Scientists at Swansea University are asking for translations in all languages of Shakespeare’s work Othello, including various versions in English. The team already has translations in 20 languages, including Albanian, Catalan, Finnish, Kiswahili, Macedonian, Persian and Ukrainian. They are expecting 300 translations in over 100 languages.

Shakespeare’s work is being used as a test piece. The eventual goal of the project is to create a cultural database of some of the world’s most important literary pieces.

Once the translated works are collected, the researchers will use software to determine which parts of the work agree in the translated versions and which parts differ. The findings will allow the team to research interesting questions about cultures, history, translation and languages.

So far, the translations the team have received for Othello show large differences in how Shakespeare’s words are interpreted in different countries.