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TIP #31 - This tip was sent on the week: 6th - 12th Mar, 2005

This tip applies to the following programs:

  • ESI Professional
  • ESI Standard

Translating Emails - Part I


In the last few weeks, we have had a number of complaints about email translation, particularly when translating from Spanish to English.


In all those cases, it was determined that the cause of the bad results was invariably a badly drafted original Spanish text.

  1. No accents.
  2. No commas.
  3. No periods separating one sentence from another.
  4. Not even a capital letter at the opening of each sentence.
  5. Missing words.
  6. Misspelled words.
  7. Bad grammar.
  8. Dangling phrases.
  9. A profuse combination of all these.

We have stated it plainly in our web site: It is absolutely impossible to obtain a good translation from a badly written original text. The Translation Formula GI = GO applies each and every time, no exceptions made:


Garbage in = Garbage out


Word Magic Software has equipped ESI with enough tools to partially overcome this difficulty, to try to detect and correct the faults before they cause any major damage.


A) ESI has two spellcheckers: One for English and one for Spanish. This tool can even be used in mixed documents, that is, English documents which have Spanish words intermingled between the English words, or vice versa. (See Spellchecking Options)

B) ESI has also a Sensitivity setting. Look under Tools / Options / Translation - 2 and then check “Accented Verb Form Handling”. This setting is delivered in “Intermediate”. If you want ESI to be less strict, you may select “Flexible”.

This is how it works: Type in, for instance, the following sentence “Cómete el pan”. However, type it in without the written accent:

Comete el pan.

With the sensitivity set at “Intermediate”, or “Strict”, ESI will translate this as “Commits the bread” , which is a totally wrong result. However, if you set the sensitivity at “Flexible” ESI will translate: “Eat the bread” (which is the “right” result).


As you can see, the wider flexibility allows for badly accented verbs. However, it opens the door also to many unwanted possibilities. For instance, suppose you actually want to say “comete” (without the accent) in some other sentence. ESI will now interpret two possibilities: To commit and to eat. Which one is the correct sense? (You will have to decide, according to the context). Whereas, if you use the “Strict” mode, or even the “Intermediate” mode, “comete” will always be “to commit” and “cómete” will always be “to eat” . No ambiguity.


So… how do we proceed? It is your choice, which you will have to handle with extreme care.


The best advice is…Let’s learn how to write correct Spanish!

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