Many of the older books we process in DP contain characters, words or whole passages in Ancient Greek. The Greek alphabet contains 24 letters (a few extras occur infrequently), but many diacritical marks are used, giving a total of about 300 possible characters.
Since mid-2020, DP uses the Unicode character set (specifically the UTF-8 encoding), meaning that the whole range of Greek characters can be input and edited in the proofreading rounds. In other words we transcribe (noun: "transcription") the Greek text as we find it printed. Prior to that change, the way we handled Greek was by transliteration, which means representing the Greek letters by their rough equivalent in the more familiar Latin letters. This system is still in use in some older projects, or where the Project Manager requests it; please refer to the Project Comments.
For example, this Greek phrase:
would be transcribed thus: ὃτι τῶν φύσει ἡ πόλις ἐστὶ, καὶ
and would be transliterated thus: [Greek: hoti tôn physei hê polis esti, kai]
For most projects containing Greek text, proofreaders are asked to directly input or correct the Greek characters, including any diacritical marks associated with them. The post-processor may still need to edit the Greek text, to correct any remaining errors or omissions. Proofreaders may use the character picker in the proofreading interface, while Proofreaders and Post-Processors have the options of direct keyboard entry or a purpose-built internet application.
Transliteration is used on certain projects where the full Polytonic Greek character set is not available to the proofreaders, and instead we convert each Greek letter into its Latin-1 equivalent. Proofreaders are provided with tools to facilitate this. Unless the final product is intended to show Greek only in transliterated form, post-processors encountering transliterated text will need to input the Greek characters as detailed here. The Project Comments should clarify what is expected.
There are a few special considerations concerning the formatting of Greek text in DP projects.
- "Proofreading Greek: Questions" - Help forum for Proofreaders
- "Help with: Greek" - Help forum for Post-Processors
- Greek transliteration tutorial and quiz
- Greek Glyph Chart (Greek numbers, and older forms of the letters)
- A Copious Greek Grammar (1832 text on Google books with PDF download option)
- Wikipedia's article on Greek numerals
- Script Teacher: a site for learning various alphabets and fonts, including Greek. None of the transliteration options are identical to what we use at DP, but the closest one is the second option (a b e ē). [Note: availability of this site appears to be unreliable.]