🔥 Feedback on Parf Edhellen

Aldaleon #1282

Hi everyone,

Please refer to the latest update in Patch Notes from March 29. The last major feature on my roadmap is now functionally complete and in production. So, I will be looking for add and improve on in Parf Edhellen... and I need your help to make sure I focus on the right things.

So, I have prepared a few questions I would really appreciate if you would take the time to answer!

  1. What features on Parf Edhellen are most important to you, and how can we do what we already do even better?
  2. What features would you like to see on Parf Edhellen?
  3. What does not quite work as you would like it to work? What can we do to improve?
  4. What makes the Elvish languages interesting to you?

Thanks in advance,

aldaleon

2020-03-29T20:36:37+00:00
dreamingfifi #1297

The greatest strength of ElfDict is the cognates and words with similar meanings are very quick and easy to see. It's really handy when looking to find words for a concept, not a word-to-word translation. It means that you don't need to remember what exact word Tolkien listed the vocabulary with, and you can still find it. For translating, this website is super helpful!

It's also super friendly to newer translators who don't have a full grasp on the material yet. For my students, I often send them here because I know that they'll find it very easy to use.

There are a few weaknesses.

Sometimes, the mechanisms that make it possible to find cognates in other languages and similar meaning words are tricked, and you get a massive amount of information that has nothing to do with what you're looking for. The smaller the word, the worse the results are.

The outdated material can really mess up people who are new at translating. I think that you should remove the non-later material completely (like Qenya and Noldorin and Gnomish so on) and if applicable, use the updated/normalized/modernized versions of the words. Like, instead of listing Pelekta- as Qenya, list Pelehta as Neo-Quenya. You should update the warnings with links to articles explaining what exactly "Fan-invented" and "Updated" means and why using such vocab can be dangerous but also is the best option for filling vocab gaps.

Basically, I want to see you take this website in a different direction from Eldamo. Eldamo is a fantastic resource for scholars, for people who already know a lot about Tolkien's languages and are familiar with the lingo and conventions associated with it. Eldamo lists absolutely everything, with no filters except those that you place yourself. I think you need to focus ElfDict for a different audience. Make it more friendly for the newbies. This means less overwhelming amounts of information thrown at them at once, none of the older-languages, and basically a lot of hand-holding. I keep thinking back to Helge's Sindarin dictionary. It had plenty of flaws and is now quite outdated, but it was very very good at helping new translators navigate the translation world. I really liked that Nasal-Stop words were clearly marked and irregular plurals/conjugations were listed in the entry.

Basically, Eldamo is a descriptive resource, ElfDict needs to be a prescriptive resource.

I hope you find this helpful! Ar *estelyan i nál varna ar alwa sina morna lómesse.

Fiona J.

2020-04-22T15:54:20+00:00
Shihali #1299

I agree that the strength of ElfDict is its wide range. It collects words that even Eldamo lacks (or lacked until recently) and pulling up cognates and related words is very helpful.

I also agree that its great weakness is that it displays words from all periods mixed together. Some of this is due to its sources mixing periods and is difficult to resolve, but much of it is due to the wide search range. I see more Neo-Quenya texts by new learners with Early Period words mixed in at whim because the learners don't understand that there is a difference.

I wouldn't go so far as Fiona as to remove all older material, but it needs different defaults. Instead of "all languages" it would be nice to default to only Neo+Late+Middle Period languages or Late Period languages, and require user choice to return Early Period results.

Edit: another feature I would find very valuable is being able to select some common sets of languages. For example, I would find it useful to be able to select Neo-Sindarin+Sindarin+Noldorin but exclude all other languages, Early Noldorin, and Gnomish.

2020-04-22T20:59:42+00:00
Aldaleon #1306

Thank you Dreamingfifi and Shihali for your feedback! I really appreciate your time sharing your thoughts! 😁

Listening to your feedback, I would suggest that I take Parf Edhellen in a direction where it has more filters enabled by default, but still gives our users the ability to customize these filters according to their preferences. The website would also do a better job pointing out why using fan invented words can be "dangerous" to use in texts, and for tattoos in particular.

I really liked that Nasal-Stop words were clearly marked and irregular plurals/conjugations were listed in the entry

I love that too! I hope that inflections will be a natural part of the dictionary in the future, as we as a community continue to add more texts to the website.

Hantanyel!

aldaleon

2020-04-28T02:58:08+00:00
Melui Nínuihên #1338
  1. What features on Parf Edhellen are most important to you, and how can we do what we already do even better?

The ability to filter for language and the examples in many entries. Also the flashcards. Something I miss is a "search" button in the "discuss" area. It would be helpful to be able to search if a topic has already been covered.

  1. What does not quite work as you would like it to work? What can we do to improve?

Once upon a time... there was a paypal button for the upkeep of the site and how much of current costs had been coverd in a year. Unless the Valar have stepped in to ensure the finances, I guess this could be helpful still? Or at least some information if financial help is needed.

  1. What makes the Elvish languages interesting to you?

Guess I am just an elf at heart, so... coming here for relievieng a bit of emotional home sickness, maybe?

2020-06-01T14:28:02+00:00