Chapter 7 : WinDi Direct translation (sentence translation).

7.1. Overview of WinDi Direct Translation's principle (to be read carefully).

Please note that this application is not an automatic translator. This application is very interactive, and will allow you to create grammatically controlled sentences in your mother tongue to have them translated into up to 6 other languages. You cannot paste sentences into this application to have them translated automatically. You always have to create new sentences in an interactive way inside this application. You have to choose one of the supported grammatical structures, and then modify it word by word. This is the only way to get a correct translation! Otherwise, you could get translations where the contexts of the words are not respected, leading to meaningless sentences, or where the grammatical structures are completely false.

WinDi Direct Translation (WDT) provides you with the possibility to write correct sentences in a language that you only know a little, or even that you don't know at all. To do so, WDT gives you access to several 'typical' sentences (subject-verb-complement, etc.) that you can completely adapt to your particular translation need. Indeed, you can replace, in each sentence, the subject, the verb, the complement, the adjective, etc. by any word that is present in WinDi Dictionaries (40,000 words available). By doing so, you will 'build' new sentences that will be perfectly understood by WDT, that will take care of all grammatical aspects. The translations will be correct.

WDT proposes about 7 'groups' of 'typical' sentences, for reasons of efficiency and clarity. When choosing one of the proposed sentences, you really have at your disposal +-2.7 1040 possible sentences! Indeed, the verb can be replaced by 6,000 other verbs, there are 24,000 nouns available (without counting their plurals or feminines...), and about 6,000 adjectives, which enabled this kind of combination by multiplying the elements with each other.... Please note that this software will not refrain you from writing meaningless sentences, which is also true for a wordprocessor, for example!

The important principle that you should always keep in mind is : 'everything can be said with simple words'. Using simple constructions, you are sure to be understood by your addressees... If you don't find your type of sentence among the sentences proposed by WDT, try to reformulate your meaning while adapting it to the examples available in the application. You will rapidly get used to this principle. Proceeding this way you will find in WDT an efficient and complete translation help that will allow you to communicate with other people without any language barrier.

To avoid useless manipulations when creating a new sentence, we advise you to modify each element following this order :

1. Verb : the conjugated verb first, and then the infinitive verb (if any)

2. Subject : first the adjective (if any), then the noun.

3. Complement : first the preposition (if any), then the adjective (if any), and finally the noun.

4. Pronoun

Attention: when creating a subject or a complement, select first the adjective (if any), then the preposition (if any, case of a complement), then the noun. After this, you can select the plural and/or the feminine via the "agreements in gender and number" screen. If you fail to follow this order and immediately select the noun (before the preposition and adjective), you might lose the selected article (variant) and the agreements in gender and number. If you have to modify the preposition, for example, you must re-select the noun afterwards in order to get a correct translation.

7.2. How to gain access to WinDi Direct Translation.

From WinDi Menu, and from each 'Menu' icon present in all WinDi applications.

7.3. First screen: choice of the sentence to modify and adapt.

Screen 6.

7.3.1. Selection of the source language.

We strongly advise to make your translations from your mother tongue. Indeed, if the source sentence is correct, the target sentence will be correct as well. Select your mother tongue among the languages of the upper 'flags' row, and the target language among the languages of the lower 'flags' row. The flags in the upper right corner remember you your choice. By default, the source and target languages will be the ones selected in WinDi Menu.

7.3.2. Choice of the sentence to modify.

The sentences are classified in 7 groups. Each sentence is an example of possible sentence in the group it belongs to.

The groups are :

- Group 1.1 : Introductory piece of sentence : without any verb, it allows to build a series of introductory complements (ex. : after your journey, in the framework of your job, etc.).

- Group 1.2 : Active voice : the conjugated verb is in the active voice. The last of these sentences allows to add a complement directly after the subject.

- Group 1.2.1 : Active voice : the conjugated verb is 'to be'. It is directly followed by an adjective. Complements can be added after the adjective.

- Group 1.3 : Passive voice : the conjugated verb is in the passive voice. Otherwise, the structures are the same than the sentences in the active voice.

- Group 1.4 : Active voice with 2 verbs (verb + infinitive) : these sentences contain a conjugated verb and an infinitive verb.

