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TIP #37 - This tip was sent on the week: 24th - 30th Apr, 2005

This tip applies to the following programs:

  • ESI Professional

ESI Professional and the Split Function - Part IV

 

Last week we stated that the idea of having so many MWEs (Multi Word Expressions) in Word Magic’s database dictionary- noun phrases, adverbial locutions, phrasal verbs, proverbial phrases, compound adjectives, conjunctions and idioms of all kinds- was “to force ESI to translate more like a human than like a machine…”

 

You might think, “These people are giving away their secrets!”

 

Quite so! But we are actually exposing just the tip of the iceberg with the sole purpose of specifically illustrating to our Users how ESI automatically handles these word clusters or MWEs, as we call them, and how the User should use the SPLIT function to discard these expressions when they get in the way of more literal constructions in each sentence.

 

Here is a case where a MWE has to be “split” in order to obtain a more sensible translation: take for example the compound noun “new word” (neologism), included in ESI’s dictionary as the word cluster “palabra nueva” or “neologismo”.

 

If you input the sentence “I am using the new word”, ESI will translate this as

Estoy usando la nueva palabra,

where “nueva palabra” can be readily changed to its synonym “neologismo” using the Interactive Selection Window.

Now, if you say, “I am using the new word processor”, would ESI translate

Estoy usando el procesador de “nueva palabra”? (x)

Or

Estoy usando el procesador de neologismo? (x)

That would be an awkward translation and it evidently requires User intervention through ESI Professional ’s Interactive Window. This is a case where the SPLIT function has to be used in order to discard the MWE “new word = nueva palabra = neologismo”.

 

This expression is actually interfering with the literal meaning “word processor”, which is the one we want to have in this context.

Estoy usando el nuevo procesador de palabra.

Now we understand better why we need a SPLIT function in the Interactive Window. The User is the one who will ultimately decide which context and which MWEs remain and which have to be discarded. In this case, it seemed only natural that “neologismo” had to be discarded in order to allow “word processor”.

 

We will continue this discussion next week. You will then see why we need to take a “step back” in our exposition and perhaps be forced to reveal one more of ESI’s secrets…

 

Before we close this chapter we will ask you to actually try translating the above example and figure out beforehand what has taken place during its translation process.


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