MS Word 2010 spellcheck when document has more than one language
Thread poster: Susan Welsh

Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
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Russian to English
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Dec 13, 2012

I have a client that always gives me documents that are supposed to have a little bit of the source language (DE) at the top, and the rest is to be translated by me (to EN). I think that the presence of two languages is causing no end of trouble. The quote marks come out wrong, the spellcheck language comes out as French (!!)--even when I manually change it to English. That means it is not catching English errors. The "comments" come out with French quote marks (which are the same as German ones, but I want English!)

I am working in OmegaT, but I don't think that has anything to do with it.

Any suggestions?


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Gudrun Wolfrath  Identity Verified
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Mark the individual parts (by language) Dec 13, 2012

and do the spell check. Not very fast, admittedly, but the only way I can think of.

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Pavel Slama  Identity Verified
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Just select different "proofing language" for different bits of text Dec 13, 2012

1. Select text in one language.

2. Review/Language/Language/Set Proofing Language

3. Mark selected text as ... (choose)

And the same with the other language.

Then try quotation marks within each bit.


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Tony M  Identity Verified
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Some thoughts... Dec 13, 2012

You ought to do a search in the forums, as the thorny issues of language settings in Word have come up a lot before!

Some pointers:

You might risk trying the 'recognize language automatically' option; that is capable of recognizing different bits of different languages

If you get odd languages left lying around in the document, chances are that the document styles themselves actually have language settings embedded in them; if you display the styles 'used in document', and there aren't too many of them, you might be able to manually edit each one to either get rid of the language attribute, or at least make it what you need it to be.

The same applies to comments; you need to go in and modify the language setting in the 'Comments' style.

I'm never very comfortable handling styles, but you might want to try and find out how to save these styles for next time, to save you having to do it all over again!

I should perhaps add that my only (strictly limited!) knowledge is of Word XP, so I don't konw if these functions work the same way in more recent versions.

BTW, I use Wordfast Classic, and I always have a problem with its language setting, which doesn't seem to work as claimed! I just start of by setting the language in the whole document to my target language, and then it all goes through OK. May be trickier for you, as you want to keep some bits in DE


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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@Tony - check forums Dec 13, 2012

I'm about to try what everyone suggested, but as for checking the forums, I did try, but was unable to narrow things down (got 3,000+ hits for "word 2010" and "spellcheck"). Maybe I'll try a search outside of the (rather crude) Proz search boxes, using google on proz.com.

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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belated thanks Dec 19, 2012

I managed to do the job using the method suggested by Gudrun and babylondon. I didn't reply earlier, because I was under such a pile of work that I didn't have time to test it properly (and when I tried, I managed to mess things up). But last night I had to deal with the same client's job, and it worked!

I think the German at the beginning of the file throws Word into hopeless confusion, so that even though 99% of the document is in English, you can't globally change the "proofing language" to English.

Thanks, everybody, for your help, and happy new year!


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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Yes and no… Dec 20, 2012

Susan Welsh wrote:

I think the German at the beginning of the file throws Word into hopeless confusion, so that even though 99% of the document is in English,


Not the very presence of German and English, but the fact that parts of text are not properly marked up with the respective languages. A MS Word or Apache OpenOffice document may contain a large number of text languages, and this will be OK (well, almost, since OmegaT will throw out more inline tags) when the document author either switches to a respective keyboard layout for each language or does not forget to mark up. However, many idiots inexperienced users keep on typing in various languages using a single keyboard layout (say, typing in both German and English using only a German layout), which results in confusion. As they say, 99% of computer problems sit in front of the monitor…


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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 03:53
Chinese to English
Bad design Dec 20, 2012

esperantisto wrote:

...However, many idiots inexperienced users keep on typing in various languages using a single keyboard layout (say, typing in both German and English using only a German layout), which results in confusion. As they say, 99% of computer problems sit in front of the monitor…

Heaven forfend that we should want the computer to, say, make our lives easier rather than harder. Silly us for forgetting that the computer's feelings are much more important than our piffling working needs, where so-called "people" sometimes "write" "things", instead of correctly inputting tagged data.

A system that isn't robust enough to work in the way that people actually use it (as opposed to the way some software designer dreams it might be used) is a bad system.


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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@esperantisto: mea culpa? Dec 20, 2012

esperantisto wrote:
However, many idiots inexperienced users keep on typing in various languages using a single keyboard layout (say, typing in both German and English using only a German layout), which results in confusion.


Perhaps I am the culprit, but I don't know what I am supposed to do.

These are academic journal articles. I receive a document that is in German, except for a 2-3 paragraph English summary, which follows the German title and a German summary. After the English summary, which is provided by the author or editor, the German text of the article follows.