- Group 1.5 : Active voice with 2 verbs : these sentences contain 2 conjugated verbs. The first 3 sentences begin with a noun directly followed by a relative pronoun, and the last sentence begins with a noun and a verb directly followed by the relative pronoun.

- Group 1.6 : Passive voice with 2 verbs : these sentences contain 2 conjugated verbs. The structures are the same than for the active voice with 2 verbs, but here the second verb is in the passive voice.

- Group 2.1 : Active voice (other examples) : the sentences begin with a complement.

- Group 2.2 : Active voice with 2 verbs (other examples) : the sentences contain a conjugated verb and an infinitive verb, and they are introduced by a complement.

Each sentence can include up to 5 complements. A 'complement' is a group of words, like [preposition + article + adjective + noun], or like an [adverb] (tomorrow, also, etc.).

Before starting a translation, it is very important to identify the group to which it belongs . In order to help you to define the 'type' of the sentence that you wish to translate, the button [C] provides you with the structure of each sentence on the first screen.

The way to proceed is the following : if, for example, you wish to translate the sentence 'I will read this book tomorrow', you should determine if this sentence is active or passive (active in this case), contains one verb or two (one in this case), and how many complements it contains (2 : 'this book' and 'tomorrow'). Then, you can choose one sentence among Group 1.2 (active).

Remark: in English, if you want to translate the sentence 'I wish my friend to read this book', you have to choose the sentence 'We note that this equipment meets our usual requirements'. When you replace the verb 'note' by 'wish', the structure will change. You will get 'We wish the equipment to meet our usual requirements'. Then, modify the complements and the infinitive to create your sentence.

In order to select a sentence, click on it, and then on the 'Dictionary' icon.

7.3.3. Use of the other 'WinDi' functions.

The 'menu' icon allows to call 'WinDi Dictionaries', 'WinDi Conjugation', 'Translation Project Manager', 'WinDi Translation Help' and 'WinDi Browser'. For their use, please refer to the chapters concerning these applications.

7.3.4 How to quit WDT.

Click on the 'door' icon (see first screen) with the left button of your mouse in order to minimize WDT, or click with the right button of your mouse to completely unload WDT from the memory.

7.4. Second screen : creation and translation of your sentences.

Screen 7.

This screen provides you with the possibility to adapt the original sentence that you have chosen to your peculiar context, by modifying all the elements that compose it.

To do so, you must use all three list boxes 'Element', 'Grammatical Element' and 'Conjugation'. Don't forget to follow the order of elements to modify, as specified on 7.1 (Overview of WDT's principle).

7.4.1. Quick overview of the different functions of this screen. 'Element' list box.

This list box presents the name of each grammatical element contained in the chosen sentence, in the order in which they appear on screen. When selecting one of these elements, the word that corresponds to it in the sentence highlights itself. It is then possible to replace or delete it ([X] zone). By default, when starting a translation, the list box is positioned in order to modify the subject of the sentence. You will notice that each element is followed by the word it is related with in the very sentence you are working with (for example, in screen 7, 'Subject' is followed by 'software'). This is aimed to help you identify which element you want to modify or delete. Each time an element is added into the sentence, you will see it appear in this list box, beside its name. For example, is you add the adjective 'beautiful' in your sentence, you will see 'Adj.1 (beautiful)' in the list box, instead of 'Adjective 1' alone. 'Grammatical Element' list box.

This list box varies according to the element chosen in the 'Element' list box. If you have chosen 'Verb', this list box will change its name in 'Verb', and you will get a list of verbs.

The same process happens for the pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc. Under this list box, there is an encoding zone that allows you to easily retrieve a word contained in the list box. To do so, type your word in this zone until it highlights itself in the list box (if the word was introduced in the User Dictionary) (see following point). 'Grammatical Element' list box, and how to gain access to the 'Word Selection' screen (adding words in the 'Grammatical Element' list box).

The 'Grammatical Element' list box contains the words you most frequently use to translate. The first time you use WDT, this list box is empty, except for the 'Subject', where you will find the personal pronouns, for the 'Pronouns', and for the 'Verb 1' in the sentences containing two verbs (1 conjugated verb + 1 infinitive verb, and the sentence where the verb 1 is directly followed by a relative pronoun).

