Gonçalves’ Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum

I am delighted to say that, at long last, our digital version of the Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum by Joaquim Affonso Gonçalves is available online. This was a very challenging digitization project for me as a non-Chinese speaker, because of the sheer amount of data wrangling and massaging that was necessary, and because of the large number of people involved. It was made possible by the efforts of many volunteers, and in particular by the extraordinary work of developer Lara Frymark (Dickinson ’12), whose salary was paid by the Roberts Fund for Classical Studies at Dickinson College.

Search interface for the for the dictionary.

Developer Lara Frymark created the interface with Heroku.

The source is Joaquim Affonso Gonçalves, Lexicon Magnum Latino-Sinicum, 3rd edition (Peking: Typis Congregationis Missionis, 1936 [1st ed. Macau, 1841]). Also at Archive.org. The book was scanned at the Dickinson College Library from a copy kindly provided by the Firestone Library at Princeton University. The long process of digitization involved many twists and turn. A sketch of the process is here.
I trust this will be a useful resource for all Chinese speakers learning Latin. Still, the source work itself is quirky, old-fashioned, and imperfect. Our developer Lara Frymark, without whom nothing, has included a “suggest a translation” button for error reports and suggestions of any kind. Hopefully in the long run that will allow the community of Chinese-speaking Latinists to improve this resource. We also made the source data freely available, and others are more than welcome to build on and leverage what we have done.
This project has brought me into contact with many amazing Chinese-speaking Latinists at all levels from high school to R1 all over the world. God bless Digital Humanities for making possible this kind of joyful collaboration. My hope is that, in a time of increasing US-China tension, scholarly collaborations like this will continue and have positive effects, however small and localized. Thank you all, and onward!

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