Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

WinDi is based on interactive translation
This guarantees both quality results and excellent performance since the user fully controls the context of his/her translation! WinDi will help you save time and optimize the quality of your translations, while offering you reliable and directly usable translations.

WinDi is NOT an automatic translator...
That kind of very rough solution offers only draft translations that need to be thoroughly checked by the user, which implies that the user should have a perfect knowledge of both source and target languages to get good translations (!?). So, why then use an automatic translator?!

This is why Language Dynamics' developments have turned towards another approach: interactive translation, a smart way to allow you to produce quality translations easily and immediately!

For more details, read also our
general information about translation tools and a warning against automatic translation.

1. What is the aim of the WinDi Translation Help project?
WinDi Translation Help is an all-in-one tool that provides :
- Translation help in seven languages
- Help in understanding in seven languages
- Learning foreign languages
These functions make it an indispensable Multilingual Driver in Windows, especially in conjunction with communication tools such as the Internet, for example!

2. What are the PC requirements?
We advise a Pentium with 32 Mbytes RAM and 50 Mbytes of hard disk.

3. From and to which language can WinDi be used?
WinDi is multidirectional. The dictionaries and the sentence translation can be used from any of the seven languages, and they provide the translation(s) of the words/sentences in seven languages. The user interface is available in any of the seven languages supported by WinDi.

4. Is it possible to install fewer than 7 languages?
Yes, you can use the bilingual version.

5. Can WinDi translate a whole text automatically?
No! WinDi is not an automatic translator. WinDi offers several different translation help applications based on interactivity, in order to provide you with reliable and efficient tools (read also question 12). On one hand, the Translation Help 'Double Editor' allows a source text to be pasted into a double editor and the text to be 'compiled', which means that WinDi retrieves, one at a time, the translation of each word contained in the source text, in any of the 7 languages. When the compilation is complete, the user just has to click on each word in the source text to get its translation(s). The user can write the translation into the bottom editor himself by pasting the words proposed by WinDi, in combination with his/her grammatical knowledge of the target language. The aim of this application is to integrate the dictionary database as much as possible into the translation work, in order to provide immediate word-by-word translation and help in understanding. On the other hand, WinDi Direct Translation (WDT) allows translation of sentences from one's mother tongue into up to 6 other languages. This application provides a series of sentences each with a well-defined grammatical structure, in which each word is a 'variable' that can be easily modified. The user chooses one of these sentences, and modifies each word contained in it, in order to create a new sentence, completely controlled by the application. The user has full control over the context of the translation. This application provides a complete grammatical help allowing users to create sentences in foreign languages that they don't know well or to familiarize themselves with foreign languages, in a smooth and friendly way. This highly interactive solution provides quality translations.

6. Is it possible to use each module separately?
Yes. The different modules can be called up and used separately. Each answers a different translation need. Each WinDi module gives access to the other modules, through the 'menu' icon or specific icons.

7. Where do the dictionaries come from?
The dictionaries have been drawn up by teams of 7 native speakers working together, in order to prevent any mistranslation between the seven languages. This database has been more than 10 years in the making, and its preparation has involved more than 85 people.

8. How old is this software?
The development of WinDi started end of 1989 and WinDi has been on the market since 1993. The different modules have appeared one after the other, and Language Dynamics is continuing to develop this program in order to add more and more features to this very complete range of translation tools.

9. How many words do the dictionaries include? What kind of vocabulary is available?
The dictionaries contain more than 40,000 words (not including the plurals and feminines of the nouns, or the conjugated forms). In fact, there are 29,000 'general' words, and 11,000 'specialized' words, belonging to several fields, namely finance, business, stock exchange, insurance, accounting, etc. Taking into account the plurals and feminines, and the different variants proposed for each verb, noun and adjective, there are more than 3,350,000 examples of translations available per language. The 'basic' WinDi database cannot contain all the necessary words belonging to hundreds of possible specialist fields of activity! The database would be gigantic, and its price exorbitant. For your information, the French academy has established that the French language contains 35,000 general words (technical words not included). This makes WinDi an excellent general dictionary, whose aim is to open communication gateways (see also question 20). If you wish to enlarge the WinDi database, please refer to the User Manual, Chapter VI 'WinDi Tools - encoding'.