The *** Open WinDi Dictionaries *** line at the top of the 'Grammatical Element' list box allows you to create your own file of verbs, prepositions, nouns, etc., by opening the WinDi Dictionaries and 'transferring' the words that you need from the dictionaries into WDT. Click on this line to obtain the 'Word selection' window:

Screen 8.

This window is divided in two screens: the lower screen displays all the words contained in WinDi Dictionaries, belonging to a particular grammatical category. The upper screen is your User Dictionary, which will contain the words that you need to make your translations. This User Dictionary is the 'Grammatical Element' list box that appears on screen 1 of 'WinDi Direct Translation'.

To easily find the word you are looking up, type it in the encoding zone at the bottom of this window, and the application will automatically position itself on your word.

When looking up nouns, do not type their article! The nouns always appear preceded by their article. When looking up infinitive verbs in English, do not type 'to', WinDi would not find them in the database.

To put one or several new words in the 'Grammatical Element' list box, click on each wanted word, and then on the 'Add To User Dictionary' button.

The 'Delete from File' button in the 'Words selection' screen allows you to delete words from a 'Grammatical Element' list box, if there are too many words in it.

Following this process, you will build your own translation tool, containing the vocabulary you use most frequently. This allows the application to be faster, and not too greedy in memory.

Once you have added all the wanted vocabulary in your User Dictionary, click on the door to come back to the WDT screen where you can create your sentence.

If you wish to erase an element from your sentence, click on the [X] that is always present at the top of the list box.

Remark: after having added a word into the User Dictionary, if you wish to modify it with WinDi Encoding, you first have to delete this word from the User Dictionary. After your modifications in WinDi Encoding, you can re-introduce this word in the User Dictionary. Otherwise, your modifications will not appear in WDT. 'Agreements in gender and number'.

Screen 9.

Screen 9 can also be accessed from within Screen 2 of WinDi Dictionaries, when it is open on a noun, adjective, or preposition. Click on the 'books' icon at the bottom left corner to obtain a similar screen, that allows you to build simple 'subjects' or 'complements' directly in the dictionaries. This screen gives you access to billions of combination possibilities.

Each time you select a noun (subject or complement), you gain access to its plural and feminine (if any), including different possibilities concerning the chosen noun.

This screen displays the preposition (if any), a series of 'variants' (the, each, my, your, etc.), the adjective (if any), and the noun. For example, if you choose the word 'story', you will get different possibilities that you can integrate in your sentence : this story, my story, each story, etc. It also gives indications concerning the gender and number of the noun.

Select one of the possible 'variants' to come back to the 'sentence creation' screen.

NB: Concerning the 'plural' function, please note that the 'uncountable' words like 'flour', 'sugar', or words such as qualities (politeness...) or notions (nature, love, hate...) are not available in the plural, for grammatical and usage reasons. However, if you need the plural of an 'uncountable' word in your field of activities (ex.: the sugars), we suggest you add this plural word in the WinDi database by means of the WinDi Encoding module. See chap. VI.4. 'Particular features in the encoding of nouns' for further information. 'Conjugation' list box.

This list box lets you modify the tense of the verb contained in the sentence on your screen, simply by clicking on the chosen tense. Access to the other grammatical variants (assertion, negation, etc.).

While doing a modification/translation, you can always see the other variants (negation, question, negative question) by clicking on one of the 4 icons appearing under the 'Conjugation' list box.

These variants are, in order of appearance : assertion (same sentence than on the first screen) (+); negation (-); assertive question (?); negative question (?-).

Therefore, if the sentence you wish to translate is a question, you will find the assertive form on the first screen, and the variant that interests you on the second screen, by clicking on the (?) icon. Translation of your sentence into 7 languages : '7' button.

Screen 10, 'List of translations in 7 languages'.

When you have created your sentence, you can get instant translation of it into all 6 other languages! Just click on the '7' button beside the 'language flags'. WDT will translate your sentence and give you its translation on a screen divided into 7 language zones.

This screen can be used like a clipboard : each time you click on the '7' button, WDT will add the translation of the new sentence below the sentences already translated.

On the screen containing the 7 translations, the 'envelope' icon calls 'Write' or 'Wordpad', where you can import your translations. You can also use the 'clipboard' icon (just above the 'envelope' icon) to insert your translations into a Windows application.

The 'scissors' icon allows to empty this screen. If this function is not used, all sentences contained in this screen are kept, as long as the application is active (even if it is minimized).

