Litgloss is a collection of texts written in languages other than English. They are of literary, cultural, or historical interest, and best apprehended in their original language. By providing unobtrusive semantic and syntactical help as well as supplementary materials, project participants aim to enable readers to see the text in its literary, artistic, historical, and cultural context. The site was created in 1998, and is a work in progress.
The effort was born of the conviction that American students of foreign languages should have the opportunity to read important and complex texts written in the languages they are learning. One goal is to encourage further study of the language by offering a glimpse of the intellectual wealth to which fluency would give access. Texts which enable students to glimpse the complexity and sophistication of other cultures can serve as antidotes to media portrayals which sensationalize or trivialize.
Litgloss was made possible by an institutional educational technology grants from the the Office of the Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences as well as the Office of the Provost of the University at Buffalo. Volunteer efforts by UB graduate students, undergraduates, alumni and faculty members (see contributors) have sustained the project. Generous and cheerfully given technical support was provided by the staff of UB Information Technology, especially the Wings web team and the graphic designers at iMedia. Past and present chairs of the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures have provided unstinting encouragement. Special thanks are due to Western New York high school teachers whose students were among the first to use and evaluate the site. The original tech support specialist was Joseph S. Testa II of Buffalo. The founder and director of the project is Maureen Jameson.