvy can tell, I have the HTML skills of a small potato. But even I was able to use these simple HTML coding instructions, provided to me by my beta reader Suzana's beloved, Mishka. 

You can create a small, simple pop-up over selected words. This is very useful as a quick translation note for Tolkien language phrases in a fanfiction story - Elvish, Black Speech, Dwarvish, Rohirrim, Nevbosh, or another tongue. The HTML code for this is:

<a title="enter your phrase translation here">elvish words</a>

For example, let's say you have the elvish phrase Mae govannen, ciranon! And you want the reader to know immediately that this means "Hello, sailor!"

<a title="Sindar for: Hello, sailor!">"Mae govannen, ciranon!"</a>

I also turned the Elvish words blue, so the reader can tell they link to something. When the reader runs their cursor over this, voila! A little box pops up, with the translation text I included.

Here is a working sample. Run your cursor over this - you do not need to click!

Sí man i yulma nin enuquantuva?

This can also be done using more sophisticated pop-up box codes. But the <a title => solution works on even the simplest Web pages. Like these ones.

Note: For Netscape users, this feature only works on versions Netscape 6 or later. 


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