Dialects within a language

Discussion in 'Glossaries discussion' started by VenusEnvy, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    So, what we had been worrying about is a reality!

    What should we do, if anything, about dialects within a language? For example, AE vs. BE? Spanish from Mexico, Spain, or Honduras?

    Should be add another column, perhaps "Point of reference", or something like that? Or, should we simply add it as another word, as we would any other?

    My question arose based on post #88 in this thread.

    JESUS MARIA Senior Member

    Good afternoon Venus:
    I agree with you.You have been reading any postings from us: spanish spaeakers, and I´m afraid that is a reality.

    However I think it could be a richness, and languages must need to change and to be free. My humble opinion about this important question could be to add another word. If we are spaking in Spanish, it would be another Spanish word.

    Hope it helps, and cheers for you Venus.
  3. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    OK, as I seem to have helped open up this can of worms with my troublesome post, I feel I should at least offer a suggestion as to how to close it, so here goes:
    If you were to state clearly in the main language columns that the words listed were English (USA), Spanish (Spain) or whatever, you could have an extra column beside them for any words that have regional variations. These words could appear in that column along with their origins. For example in your furniture glossary 'crib' would appear in the main AE column with 'cot (Brit)' beside it in the variations column.
    I don't think listing them as separate words in one column would help learners immediately grasp the fact that the two words meant the same thing.

    Hope that's at least some food for thought anyway.
  4. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Ok, I've attached an example. Like that?
    What would we name the column? Region? Dialect? Area?

    Another question: What if the word is universal? That is, what if it is used in AE and BE. Do we say AE/BE, or simply not say anything? That is, do we only label it if there's a difference in usage?

    I don't want to give the impression that AE is standard English, that's why we only cite if it's NOT AE....

    No, but I think a definition would, as each line is equipped with a definition.

    I hope I've spoken clearly. Opinions?? :)
  5. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    My feeling is that if they appear separately they could end up at opposite ends of the page, as in the case of ‘armoire’ and ‘wardrobe’, and so it wouldn’t be immediately obvious that there was a regional variation for that item.

    Having thought some more…
    Why not just put the two (or more) words in the same cell? Anything that is not universal would simply have the regional usage in brackets beside it. The definition would then apply to all variations. Therefore in one cell you would have “crib (USA), cot (Brit)” or “sofa, couch, settee (Brit)” (as the other two are universal).
    Otherwise, what would you do if you discovered something that had both English and Spanish variations? It would become almost impossible to manage!

    Obviously it’s a tricky situation so I’d say that the simplest solution is likely to be the best!
  6. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Yah . . .

    Yah; we chatted for a while about this. And, it was decided that every new word needs its own line.

    Oh my gosh, my head hurts. :D

    Maybe a mod will come along with a magic wand and give us an answer!
  7. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    I don't want to cause even more pain to your poor head... ;) but... can I ask why?
    I mean, to me it seems logical that two words that share the same definition should be kept close together. That way, anyone using the glossary can see straightaway that a variation exists.
  8. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States

    Well, I actually brought this up in the beginning, too.

    I suggested that we do it like this:
    crib / cot
    You know, with a slash in between them...

    But, a problem arose. What is one word is masculine, and the other feminine? I then suggested that we simply do it like this:
    f / m
    (If a llanguage other than English, of course)

    Then, it was mentioned that some translated words can be different parts of speech.

    So, in the end, it was just decided that we'd put each word in a separate line.

    Let's wait to see if someone clears this up..
  9. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    :idea: Aah! It's beginning to make sense now!

    It's probably best that they are on seperate lines then. Maybe you could just do it this way:

    Crib (AE) see also: cot
    Cot (BE) see also: crib
  10. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    So, here's something more to think about: What about the Spanish language? There are MANY dialects there.

    Let's say for example that we want to translate refrigerator. In Spain and Argentina, they call it heladera. In Honduras, Uruguay, and Mexico, they call it a refrigerador.

    How to do we code this? As you can see, it's much more complicated...

    Should we include a column for dialect? Perhaps we can use abbreviations, like those that are used in the Specialized Terminology forum.

    Sp - Spanish from Spain
    Ar - Spanish from Argentina
    Ae - English from USA
    Au - English from Australia

    Then, in a column next to the main language (English, Spanish, French...), we can include a dialect column.

    English .......... Definition ........ Spanish ...... Dialect
    Refrigerator .... blah, blah .......... nevera ....... Sp, Ar, Ur
    Refrigerator .... blah, blah .......... heladera ..... Mx, Bz

    So, what do you all think? Is this too much? Is it not necessary? What say you!? :p
  11. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    Here's another idea (I hope you're not getting too tired of them!)...

    It is possible in Excel to create multiple line spacings within the same cell by holding down the 'Alt' key whilst pressing 'Enter'. This simple function could perhaps be put to good use to solve this problem?

    Here's an example...

    Attached Files:

  12. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Of course not! :p

    Yah, I think we may have talked about this in Combinar Celdas (Combining cells).