10. Is it possible to enlarge the dictionaries?
Yes. The WinDi Tools - Encoding module allows users to add their own vocabulary into the WinDi Dictionaries, so that they can use it on-line. This encoding module is very friendly. Users don't have to add their vocabulary in all seven languages if they don't wish to.

11. Is it possible to share the modifications and new words added to the database?
Yes. Users can extract their modifications and give them to other WinDi users, thanks to a program named WINDIARC.EXE. This program will prevent you from installing the same modifications several times, by a 'matching' procedure.

12. How accurate is the sentence translation (WDT)?
The sentence translation is very accurate, since it is based on a concept totally different than automatic translators. WinDi Direct Translation (WDT) offers several groups of pre-structured sentences, in which each word is a variable. WDT manages all the grammatical issues of these sentences. This very interactive method for creating sentences guarantees a reliable result that users can use in their mail, for example. However, WinDi cannot translate everything, and, unfortunately, mistakes can appear. They are usually linked to agreement problems similar to spelling mistakes (especially German declensions, which are very difficult to manage because they depend so heavily on the context of a sentence). They often are complex grammatical issues inherent to the target language's difficulties. These mistakes do not prevent the sentences translated by WinDi being understood by your recipient. Your recipient, reading these translations in his/her mother tongue, will probably notice the mistakes, but he/she will easily understand what you mean, because words are placed in an order following the 'logic' of the target language. Little mistakes in your text will be easily corrected by your recipient, who will appreciate your communication effort. If you wish to check possible spelling mistakes in your translations, you can use the 'spell check' functions included in your word processor, as long as this function is available in the target language needed. To do so, paste the sentences translated by WinDi into your word processor by means of the 'Copy-Paste' functions of the clipboard. Then, call up your word processor's 'spell check' function.

What about idioms in WDT?
Idioms should be avoided when creating a sentence in WDT. There are some expressions and idioms already present in the WinDi Dictionaries, however the dictionaries are constructed to mainly contain words.

13. What about 'ambiguous' words?
Words that can have several different meanings are followed by an explanation between brackets. This prevents the user from choosing the wrong meaning, according to his/her particular context. The translations will be correct, as long as the context of each word has been carefully chosen by the user of the WinDi software... Example: 'the Gettysburg address' refers to Lincoln's famous speech (1863), and not to the address of a house in Pennsylvania! In order to help you in your translation task, WinDi Dictionary also gives contextual information for words that have several different meanings.

14. What is going to happen if I write a sentence containing a grammatical mistake in WDT?
WDT will prevent you making grammatical mistakes. The making of a new sentence is completely steered by the software. The agreements in gender and number are automatically made, the verbs are immediately conjugated for the right person, etc.

15. What about spell check?
When creating a sentence in WDT, you can't make a spelling mistake, because you copy and paste each word from the dictionaries. If you want to use the WinDi multilingual lexicons as spelling checkers, you can run the program named 'SPELLHLP.EXE'. This program allows the integration of the WinDi lexicons into a wordprocessor. Beware, no grammatical functions are included in this tool. If you need more help, you should install complete grammatical checkers, for the language you need, available on the market.

16. Which French, English, Spanish, Dutch, German, ... has been used?
French : from France, not Canada. It includes some Belgian and Swiss expressions, but these are presented as 'regionalisms' (reg.). English: from England, but includes many Americanisms, followed by (Am.). Spanish: from Spain, but includes many Latin Americanisms, followed by (LAm.). Dutch: from the Netherlands. The Flemish words (Belgium) are presented as 'regionalisms' (reg.) or (Vl.). German: from Germany. Portuguese: mainly from Portugal, but includes many Brazilian words, followed by (Br.)

17. Can a translation made with WinDi be imported into a word processor?
Yes. All the WinDi applications have a 'Copy' and a 'Paste' icon, which allows you to copy a word or a sentence on to the clipboard, and then to paste it into another application.

