Chapter 6 : WinDi Encoding (encoding software for the dictionary).

Screen 5.

6.1. How to open the WinDi Encoding application.

By clicking on the 'tools' icon in the lower right corner of the WinDi Dictionary screen, you will call up the encoding module. On the second screen of this application, you get the possibility to modify the WinDi database.

6.2. How to encode words into WinDi Dictionary.

First of all, you will notice, when having opened the encoding module, that the words are systematically accompanied by an '@' character. This is very important, since this character is the key that lets the software know where and in which dictionary the encoding must be sorted, i.e. where to save the new input. The '@' character is a mandatory separator, and if it is not introduced during the encoding, your modifications will not be saved, since the program will not know where you want to store these changes. We advise you to try to get into the habit of inserting the '@' character for any input containing more than one word. This includes comments between brackets or any encoding of 'expressions'. If the '@' character is not found in one of the encoding zones, and if this zone contains more than one word, the software will ask you to select the word on which the information will be sorted. A menu is automatically displayed for this purpose, which enables you to determine which word has to be used for sorting your encoding. This function exists for all languages in the application.

For the encoding of German or Dutch separable particle verbs, we advise you to proceed as follows: encode your verb as usual (for example, in Dutch, 'aanbevelen'). Then, select the grammatical information 'verb', and more accurately 'separable verb (regular or irregular)'. The software will analyse the verb and try to find the particle. If two or more particles are possible, the software will ask you to select the right one, and will automatically separate the verb from its particle by adding the characters '_@'. On the screen, you will see: particle_@verb. By proceeding this way, the software will save the encoding under two forms; it will then be possible for you to retrieve the translations of your verb by looking up either the particle or the verb alone. This process has been adopted in your WinDi Dictionary.

We advise you to systematically encode all languages without exception, and to fill in carefully the grammatical information zones. This will guarantee you the best results, and the possibility of enjoying complete information that you will need sooner or later, for example when using our Direct Translation module.

If your installed dictionary does not contain all the languages, the encoded words will be saved in all existing dictionaries.

6.2.1. Encoding zones.

For each language, there is a special encoding zone situated on the right of the language flag (see screen 5). To gain access to a particular zone, click in the wanted zone; the 'pen' icon on the right of the encoding zone indicates the zone in which you are going to encode. Some characters are not allowed, mainly punctuation marks (for example commas).

The encoding zone can contain up to 60 characters. If you have to write more than 60 characters, we advise you to use abbreviations as much as possible (see for example chapter "Abbreviations used in the WinDi Dictionary").

6.2.2. Grammatical information zone.

After encoding a word in a language, you must specify what kind of word it is (noun, verb, adjective, etc.). In order to do that, select one of the grammatical elements displayed on the right of the encoding zone. In that list, you will find all the options you need. We recommend you to try to be as accurate as possible. The comment '[X]' allows, after having selected a comment, to delete it in a chosen language.

6.2.3. 'Copy' and 'Paste' Buttons.

Contrary to the general rule in WinDi programs, these icons are used in 'local' mode and not for export purposes into other applications.

The button in the bottom left corner of the encoding zone allows to copy an encoding into the clipboard, in order to integrate it into another encoding zone. How to proceed? First of all, put the cursor in an encoding zone by means of the mouse, as if you were going to encode in this zone. Click on the button at the bottom of the screen. Your word can then be 'pasted' into another encoding zone. Just click on the button on the front of the language where you want to 'paste' your encoding. This function will be useful for transporting comments. In some cases, you might prefer to leave a word as it is, because it hasn't got a particular translation in other languages (such as for example 'software', or any technical word specific to your field of activities).

6.2.4. + button: 'add' function.

This function allows you to add the same word one or several times. During this process, the software asks you to confirm the operation. Take care not to add information which is already in the database, because this would unnecessarily overload it. If this happens, you can just use the 'delete' function explained below.

Besides the encoding of new words, this function allows the creation of synonyms.

6.2.5. <> button: 'modify' function.

This function allows you to modify an existing encoding by adding more information, or to complete a partial encoding. When this function is called up, the user must confirm it.

