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TIP #3 - This tip was sent on the week: 15th - 21th Aug, 2004

These tips apply to the following programs:

  • ESI Professional

Interactive Translation


In our message two weeks ago we started talking about the Interactive Mode and how you can experiment different syntactic structures or choose different meanings and synonyms with it without actually affecting the final translated text…until you click on the button.


This time we will illustrate some possible, real-life changes you can make.


Type the sentence "The computer stores" and then click on the button.


You will see the Spanish display: "Las tiendas de la computadora" in the lower box.


Now, What did you actually mean? "The stores that sell computers", or the fact that "The computer is storing"?


In English, The computer stores is an ambiguous phrase. It could mean both things. Ambiguity is a most common phenomenon in written and spoken language. When translated into another language, this ambiguity could cause a misinterpretation of what you want to express. That’s why one should make sure of the meaning of the translation. In Spanish it is either

  1. Las tiendas de la computadora , or
  2. La computadora almacena

In order to produce either one of the above results using the Interactive Mode, proceed as follows:


Select the word "stores". You do this with a single click of the mouse. Observe the Part of Speech Box in the lower part of the Interactive Windows. You will notice that the Noun option is automatically selected, but that there is another available (unselected) option: Verb.


Click on and you will see how the result is immediately changed to #2.


This shows you how the Interactive Mode is actually capable of changing the syntax of a sentence at a click the mouse. This is what we call "Live syntax interaction"


Another Example of Ambiguity


An all-present problem which confronts translators in all languages is the phenomenon of polysemy or multiplicity of meanings in a single word. This is something which occurs in English as well as in Spanish and for this we will give you very helpful tips. Just the word tip is an example of a polysemous term. What do we mean by tip? Should it be translated as consejo (advice), or propina (gratuity), punta (nib), boquilla (nozzle), filtro (filter), golpecito (light touch) or cabillo (ferrule)? It all depends on the context… In our next tip we will give you a few examples and show you how ESI PRO can help you tackle this problem.

NOTE: To view an index of all tips click here. To download the complete collection of tips click here.

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