Troubleshooting concerning this version : please note that this '7' function does not always work perfectly, namely when only the subject of a sentence has been modified, and nothing else. In this case, the results are not guaranteed when using the '7' function (the chosen variant is not always the same in all 7 languages). This bug is very complicated to identify, but it will be corrected in a future version. Access to the other WinDi functions (screen 7).

'WinDi Dictionaries', 'WinDi Conjugation', WinDi Browser and WTH Double Editor are available at the bottom of the screen by means of the 'Menu' icon. 'Voice for WinDi' is available in both translation zones. Clipboard function (screen 7).

In order to import one of the sentences into another Windows application, click on the 'WinDi to clipboard' icon present in both translation zones. Then, use the classical 'Paste' function.

7.4.2. Further explanations concerning screen 7.

- 'Subject/n' : when this element is selected, the list box always presents the personal pronouns ' I ', 'you', 'he', etc., in addition to any other noun that you may choose. Please, take care to choose the right gender of your personal pronoun (masculine or feminine, singular polite form, or plural polite, etc.). It is very important for the agreement in gender and number of the Italian and French past participles, for example.

When you choose a new subject, WDT presents you with different 'variants' (agreements in gender and number) in an intermediate screen (see point

- Adjective : the adjective must always be chosen before selecting a particular grammatical variant, otherwise it won't agree in gender and number with the noun. For example, if you want to build the complement 'your new friends', select first 'new', then 'friend' and choose the matching variant in the 'agreements in gender and number' screen (plural). If you follow this order, the adjective will correctly agree in gender and number.

- Pronoun : the pronoun is a very delicate function. Choose it carefully, and take care for its meaning to be clear. For the moment, pronouns can only be used for persons (him, her, etc.) and not for things. The reason is that an object can be feminine in one language, but masculine in another language! The used pronoun can't be correct then, unless the user tells the application which noun it replaces!

If you want to use the following construction : preposition followed by a pronoun (ex. : with me, about him, etc.), use the 3rd sentence of Group 1.2 ('your colleague arrives with him at the office this afternoon').

- Verb : for the sentences containing 2 verbs (a conjugated verb and an infinitive form), the 'Verb1' list box proposes more or less 150 verbs, that have been correctly defined from a grammatical point of view, concerning this particular group. 'WinDi Dictionaries' can't be opened when modifying the conjugated verb of the sentences of this group. In the sentences including Subject+Verb+relative pronoun (that, que, che, daß, dat), Verb 1 is also imposed by the application. The proposed list of verbs can not be modified nor enriched.

- Complement 1 : or 2, 3, 4. The complement is a noun, like the subject. When you choose a new complement, WDT proposes you different 'variants' in the 'agreements in gender and number' screen (see point See also 'Adverbs' here below.

- Preposition : take care to choose it as accurately as possible : the quality of your translation depends on your accuracy. When you have chosen a verb from WinDi Dictionaries that already contains a preposition (for example : to look for), it is not possible to modify it. If you add one, the translation will probably be false.

- Infinitive : this list box is available when modifying a sentence from group 1.4 (active voice with two verbs). It allows to change the infinitive form.

- Adverbs : when the chosen 'Element' is a complement (1, 2, 3 or 4), you can replace the whole complement (preposition, article, adjective and noun) by an adverb.The adverbs can be accessed through *** Open WinDi Dictionaries ***, as if they were nouns. For example, if you would like to add 'today' in your sentence, just select 'Complement' in the 'Element' list box, and then *** Open WinDi Dictionaries***, and type 'today'.

For adverbs giving time indications (yesterday, now, etc.), we advise you to use the sentences beginning with a complement (group 2.1 or 2.2), and to put the adverb in place of this first complement (ex. : Tomorrow, you will meet my father).

7.5. Important remarks concerning this application.

Please note that 'WinDi Direct Translation' features several limitations.

Be careful when creating complicated sentences with pronouns, etc. : your sentence must be correct in your mother tongue. Anyway, try to formulate your text with simple sentences that can be easily understood. If the sentence you wish to translate doesn't fit in one of the available structures, try to simplify it. Make several short sentences rather than one long sentence. See chap. X 'FAQs', question 13.