6.2.6. - button: 'delete' function.

This function allows you to delete words that you don't need, or are not needed in your context. For example, the word 'bank' has many different meanings: the institution, the seat, the side of a river, etc. If you are working in a bank, you may want to delete the other translations.

We advise you to use this function very carefully, because once you confirm the deletion of a word you cannot undo it!

6.2.7. N button: 'new word' function.

This function allows you to delete all the encoding zones, if none of the existing words are of help to you. You can then encode a new word.

6.3. Saving your modifications.

All your modifications will be saved in the database when you leave the program, or when you change the source language of the dictionary.

This saving involves many software operations, i.e. the opening of each different file in each language concerned, and a sorting in the dictionaries on as many characters as possible in order to create a well-structured information database. If during your session you added or modified ten words, there will be seventy separate saving procedures. The encountered delay entirely depends on your computer's performance. Moreover, in a local area network, the encoding program is multi-user. In that case, there also is a 'record locking' management adding a delay to the operations. Therefore, we would recommend you to leave the encoding program only when you have finished all the modifications that were necessary, so that the saving can be carried out only once. After the save, the modifications will immediately be available in the WinDi Dictionaries (in a network, every user will have access to the modifications immediately).

6.3.1. Automatic back-up of the modifications.

When the modifications are saved, that is to say when they are added into the database, the encoding program will also make an automatic backup in a separate backup file. This function allows you to view your modifications if you have to reinstall your database from the original package (if a change of configuration occurred, for example). If you want to import your modifications again, you have to export them first as described below.

If you encoded or modified some parts of your WinDi Dictionary, you might like to share your modifications with your colleagues or with other WinDi users working in your field of activities. In the second screen of the Encoding module, there are two buttons: one to import, and the other to export your modifications on floppies. Copy your modifications onto a floppy, and exchange your lexicons with other users. This will allow 'standardization' of your vocabulary!

6.4. Particular features in the encoding of nouns.

WinDi Direct Translation and the 'Grammar' function in the WinDi Dictionaries extensively use the grammatical comments of each word. But in order to give WinDi the most complete information about nouns, additional information has to be added to them. Here follows the explanation of the different codes that have to be added after each noun.

If you do not follow the table here below, the nouns that you will encode will never have a plural. You can also first enter the noun in the singular form, and then enter its plural form. If the plural of the added noun is irregular, you must enter the word twice, once in the singular and once in the plural.

Code (digit)

German

Spanish

French

English

Italian

Dutch

Portuguese

Nothing

No plural

No plural

No plural

No plural (pro. itself)

No plural

No plural

No plural

0

Uncountable noun (no plural)

Uncountable noun (no plural)

Uncountable noun (no plural)

Uncountable noun (no plural)

Uncount. noun (no plural)

Uncount. noun (no plural)

Uncountable noun (no plural)

1

Person (+n if complement)

{see note 1}

Animal - person

(a + comp)

{see note 2}

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

Masculine noun (pronoun "himself")

Parent (mio-il mio)

{see note3}

Plural authorized

(adj+noun)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

2

Plural authorized

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

Feminine noun (pronoun "herself")

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

3

Plural authorized

(noun+adj.)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

X

Plural autho. (pro. itself)

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

Plural authorized

(adj.+noun)

{see note 4}

X

X

4

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

Specifies that the noun does not refer to a person.

Plural authorized

{see note 5}

 

Note 1: in German, code 1 means that the noun refers to a person (Nachbar,...).

Note 2: in Spanish, code 1 means that the noun refers to a person or an animal. Indeed, when the complement following a verb is a noun referring to a person (el profesor) or an animal (el caballo), this complement has to be preceded by the preposition 'a' (ex.: he visto a mi profesor). This is not the case when the complement refers to an object (ex.: he visto el teléfono).

Note 3: in Italian, code 1 means that the noun refers to a parent. Indeed, when the noun refers to a parent (ex.: padre), and that the article preceding this noun is the possessive 'my' (il mio), in WinDi Direct Translation or WinDi Grammar, the article 'il mio' becomes 'mio' only.