18. Is WinDi useful when learning a language?
Yes. WinDi provides reliable tools that can be used when learning a foreign language. The conjugation tool and the dictionaries are obvious helps, but the WinDi Direct Translation (WDT) module is extremely interesting for creating sentences, comparing the structures of different languages, and seeing what happens to the sentences, etc. It is much more 'lively' than a grammar book, and it allows the students to study particular grammatical rules, just by 'testing' them in real time!

19. Will WinDi speed up my translations? How?
By providing 'on-line' tools, WinDi speeds up the way you translate, and increases the quality of your translations. You won't have to look for the dictionary before looking up a word. All WinDi tools are integrated very well into Windows applications like E-mail, etc. The user just has to click on a word to be given its translation(s), he/she can very easily call up the sentences for 'grammatical' help, he/she can call up the conjugation... All he/she needs is at his/her fingertips.

20. How can I extend the possibilities of the sentence translation program, WinDi Direct Translation?
WDT proposes a limited number of grammatical structures. But you can greatly enlarge the possibilities of this application thanks to the WinDi Tools - Encoding program.

Let's assume you wish to use the word 'high-speed train' in a translation such as 'You will take the high-speed train', for example. The word 'high-speed train' is not in WinDi, because it is a technical word. By encoding it as a noun in the encoding program in the different languages (for example, in French 'Train à grande vitesse', in German 'Hochgeschwindigkeitszug', etc.), you will be able to use this compound noun as a single 'block' (complement or subject). The sentence above becomes a simple sentence 'Subject + Verb + Complement' in all languages.

By adding your specific vocabulary (scientific, medical, technical...) to WinDi, you will enable yourself and your colleagues to translate many types of sentences in your context. The complexity of translating will be brought back to simple grammatical structures well supported by WinDi. Moreover, the vocabulary used by your company is often already available on paper. You just have to type it into WinDi Tools - Encoding to arm yourself for translation in your specialist context.

Here is a concrete example of this theory. The sentence* below, given in 7 languages, is very interesting...

[D] jede Termineinlage in eine Sparbank wird vom Staat bis einen Betrag von $1000 garantiert
[E] cada depósito a plazo en un banco de ahorro es garantizado por el Estado hasta una suma de $1000
[F] chaque dépôt à terme dans une banque d'épargne est garanti par l'Etat jusqu'à un montant de $1000
[enG] each term deposit in a savings bank is guaranteed by the State up to a total amount of $1000
[I] ogni deposito a termine in una cassa di risparmio è garantito dallo Stato fino a un ammontare di $1000
[NL] elk deposito op termijn in een spaarbank wordt door de Staat tot een bedrag van $1000 gegarandeerd
[P] cada depósito a prazo num banco de aforro é garantido pelo Estado até uma soma de $1000

This sentence looks complicated, and normally could not be supported 'as is' in WinDi Direct Translation. In order to use WinDi in this case, the 'compound' nouns were encoded as 'single' nouns. The words 'term deposit' and 'savings bank' are in the WinDi database as 'single' nouns in seven languages, which means they can easily be included as 'text blocks' in a supported structure. Thanks to this, the sentence translation application 'WDT' can be more widely exploited, and its possibilities are only limited by the user's imagination and the possibility of saying things in different ways.

* The structure of this sentence corresponds to group 1.3 'Passive voice', last proposed structure allowing a complement to be added directly after the subject. Here is the way we translated this sentence: the subject 'term deposit' and the Variant 'each' were chosen. The complement 'savings bank' was selected with the Variant 'a'. Preposition 'in' was added afterwards in front of this complement. The verb 'to guarantee' was chosen from the verbs available (conjugation in the passive voice and for the right person is automatic). The complement following the verb was chosen by the same process, etc. For the '$1000' complement, the 'text block: an amount of XYZ' was encoded as a single noun in the WinDi database. 'XYZ' was manually replaced by '$1000' in the word processor.

By using WinDi Direct Translation this way, you will greatly enhance its possibilities!


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