My workflow is:

I put the whole thing into my CAT tool (OmegaT), and wherever it's supposed to stay German (the German summary), I automatically fill the target segment with the source segment. I do the same for the bibliography, which is in mixed languages and which I do not have to translate or change in any way. Then I go back to the beginning and start to translate the article.

So for me, working in OmegaT, there is no issue of changing keyboard layouts.

The OmegaT spellchecker for English works fine as I translate, although I know of no quick way to get the quotes to come out right (curly quotes), so I have to fix them in Word or OpenOffice after the translation is done. Once the translation is done, I do further editing outside the CAT tool, cleaning up any tag/formatting messes, improving style, inputting final proofreading corrections. After that, I do another spellcheck.

So, while agreeing with Phil in principle, I guess there's no point in complaining about the tools we have, if we aren't software developers. I just want to learn how to use them, or work around their nuisances.

Thanks,

Susan


[Edited at 2012-12-20 13:34 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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Not your fault Dec 20, 2012

Susan Welsh wrote:

Perhaps I am the culprit, but I don't know what I am supposed to do.


As I understand the description of the problem, the document creator is to blame, not you.

I put the whole thing into my CAT tool (OmegaT), and wherever it's supposed to stay German (the German summary), I automatically fill the target segment with the source segment.


There’s an old tip for OmegaT: first open the document in the respective editor and set the language attribute of the translatable text to the target language. In your case, it’s English, but the paragraphs that you intend to keep untranslated should be left German.

So for me, working in OmegaT, there is no issue of changing keyboard layouts.


Sure, since OmegaT is not capable of changing any text property (well, only in limited number of cases when you can manipulate tags).

get the quotes to come out right (curly quotes)


What do you mean under curly quotes? Anyway, use Ilya Birman’s layout [1] (you stick to Windows, right?) to get «»‘’“”„ (if that’s what you want). Or use, yes, Linux and make a layout of your dream.

[1] http://ilyabirman.ru/projects/typography-layout/. The page is in Russian, but it’s not challenge to you, I guess


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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@esperantisto - languages and curly quotes Dec 20, 2012

esperantisto wrote:

There’s an old tip for OmegaT: first open the document in the respective editor and set the language attribute of the translatable text to the target language. In your case, it’s English, but the paragraphs that you intend to keep untranslated should be left German.



That worked perfectly, thank you! (Actually, I guess it amounts to the same thing as what earlier answerers suggested, except that the language is selected before translation rather than after.)

What do you mean under curly quotes? Anyway, use Ilya Birman’s layout [1] (you stick to Windows, right?) to get «»‘’“”„ (if that’s what you want). Or use, yes, Linux and make a layout of your dream.

[1] http://ilyabirman.ru/projects/typography-layout/. The page is in Russian, but it’s not challenge to you, I guess


I can't make curly quotes in this html field (or maybe it's because the font is sans-serif). What follows here are "straight" quotes: “word word word.” The curly ones, which are standard for typesetting in English, look like that except they "curl" -- the open quotes look a bit like the number 66 and the close quotes look like 99.

I have to search and replace in my target document, in Word or OpenOffice, to change the straight ones to curly ones that go in the correct direction (keeping in mind the punctuation that gets in the way).

People on the OmegaT list have referred to a keyboard shortcut or macro for this, but I can't figure it out. Whatever I do in OmegaT comes out as straight quotes in Word.

Thanks for your help

PS - Birman's layout has only straight quotes




[Edited at 2012-12-20 16:58 GMT]


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
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It does! Dec 20, 2012

Ilya Birman's layout does produce curly quotes by AltGr + j/k/l (look at the layout figure at the web page, characters accessible with AltGr are marked with red).

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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
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Alt Gr Dec 20, 2012

Oh, okay, they didn't look very curly to me.
But esperantisto, I seem to recall that when an issue like this came up once before, it turned out that U.S. keyboards can't use Alt Gr the way European keyboards do.
I'll fool around with it "later," when I have more time. A big job just landed.

Thanks!


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Susan Welsh  Identity Verified
United States
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quotes okay now Jan 3, 2013

I finally had time to download the Birman layout, and indeed it works, thank you esperantisto. I was quite unclear about alternative keyboard layouts, except for the Russian keyboard layout I already have. I was under the impression that the issue was the physical keyboard sold in the US, which doesn't have an AltGr key--at least mine doesn't. I didn't realize we were talking about keyboard layouts.

Whew, small progress, but these quotes can add up to a big nuisance.


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:53
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Good… Jan 4, 2013

to know your problem is somewhat solved

Susan Welsh wrote:

…the physical keyboard sold in the US, which doesn't have an AltGr key--at least mine doesn't. I didn't realize we were talking about keyboard layouts.


Your keyboard, probably, has no special designation for AltGr, in that case the key is the Alt to the right hand of the space bar. BTW, you can also type in m-dashes and n-dashes with AltGr+- (top-row hyphen) and Shift+AltGr+- respectively.


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