When working in WDT, you might get the string of characters '-???-' in the target language zone, in place of a verb or a variant (subject or complement). This means that the translation you were asking for, either is not supported by WDT, or is impossible in the target language you have chosen. In this case, try to find a synonym to the verb or the variant.

7.5.1. English.

- The continuous tenses are not available yet. The use of tenses in English largely depends on the context of the sentence. This problem could be solved with an even more interactive translation. However, the inaccurate use of a tense will not prevent anyone from understanding the meaning of a sentence.

- It is not possible to build sentences like 'My father's car'. Instead of this, an English speaking user should write : 'The car of my father', which is not idiomatic but will be correctly translated into the other languages.

7.5.2. German.

- Some declension errors in the pronouns and complements might appear, due to a temporary lack of information concerning some verbs and the declension that must follow these verbs.

Ex. : Ich danke meinem Professor (dative) : no mistake in this sentence, the verb 'danken' is known by the application as being followed by a dative complement.Wir erinnern Ihnen (dative) daß, ... : the pronoun is wrong, it should be 'Sie' (accusative). The verb 'erinnern' is not known yet by the application, as other verbs. But the translation of this piece of sentence will be correct into the other languages.

- Some declension errors due to the lack of 'movement' notion for some prepositions (in, an, auf, unter, vor, hinter, über, neben, zwischen). Indeed, these prepositions are followed by a complement in the dative form if there is no implied 'movement' (Ich bin im Haus), but by a complement in the accusative form if there is an implied movement (Ich gehe ins Haus).

- The common nouns are not declined yet, though it might be necessary. They remain in the nominative case.

Ex. : Das Auto gehört einem Nachbar : in this case, 'Nachbarn' would be correct.

- There is no possibility to build sentences with a genitive case to mean a possession :

Ex. : 'Das Gesicht dieses Mannes ist freundlich' can't be built into WinDi Direct Translation. You will have to write 'Das Gesicht von diesem Mann ist freundlich'. This construction may seem heavier to German speaking people, but it will be correctly translated in another language.

As a conclusion, when a German speaking user creates a sentence in German, some mistakes might appear, but these mistakes don't prevent the translation of the created sentence from being correct. There are no declensions in the other languages. The pronouns are correctly selected in each language, apart from German in certain cases. If you find this troublesome, avoid using pronouns in your sentences.

7.5.3. Spanish.

  - The difference between 'ser' (permanent characteristic) and 'estar' (temporary characteristic) is not managed yet.

- Verbs like 'gustar', 'encantar', etc. using a personal pronoun (me gusta...) are not correctly conjugated in WDT.

7.5.4. Portuguese.

- The difference between 'ser' (permanent characteristic) and 'estar' (temporary characteristic) is not managed yet.

- In the 'Agreements in gender and number', 'o...deles/delas' appears. The first option corresponds to a masculine plural owner, and the second option corresponds to a feminine plural owner.

7.5.5. All languages :

- In the sentences with 2 conjugated verbs, a 'simultaneity' was chosen between the verbs. They are always in the same tense.

- Be careful when adding an adverb; put it preferably before the sentence. Ex: Tomorrow, I....

You will avoid problems of location in the different languages.

7.6. Conclusion.

WDT is a tool. If it is correctly used, it will give you great satisfaction. You can use WDT in different ways : to translate a short text sentence by sentence, or to help you to cope with a 'grammatical' problem in a particular sentence (particularly difficult structures like negative question, or location and agreement of adjectives, etc.), or to learn the structure of sentences in foreign languages.

After a bit of practise, the use of WDT will become 'natural' : this very performing tool, combined with all other WinDi functions, can be used according to each and every translation need or problem that might be encountered. You will use it your own way, and it will provide you with high-quality translations.

Above all, respect the order of elements to modify when creating a sentence, as explained on the first page of this chapter. This will allow you to create them quickly and efficiently. For example, if you choose the verb after the preposition and the pronoun, the new verb will sometimes erase your preposition, and always erase your pronoun. Otherwise, the translation would be false. You will have to reselect your elements! If you respect the order of modifications, your sentences will be created quicker and with less manipulations.

The most interesting point of WDT is that it allows users to create parts of texts in a language that they don't know at all. The result will be of high quality : the created sentences can be sent to foreign addressees who will understand your message very easily! This is an ideal solution for E-mail, faxes, etc.

Please refer to chap. X 'FAQs', question 13.


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