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Making a Bilingual Dictionary - Software, Set of Macros, Methods?
Thread poster: Kjell Thornes

Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
Nov 29, 2016

As a side-project I'm making a dictionary in a language combination where there is none available at the moment. (It' not really comercially viable.) The idea is to make it available as a web service, perhaps through an established multilingual dictionary web service, and/or as a printed (probably self-published, blurb-type). I've failed to find any useful software for this. I imagine there might be dedicated software out there, or perhaps a set of macros in Word, XLM or whatever. If not, perhaps someone else has found a method to exploit Word or Excel for this. I have no experience in databases, programming or even advanced Word/Excel.

I need to:

Enter data and store it in a practical format.
Make this data searchable (for the web version)
Represent this data in a typical dictionary form (for printed version)

Proz member Linh Hoang has published a way to make a bilingual glossary in Excel here on proz (http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/3376/1/How-to-create-a-bilingual-glossary-of-terms-in-Excel?). I may go down this route just to get startet, but ideally I want something where more diverse data can be entered (word class, multiple meanings, example sentences etc., as in a 'proper' reference dictionary) and presented in a neat way.

Any ideas?



[Edited at 2016-11-29 11:47 GMT]


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Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
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English to Norwegian
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Note to self Nov 29, 2016

Found this, and will probably try to go down this route.

https://github.com/freedict/fd-dictionaries/wiki/FreeDict-HOWTO-–-Writing-A-FreeDict-Dictionary

Is there anyone here with experience in this sort of thing?


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esperantisto  Identity Verified
Local time: 03:27
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English to Russian
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So, Nov 29, 2016

Kjell Thornes wrote:
…I have no experience in databases, programming…


Then how are you going to maintain your dictionary as a web service?

As for creating a dictionary, first thoughts are:
1) Wörterbuch, an Excel macro set (the download link: Woerterbuch.xls, a description in German inside).
2) DSL, a rather simple tagged plain-text format.
3) XDXF, a more complicated, logical XML-based format.


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Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
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Good start Nov 29, 2016

esperantisto wrote:

Kjell Thornes wrote:
…I have no experience in databases, programming…


Then how are you going to maintain your dictionary as a web service?



Haha, good question. But first things first. First I need to build it. But it's obviously necessary to produce a format that can be used in existing solutions (like freedict?).

esperantisto wrote:
As for creating a dictionary, first thoughts are:
1) Wörterbuch, an Excel macro set (the download link: Woerterbuch.xls, a description in German inside).
2) DSL, a rather simple tagged plain-text format.
3) XDXF, a more complicated, logical XML-based format.


Thanks for these! I definitely have somewehere to get started now. The last link led me to https://github.com/soshial/xdxf_makedict (posting it as a bookmark).


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:27
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
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tlTerm? Nov 29, 2016

Kjell Thornes wrote:

As a side-project I'm making a dictionary in a language combination where there is none available at the moment. (It' not really comercially viable.) The idea is to make it available as a web service, perhaps through an established multilingual dictionary web service, and/or as a printed (probably self-published, blurb-type). I've failed to find any useful software for this. I imagine there might be dedicated software out there, or perhaps a set of macros in Word, XLM or whatever. If not, perhaps someone else has found a method to exploit Word or Excel for this. I have no experience in databases, programming or even advanced Word/Excel, so basically I haven't

I need to:

Enter data and store it in a practical format.
Make this data searchable (for the web version)
Represent this data in a typical dictionary form (for printed version)

Proz member Linh Hoang has published a way to make a bilingual glossary in Excel here on proz (http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/3376/1/How-to-create-a-bilingual-glossary-of-terms-in-Excel?). I may go down this route just to get startet, but ideally I want something where more diverse data can be entered (word class, multiple meanings, example sentences etc., as in a 'proper' reference dictionary) and presented in a neat way.

Any ideas?



Perhaps overkill, but you could create it in tlTerm (which I use myself), and publish it online using their e-publishing system:

http://tshwanedje.com/terminology/
http://tshwanedje.com/online/

I don't want to knock open source stuff, but I find you often spend more time geeking out than actually doing what you set out to do in the first place.

Michael


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Sabine Cretella
Germany
Local time: 02:27
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
What about adding the terminology to an existing project? Nov 29, 2016

Hi, I am wondering if you would like to add the data to an existing project like http://omegawiki.org. Once added a bilingual table can be exported so that the data can even be used in CAT-Tools and one can create also Dictionaries for DictForMids and other applications. It's just one of many possibilities.

All the best, Sabine


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Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:27
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
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thanks for the cool tip re "Woerterbuch.xls" Nov 29, 2016

esperantisto wrote:

Kjell Thornes wrote:
…I have no experience in databases, programming…


Then how are you going to maintain your dictionary as a web service?

As for creating a dictionary, first thoughts are:
1) Wörterbuch, an Excel macro set (the download link: Woerterbuch.xls, a description in German inside).
2) DSL, a rather simple tagged plain-text format.
3) XDXF, a more complicated, logical XML-based format.


Looks very interesting.


