Media and translations of same

I have many BMD documents in foreign languages. I’ve been getting them translated and want to include the translations in my tree as they contain a goldmine of information and are primary proof of many facts. As best as I can figure there are multiple ways of doing this, but I want to know if any of you has advise on which way/s offer the best results for reports: I can past the translations in the Person Note, the Event Note, the Research Note or Comment Note in the Source Citation, or the Description Field of the image in Media. I could also place it in Results for a Task. What do you all do?

There is obviously no one right way or best way to do it. So take all of the following with a large grain of salt.

All my BMD documents are in English and don’t need to be translated. But by analogy to the way I do my English ones, here is how I think I would do any translations. I would place the translations in fact notes and research notes because that’s where I put my transcriptions of English BMD documents.

Storing original or translated transcriptions with research notes is obvious because that’s a part of the sources and citations process. Because you are translating, there is a question of where to put the original vs. the translation. For example, you might put the original in the Research Note and the translation in the Comment Note, or vice versa. Or you might put both the original and the translation in the Research Note. I would have to think about that if ever I needed to deal with translations.

In the case of fact notes, I started out putting transcriptions of birth records in the Birth note, transcriptions of marriage records in the Marriage Note, and transcriptions of death records in the Death note. That seems obvious enough. I guess I would do the same with translations but there is still the question of original text vs. translated text. However, I have since switched over to adding a custom fact for Birth Records, Marriage Records, and Death Records to contain transcriptions and I leave the Birth note, the marriage note, and the Death note blank.

The reason I did it that way was two-fold. One was that it enabled me to print narrative reports with or without transcriptions by enabling or disabling the custom facts. You can enable or disable notes in narrative reports but it’s all or nothing. This way, I can be very selective. The other reason is that the presence or absence of the BMD facts with the transcriptions tells me where I have work still to do.

If I had translations, I suppose I could put the original text and the translation into the same custom fact note. Or I could have two different custom fact types, one for the original text and one for the translation. Again, I don’t have that situation so I would have to think about which way I wanted to do it if the situation ever arose.

There are some ideas. I hope at least some of them are useful.

Jerry, thank you! These comments are very useful and just the sort of ideas I am looking for. Appreciate it!

Jerry, would you kindly share the sentence you used for the custom facts for your transcriptions? Writing those things is a weak spot for me!

It may not be very helpful because I use point form sentence templates. For example, my templates simply say Birth: 12 Jun 1919 and your templates probably say He was born 12 Jun 1919. But here goes anyway.

(a carriage return goes here to force a new line)
<b>Birth Record</b>: <[Desc]>
(a carriage return goes here to force a new line)
<b>Marriage Record</b: <[Desc]>
(a carriage return goes here to force a new line)
<b>Death Record</b>: <[Desc]>

The forum software bolded some of my words for reasons I don’t understand. They are not really bold. but the <b> and </b> tags in the templates do produce bold text within RM.

I could include additional variables such as [Date:Plain] or [Place:Plain}, but the documents already contain this information. If these templates look sparse and strange, it’s because the whole point of these facts is the note. But the note is default in RM and there is no [Note] variable in RM. To use these ideas without point form templates, you might say something like the following.

[Person:Poss] birth record is

and the note would follow automatically, viz. John Doe’s birth record is xxxxxx I would have to play with it to see how it looks in reports. I think these kinds of facts that are really only notes work better with point form sentences and they are a little tricky to shoehorn into regular narrative sentences.

Thanks - now I have a starting place!

If you do happen to be interested in point form sentences, a sample report produced by RM using point form sentence template may be viewed at Sample Point Form Sentences from RM

The solution I came up with is to create facts titled: !Translated Death Record (or birth or marriage or baptism)
type: personal
Use date - yes;
Use place - no;
Use description - no

Under Principal Roles:
Sentence template: Translated Death Record: <[Desc]>

I set a sort date for one day after the event. This is how one of mine reads:

Translation from Latin: Today, 27 January 1820, by me the undersigned was baptized Josephus, son of Joannes Adamus Metz and Theresia Metz, citizens and spouses abiding in Hayna, born at 2 o’clock in the morning. His Godparents were Henricus Metz, tailor, father’s brother, and his wife Elisabetha Kitt together citizens and spouses here abiding, which after viewing this civil record, signed it along with the father and myself.
(Translation by [name], Genealogical Translations FB group, 19 Mar 2019.)

Hope this is useful to someone else.

1 Like