Note 4: In all languages except English, two different codes authorize the plural. You must choose between these two 'plural' codes when you are entering a compound word having no preposition (in, of, about...). WinDi knows exactly how to deal with compound words containing a preposition (for example: board of administration), but for all other compound words you must specify what word is the adjective and what word is the noun.The first 'plural' code (in numerical order) refers to the most common situation: a single word, or a compound word with the usual order of the elements (according to the language). For example, in French the compound word 'appel interurbain' is made of a noun ('appel') followed by an adjective ('interurbain'). This entry must be followed by code 1, as indicated in the table above (plural authorized - noun+adj.). The second code authorizing the plural refers to less frequent compound words, with an order of the elements different from the common one. For example, the French word 'prochain départ' (next departure) where the adjective ('prochain') precedes the noun ('départ'). In this case, code 2 will be used in French (plural authorized - adj.+noun).

Please note that you should always avoid entering compound words with an adjective being already agreed in gender and number, because this will prevent WinDi from finding the correct agreement rules. For example, do not enter in French 'nouvel assistant' because 'nouvel' is modified in comparison with its 'original' form, which is 'nouveau'.

In short: you have to select the second 'plural' code in case of a compound word with no preposition and an unusual place of the elements. In all other cases (single word, compound word with a preposition, compound word with a usual place of the elements), the first 'plural' code must be used.

Note 5 : in all languages, some nouns may have two possible meanings, one referring to a person and the other referring to an object. WinDi contains a list of all person names, and will present the feminine of such nouns. If you enter a noun that does not refer to a person but could do, then you must add code 4 behind it, otherwise WinDi will present its feminine form. For example, the French word 'avocat' can mean either 'lawyer' or 'avocado pear'. If when entering the translation 'avocado pear - avocat' you do not add code 4 behind the French entry, WinDi will assume that 'avocat' means 'lawyer' and you will be presented with the feminine form of 'avocat' (avocate) when it is irrelevant in the case of the translation of 'avocado pear'. In order to avoid such mistakes, always be careful and check whether a noun can possibly refer to a person and an object as well.

Further explanations about the table:

Each code has a particular meaning according to the language it refers to. However, two codes have the same meaning in all languages: code 'nothing' and code '0'.

Code 'Nothing': if you don't add any digit at the end of the noun that you have encoded, it means that this word has no plural. For example, 'health' does not exist in the plural.

Code '0': means that the noun is 'uncountable', like, for example, 'flour', 'praise', etc.

Particular features of the English codes:

Words with no code or code '0' will be considered neuter, and, in 'WinDi Direct Translation', when used with a reflexive verb, the pronoun 'itself' will appear.

In the same context, here is the explanation of the different codes as they appear in the table :

Code 1: masculine noun having a plural ('himself' will appear when a reflexive verb is used)

Code 2: feminine noun having a plural ('herself' will appear when a reflexive verb is used)

Code 3: objects having a plural ('itself' will appear when a reflexive verb is used)

A tip to help you choose between 'nothing', '1-2-3' or '0': a lot of + noun.

- You can say 'a lot of flour', and the noun 'flour' remains in the singular. This noun is uncountable, and you must use code '0'.

- On the contrary, one says 'a lot of houses', where 'house' has to be in the plural. This noun is countable. You must use code '1', '2' or '3' according to the language and the kind of noun that you are encoding.

- In the same context, 'a lot of health', for example, has no meaning at all. Because of that, this word is not considered as an uncountable noun following to the criteria adopted by WinDi. Code 'Nothing' must be used.

If code 'Nothing' is chosen, the 'Agreements in gender and number (see chap. 7.4.1.4. and Additional WinDi screens) in the singular will be reduced in comparison with code '0'. If code '1', '2' or '3' is chosen, more 'variants' are proposed in the plural. Try to limit cases rather than get wrong proposals.

Where to add this digit when encoding a new noun?

When encoding a new noun, the digits defined in the table on the previous page have to be added at the end of the word, without a space (ex. the @teacher1) if the noun only contains one word (without holding the article into account). If the new noun contains many words (ex. the @bird of paradise1), you must place the digit after the last word.

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