options for Dutch spell checking

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options for Dutch spell checking

Simon Brouwer
Hi all,

In the Dutch language area we have an official "green" spelling (after
the color of the book in which the official word list is published) and
alternative "white" spelling, which is supported by several newspapers,
publishers etc. who did not agree with the latest spelling reforms. The
situation is a bit similar to that in Germany. I noticed an option in
OpenOffice.org "German spelling - old". How is that option implemented?
I did not see a separate .dic file for old German spelling in
share/dict/ooo/. Could a similar option enable the user to select
between green and white Dutch spelling dictionaries?

Another, related question,

There are language identifiers nl_BE and nl_NL. However, Belgium and the
Netherlands use the same official spelling, and we see no other valid
reason to provide separate nl_BE and nl_NL dictionaries.
We are currently installing the word list only for nl_NL because
installing it for nl_BE as well would mean redundantly taking up twice
the memory. However, Belgian users may, rightfully, select their
document's language as nl_BE, and then not have spell checking. Would it
be possible to implement an option that nl_BE text is spell checked
using the dictionary already loaded for nl_NL?

I'd like to hear your opinions before filing issues to request such
features.

--
Vriendelijke groet,
Simon Brouwer.

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Re: options for Dutch spell checking

Daniel Naber-9
On Tuesday 24 July 2007 21:44, Simon Brouwer wrote:

> OpenOffice.org "German spelling - old". How is that option implemented?

It's not implemented at all and never worked (in OOo, maybe it did in
StarOffice). Also see
http://lingucomponent.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=13376

> the memory. However, Belgian users may, rightfully, select their
> document's language as nl_BE, and then not have spell checking. Would it
> be possible to implement an option that nl_BE text is spell checked
> using the dictionary already loaded for nl_NL?

That should be possible using dictionary.lst. For example, Austrian
hyphenation is mapped to the German hyphenation file like this:

HYPH de AT hyph_de_DE

No need for duplication I think.

Regards
 Daniel

--
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Re: options for Dutch spell checking

Simon Brouwer
Hi Daniel,

Daniel Naber schreef:

> On Tuesday 24 July 2007 21:44, Simon Brouwer wrote:
>
>> OpenOffice.org "German spelling - old". How is that option implemented?
>
> It's not implemented at all and never worked (in OOo, maybe it did in
> StarOffice). Also see
> http://lingucomponent.openoffice.org/issues/show_bug.cgi?id=13376
>
>> the memory. However, Belgian users may, rightfully, select their
>> document's language as nl_BE, and then not have spell checking. Would it
>> be possible to implement an option that nl_BE text is spell checked
>> using the dictionary already loaded for nl_NL?
>
> That should be possible using dictionary.lst. For example, Austrian
> hyphenation is mapped to the German hyphenation file like this:
>
> HYPH de AT hyph_de_DE
>
> No need for duplication I think.

Are you sure that this doesn't simply (and redundantly) load the same
dictionary into memory for de-AT as well?

--
Vriendelijke groet,

Simon Brouwer
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language codes

Simon Brouwer
In reply to this post by Daniel Naber-9
Hi all,

In the Dutch discussion list it has been proposed to use a different
language code for Dutch ("green" spelling) and Dutch ("white" spelling).
That would allow documents to be spell checked accordingly.

Is it possible to add language codes, or are the possible language codes
fixed per the OpenDocument standard?

--
Vriendelijke groet,

Simon Brouwer
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Re: options for Dutch spell checking

Daniel Naber-9
In reply to this post by Simon Brouwer
On Wednesday 25 July 2007 09:22, Simon Brouwer wrote:

> > HYPH de AT hyph_de_DE
> >
> > No need for duplication I think.
>
> Are you sure that this doesn't simply (and redundantly) load the same
> dictionary into memory for de-AT as well?

Sorry, I overlooked you were concerned about *memory* overhead.  I'm not
sure how this is handled. I guess it's loaded twice.

Regards
 Daniel

--
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Re: language codes

thomas.lange
In reply to this post by Simon Brouwer


Hello Eike!

Can you answer the question below?


Simon Brouwer wrote:

> Hi all,
>
> In the Dutch discussion list it has been proposed to use a different
> language code for Dutch ("green" spelling) and Dutch ("white" spelling).
> That would allow documents to be spell checked accordingly.
>
> Is it possible to add language codes, or are the possible language codes
> fixed per the OpenDocument standard?

@Simon: BTW what is the difference between Dutch ("green" spelling) and
Dutch ("white" spelling) ?


Thomas

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Re: language codes

Simon Brouwer
Hi Thomas,

Thomas Lange - Sun Germany - ham02 - Hamburg schreef:

>
>
> Hello Eike!
>
> Can you answer the question below?
>
>
> Simon Brouwer wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>>
>> In the Dutch discussion list it has been proposed to use a different
>> language code for Dutch ("green" spelling) and Dutch ("white" spelling).
>> That would allow documents to be spell checked accordingly.
>>
>> Is it possible to add language codes, or are the possible language codes
>> fixed per the OpenDocument standard?
>
> @Simon: BTW what is the difference between Dutch ("green" spelling) and
> Dutch ("white" spelling) ?

The "green" spelling is the official spelling as defined by the
Nederlandse Taalunie ("Dutch Language Union"). This is a supranational
institute in which the governments of The Netherlands and Belgium (and now
also Surinam) cooperate. It has been assigned the task to update the
spelling rules and a word list every 10 years, as the language
incorporates new words and other words fall into disuse. This is published
in a book that traditionally has a green cover, hence "green" spelling.
This spelling is compulsory in government and education in The Netherlands
and Belgium.