    What if there's more than one definition, though? For each new definition, we'd make it a new cell?
  13. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    These aren't combined cells. I tried that first but it causes a problem when you try to sort the spreadsheet into alphabetical order. These are single cells with multipe lines and they don't cause the same problem. If a word has different definitions then I guess you'd have no option but to create a new line.
  14. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    That's weird.. Holding down "alt" while pressing "enter" does nothing for me...
  15. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    How bizarre! Does my example sheet at least appear to you as I described?
    This is from the help section in Excel:

    Enter a line break
    • To start a new line of text at a specific point in a cell, click where you want to break the line, and then press ALT+ENTER.
    Have a look in the help section of your version of excel under "Wrap text in a cell".
  16. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States

    Oh, are you talking about wrapping text? I've been using this feature on all of my sheets. I use it when the definition is long, and I want it to all fit in a small area.

    But, it looks like you merged cells, no?

    Ok, I found the excerpt you cited in my excel stuff. But, this is not working. Nothing happens at all!

    Ufh! :(
  17. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    Only in as much as that's the heading under which the help about line breaks is located.

    No, they're definitely not merged cells. If you look at the side bar you'll see that everything is located within row 2.

    Ufh! :( I wondered if it might have something to do with editing the sheet from within the forum but I just tried and it worked fine for me. So once again: Ufh! :(
    I don't know what to suggest other than a snotty e-mail to microsoft!
  18. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Yah, I trouble-shooted (trouble-shot?) this by testing it out in your ready-made sheet, and in one of my own. No luck there either way.

    Thanks for trying to save this pobrecita, Iain.
  19. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    OK, my last go! (I hate being beaten:mad: )
    Try typing three words onto three lines in another program (eg. Word) and then highlight the three lines of text and copy and paste them into the formula bar in excel.
    Note: If you paste them into a cell it will just put each one into a separate cell. You have to paste them in the formula bar.
  20. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Ahhh, ok. Good stuff! But, a lot of work... :(
  21. Helicopta

    Helicopta Senior Member

    England - English (Learning Spanish)
    For you, maybe... but not for those of us who's 'ALT-ENTER' function works just fine!:p
  22. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Here's a mod to shoot at...

    Mike, Olivier, me and a few other mods have been kicking this and related matters around for a while...no firm conclusions yet.

    If we take the view that eventually all material entered here will go into a database, and it will be possible to search by any language included, then it's best to keep it to one word per cell. That's good in theory, but Olivier has found some issues with it.

    If, heaven forbid, our data entry here creates the final output, as an Excel sheet, I will have the mother of all headaches.

    Stay tuned...after vB version 3.5 is up and running, we can get back to fine tuning all of this with a large tire iron.

    For now, I would suggest adding all the language or regionalism or dialect columns you please. Feel free to move columns around to keep related language variants close together on the page.

    There is no reason to stick with the array of the sample sheet. If you prefer to begin in Brasilian PT, just change the column header data label, add a column for part of speech, and have fun.
  23. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    I realize that I may be responding too late, but for the record, I would much prefer a regional note be parenthetical rather than an added column (for that matter, I'd prefer parts of speech be the same).

    Reason: columns can become confused between languages, scrambled in sorting, etc.

    thing (n:ae) coisa (sf:br) cosa (sf)

    As single atomic units, these can't be broken/separated/scrambled accidentally.

    Also it's much more efficent in use of horizontal space.
  24. VenusEnvy

    VenusEnvy Senior Member

    Maryland, USA
    English, United States
    Never too late!

    So, you'd rather they be all included in one column?

    I don't understand how. What kind of sorting? Do you mean alphabetizing? Well, each language has three separate columns, and none of them have been confused yet. Furthermore, when you alphabetize, you highlight the entire area, which should keep everything "in tact".

    Like I said, I don't understand how they could be, any more than the different POS columns could be...

    We had the same "problem" when we began the glossary forum. We discovered that one English word may have (for example) three different Spanish translations. It was suggested that we keep everything in the same cell, and just separate them by /'s (or, in your case, parentheses).

    If one day we intend to make our glossaries into databases, separate columns and rows for each entry makes conversion easier. (I'm not totally sure how this computer stuff works, but I'm pretty sure this is what was discussed when this problem was first introduced.)

    Beginning on post #34, I think this problem is addressed.

    This other thread on what to do about Multiple Definitions addresses it also

    Why does it matter that it takes up horizontal space? How does it, in fact?

    Using the "Wrap text" feature in Excel should aleviate any issues with spacing and wasting it.

    I hope this has answered some of your questions/doubts. I also hope that someone will come along and either confirm or disprove what I've said. Thanks again for being inquisitive, nyc! :)
  25. nikvin Senior Member

    UK/France English/French/Spanish

    I have just had a look at various of the glossaries (great idea)

    I think that the original compiler should indicate whether its American English, British English, Spanish,spanish, Argentinian etc.....with a column next to that availble for other national variants.

    Including the variants in the same cell would make it much harder for someone to find a word if they do an alphabetical data sort.

    Also what about, when 2 or more words can equally translate 1 term in original language?

    One thing I have found awkward is scrolling down to find latest version

    Could there not be, a seperate thread, seperate place , listing all the glossaries in existence, with the languages they have been tranlated into (main languages only)

    so there´s simply a list

    FOOD (Eng/Sp/ Fr)

    possible glossaries are endless, and scrolling through the lists, then the threads to find all the possibilities will be quite time consuming
    but a quick refence guide, could be useful. with any updated glossary ( once checked by its owner) being placed in a quick reference /access list.


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