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Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Alternative route Nov 29, 2016

Michael Joseph Wdowiak Beijer wrote:
Perhaps overkill, but you could create it in tlTerm (which I use myself), and publish it online using their e-publishing system:

http://tshwanedje.com/terminology/
http://tshwanedje.com/online/

I don't want to knock open source stuff, but I find you often spend more time geeking out than actually doing what you set out to do in the first place.


My first reaction is overkill, as you say, but I need to think it over. I need to invest either time or money to find a workable solution. I actually think delving into the geeky stuff would be positive as a way to expand my knowledge, but possibly ultimately too time-consuming to actually get something done, so I will definitely consider this one.


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Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
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Omegawiki Nov 29, 2016

Sabine Cretella wrote:

Hi, I am wondering if you would like to add the data to an existing project like http://omegawiki.org. Once added a bilingual table can be exported so that the data can even be used in CAT-Tools and one can create also Dictionaries for DictForMids and other applications. It's just one of many possibilities.

All the best, Sabine


Looks interesting. Do you know if it would be possible to extract only my entries into a flexible format that can be used elsewhere and as a basis for a physical copy?


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 02:27
English to German
Use or .tbx or .xlsx Nov 29, 2016

Use .xlsx or .tbx because these are THE future-proof formats for exchanging dictionaries. Possibilities for exchange are are very important in these days. Why reinventing the wheel?

.xlxs is easy to generate but .tbx is a worldwide-used standard (see the public glossaries from IATE, Microsoft, ...) that was created by experts and is tailor-made for dictionaries. Don't rely on formats that are known in a freak getto only (most of the freaks being software freaks, not linguists, BTW).

Regarding web access: What about editing? Who will be entitled to make changes, amendments etc? These questions should be considered upfront.

If there are no editors other than you, you should consider a simple file download. An additional file download feature is needed anyway, because many users want to make use of offline tools for dictionary access. Why forcing users to use a special app? .tbx and .xlsx can be read by many applications.

BTW, I could integrate your file format into my Omni-Lookup (www.omni-lookup.de), but .tbx and .xslx are integrated already.


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Sabine Cretella
Germany
Local time: 02:27
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
There can be an extraction of your data only Nov 29, 2016

We did work on the Destinazione Italia project of the University of Bamberg and this can be extracted. So we do need to create a "data set" for your stuff and you need to add this in the properties. Afterwards one can select the data set + the languages wished for export and you get a .csv of these. I would connect you with our programmer, he is faster to create things. I did this quite some ago and don't remember how to do this. On the website it is User:Kipcool. When it then comes to adding words, I can help you directly. Do you already have your data in a file or do you need to start from scratch?
As to the basis for a physical copy, could you please give me an example?


[Edited at 2016-11-29 12:59 GMT]


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Kjell Thornes  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 02:27
Member (2005)
English to Norwegian
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TOPIC STARTER
Omegawiki Nov 29, 2016

Sabine Cretella wrote:

... can be extracted.


Good to know, thanks.

Do you already have your data in a file or do you need to start from scratch?


From scratch. I don't want to start entering data without knowing which format would be useful.

As to the basis for a physical copy, could you please give me an example?


I mean a format that can easily be converted to the typical visual representation that you find in an ordinary printed dictionary, a physical book.

Thanks for the kind offers to help. I'm afraid my work on this project will be slow and sporadic and I don't really want to bother anyone else with it at this point. If I end up with OmegaWiki I'll know who to turn to for help, though!


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Rolf Keller
Germany
Local time: 02:27
English to German
.tbx provides Inline markup Nov 29, 2016

Kjell Thornes wrote:

I mean a format that can easily be converted to the typical visual representation that you find in an ordinary printed dictionary, a physical book.


In order achieve this, .tbx provides some special tags to include "invisible" inline markup tags.


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Zuzana Greksakova  Identity Verified
Slovakia
Local time: 02:27
Member (2016)
English to Slovak
+ ...
LexiquePro Nov 29, 2016

Hi,

I have done some research is language documentation and have some training in it is as well. To build a real dictionary, I was taught to use LexiquePro.

http://www.lexiquepro.com/

It's very foolproof but you need to have your lexical data in the right format.

Cheers,
Zuzana


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Sabine Cretella
Germany
Local time: 02:27
Member (2004)
Italian to German
+ ...
Formatting a "normal" dictionary Nov 29, 2016

Well, as long as you have a table you can add formatting tags to it. I did that a lot when I had to create xml-files for a vocabulary teaching software. It can be done, though I am not sure now how long this will take. When it comes to "work on a dictionary every now and then" I exactly know what you mean. I have been working on Main Franconian and Neapolitan for years now. At least the bit of data I could create is online and available for all.
Another interesting step is then Apertium that provides MT in some languages. They also do have scripts to convert OmegaWiki data http://wiki.apertium.org/wiki/Getting_bilingual_dictionaries_from_OmegaWiki
Which language would you like to add? Maybe it would make sense to talk via e-mail? If so, you can contact me at s.cretella@gmail.com
There are plenty of connected projects ... CU then.


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