Sunday, July 03, 2005

Code your dialect

AppleTrans internally uses the language specifiers defined by ISO 639, so-called two-letter language codes, to access a specific translation in a corpus record. Interestingly those codes never appear in the user interface. The language selection in the Preferences presents a list of language names instead.

The application converts your selection of language to two-letter code transparently. You may check that out by saving a corpus as a TMX file. Now what about four-letter language codes? You often find them in TMX files generated by other programs.

You might need to explicitly specify the language code after you import such TMX file into corpus. If you want to get the translation in Canadian French tagged "FR-CA" off the memory, just type "FR-CA" in the language option field. It works too when you export a corpus.

Using this technique(?), you can come out a language code such as "JA-JP-OS" meaning "Japanese, Japan, Osaka dialect", which is apparently different from Tokyo's. Now you can make a memory to do Tokyo-Osaka dialect conversion.

By the way, does TMX need to be so strict distinguishing the languages by regions?


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