dictionary translation reordering of entries
Thread poster: Stephen H Gill

Stephen H Gill
Japan
Local time: 01:04
Japanese to English
Apr 16, 2010

I am translating a Japanese science dictionary of 800 pages into English. How do I reorder the entries into English alphabetical order as one large manuscript on my computer, I wonder? Perhaps someone out there has a technique or knows software that would help? Thank you for any advice you can give.

 

Carla Davidson  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
'Sort' button in Word Apr 16, 2010

Hi Stephen,

I have the latest version of Word on my computer and I think that you can use the 'sort' button to alphabetise your text.

On my version of Word, it is in the 'Home' tab under the 'paragraph' section.

I've never used it before but I think it should work. Good luck!


 

foreevermore  Identity Verified
Local time: 12:04
Russian to English
+ ...
What format do you have your translations in? Apr 17, 2010

I know that if you have them in Excel (or as a table in Word, for that matter), you can go to (in Excel) >DATA (very top toolbar)>Sort...>Choose the columns that you want sorted in alphabetical order, and then any other columns you wanted it sorted by if two entries are the same (say, if you wanted A(1) [adj] to come before A(2) [noun], etc.

If you're working with any type of Desktop Publishing Software, there is also usually an automatic index-creator, once you've finished with the entire document, that will view pages and all. So, if the original dictionary had entries that were grouped into subcategories of the topic (let's say, if it's general sciences, there were separate chapters for "anatomy terms" "botany terms," etc.), and there are long descriptions of the terms for each (in addition to "term" translation itself), adding an alphabetical English index in the final publishing file might be an option.


 

Stephen H Gill
Japan
Local time: 01:04
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
What is the latest version of Word of which Carla speaks? Apr 30, 2010

Dear Carla and Jianna,
Thanks for your comments. My format is Word 2000. I wonder what is the latest version of Word you mention, Carla? If buying that would solve my problem, perhaps I will! Do me a favour? Type oranges, apples, bananas, pineapples, mangoes as headings for 5 parags. and then paste any English text in as a pretend dictionary entry. Go to the sort button you mention and tell me if it did actually put each entry into alphabetical order! I wonder if it can handle hundreds of pages of sorting, though.
Thanks again for any further comments anyone has. Still haven't solved my problem.
Kind regards, Stephen


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Format? Apr 30, 2010

I don't know if Word can do this, but I know a few other options if that falls through - depending on how the dictionary is formatted.

If each entry is in a new paragraph and there are no other paragraph marks (line breaks of any kind) in there, you could use Excel, especially if there is no formatting applied to the text (bold, italic, different fonts etc.)
Opens the doc in Word, ctrl-a, ctrl-c, open empty Excel spreadsheet, go to A1, ctrl-v, select column A, and click the button with AZ and a down arrow on it (or Data/Sort). If you're happy with the result copy-paste back to Word as plain text (right click, Paste, click the little arrow button that appears and pick plain text).

Actually, if there is no formatting, you could even save it as a txt file and sort it with powerful command line tools. That works regardless of file size (doing it in Excel 2003 or earlier is a bit messy if you have more than 65000 entries). If push comes to shove, you can send me a UTF-8 txt I'll sort it for you, it takes all of 5 seconds.

Of course even if there are extra line breaks and other things that complicate the issue, it can still probably be done, it only takes a bit more ingenuity.


 

Stephen H Gill
Japan
Local time: 01:04
Japanese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Existing formatting inside Word must be preserved! May 3, 2010

Thanks, Andras.
Just to clarify to anyone who might have an interest in this thread, that the formatting I have created inside my 38 dictionary translation Word files (e.g. bold type headings, italics, underlining, some symbols, etc.) MUST be preserved within the alphabetized file. Each file averages 200KB in Word.


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
in that case... May 3, 2010

..txt is out.
Try Word and also give Excel a shot. Excel conserves the formatting, the trouble is that when you paste the sorted text back into Word, you get a table instead of running text. Maybe there's an easy solution to that issue, maybe not.


 

Carla Davidson  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Word 2007 May 3, 2010

Hi Stephen,

I have Word 2007 and did a quick test to see whether it does sort words alphabetically. It does but there is a problem with the entry description, which it doesn't seem to move to remain in place with its appropriate heading.

I suppose another way of doing it, although not very efficient, could be to put the entry in one column of a table in Word and the entry description alongside the entry in a separate column and put a number at the end of the entry and the same number alongside its description so you know which description goes with which entry.

You could then sort the entry column alphabetically and following your numerical code, move the descriptions around so that they are again alongside their appropriate entry.

There may be a better way of doing this, that's just my suggestion. I haven't got much time at the moment to look into it so there may well be a way to move the entry and the description around simultaneously.

Kind regards,

Carla


 

FarkasAndras
Local time: 18:04
English to Hungarian
+ ...
Ways and means May 3, 2010

Of course there are always things you can do...

E.g. you could tag bold, italic etc text with search and replace, do the sorting in Excel or as txt and then restore formatting in Word.
If you only have bold, italic and underlined but no other fancy formatting like section beaks, tables, columns and that sort of junk, it should be pretty straightforward.

E.g. with bold, surround each bold character with a pair of markers, for simplicity's sake, xbx and x/bx (obviously, check first if these occur in your document).
In the find and replace dialog, click in the Find what field, write (?), click Format/Font and pick Bold. In Replace with box, put xbx\1x/bx.
This replaces every bold character with the same character preceded by xbx and followed by x/bx.
Do this with italic, underlined, font sizes and font types as needed.
Then sort and reverse the replacement
xbx(?)x/bx
\1
This time specify bold for the Replace with field, and remove the bold condition from the find what field.

This won't work well if there are characters that are both bold and italic etc., and sorting in Word is still easier if it can do what you need it to.


 


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