The last time this happened, in 2005, a number of changes to make the
spelling more consistent generated considerable controversy. An initiative
to prepare alternative spelling rules gained support from various
organizations such as newspaper publishers. This spelling is published in
a book with a white cover.

The newest Dutch dictionary for OpenOffice.org, which was made in the
OpenTaal project, follows the "green" spelling and actually received
certification from the Nederlandse Taalunie (as did respected Dutch
dictionaries and the Dutch spell checking in MS Office). This should be
regarded as the standard.

However, as a service to the followers of "white" spelling we are
considering to make a "white" dictionary available as well, as an optional
download.

Adding an option to select between the two spellings, or adding a language
code, might facilitate the exchange of documents between "green" and
"white" spellers.

--
Vriendelijke groet,

Simon Brouwer
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Re: language codes

eike.rathke
In reply to this post by thomas.lange
Hi Thomas,

On Thursday, 2007-07-26 10:17:16 +0200, Thomas Lange wrote:

> Simon Brouwer wrote:
>
> > In the Dutch discussion list it has been proposed to use a different
> > language code for Dutch ("green" spelling) and Dutch ("white" spelling).
> > That would allow documents to be spell checked accordingly.
> >
> > Is it possible to add language codes, or are the possible language codes
> > fixed per the OpenDocument standard?

Currently the codes are fixed to ISO 639 for the language plus ISO 3166
for the country. It is not possible to store further information. The
upcoming next version of the ODF standard will add ISO 15924 script
codes and, if a combination of those three ISO codes doesn't fulfill the
needs, a new language tag according to RFC 4646 respectively its
successor, currently under development as RFC 4646bis. A language tag
according to RFC 4646 can express almost anything you like, including
variants and standardized extensions registered with IANA.

The OOo code base though currently doesn't support any of these, there's
much work left to be done, some in the i18n framework and much more in
the applications' code.

  Eike

--
 OpenOffice.org Engineering at Sun: http://blogs.sun.com/GullFOSS

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Re: language codes

Jonathon-4
Simon wrote:

> In the Dutch discussion list it has been proposed to use a
different language code for Dutch ("green" spelling) and
Dutch ("white" spelling). That would allow documents to be
spell checked accordingly.

How about an "unofficial" solution. Create a
Dutch(Luxembourg) locale,and have that used for the
unofficial dictionaries.(You could also add
Luxembourgish (Luxembourg) and German(Belgium).
(Italian (San Marino),French (Andorra),Spanish (Andorra),
Latin (Vatican City,)English (Gibraltar))

Eike Rathke wrote:

> Currently the codes are fixed to ISO 639 for the language plus ISO 3166
> for the country. It is not possible to store further information. The
> upcoming next version of the ODF standard will add ISO 15924 script
> codes and, if a combination of those three ISO codes doesn't fulfill the
> needs, a new language tag according to RFC 4646 respectively its successor,

Additional tags will be needed for Braille and Moon. (There
are roughly half a dozen grades for Braille.There are two
grades of Moon.)

>The OOo code base though currently doesn't support any of
these, there's much work left to be done, some in the i18n
framework and much more in the applications' code.

That implies that in a future version of OOo, one will be
able to independently select the language, the writing
system, country, and RFC 4646 attributes.  Will that be the
actual case? If so, it will be a major boost towards using
OOo for creating multilingual documents using a11y writing
systems.

xan

jonathon

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Re: language codes

Rene Engelhard-7
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Hi,

jonathon wrote:
> How about an "unofficial" solution. Create a
> Dutch(Luxembourg) locale,and have that used for the
> unofficial dictionaries.(You could also add
> Luxembourgish (Luxembourg) and German(Belgium).
  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^                  ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

exist. - German (Belgium) since 2.1
(And on Debian I register myspell-de-de/hunspell-de-de also for
German (Belgium))

> (Italian (San Marino),French (Andorra),Spanish (Andorra),
> Latin (Vatican City,)English (Gibraltar))
  ^^^^^

dito.

Regards,

Rene
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Re: language codes

Stefan Baltzer
In reply to this post by Simon Brouwer
Hi!

Simon Brouwer wrote:
> [...]
> The last time this happened, in 2005, a number of changes to make the
> spelling more consistent generated considerable controversy. An initiative
> to prepare alternative spelling rules gained support from various
> organizations such as newspaper publishers. This spelling is published in
> a book with a white cover.

Ha! This sounds very familiar to me. In Germany, we had a very similar
struggle about the so-called "Rechtschreibreform", resulting in "New
German spelling rules".

And - guess! - there was a controversial discussion, like newspapers
deciding to go "a third way" and such. The German states
("Bundesländer") have completed the chaos: Some adapted the new rules
entirely at first, some not at all and some only the "bits" that were
not in discussion. A nice patchwork of spelling rules throughout the
country... :-(

Imagine the bizarre real-life scenarios we had for years: Within the
same town, the secondary school across the street it is another state,
thus another rule to obey for this and that. Sort of confusing for kids
who shall learn "their" language.

Then there were print shops who USED to produce schoolbooks for the
entire country before this began.

However, we got past this after a few years and finally the reform was
reformed yet again and finally accepted nationwide (since August 2006 I
think).

I hope that you can come to a similar solution for Dutch within a
foreseeable time. Otherwise the use of differnt dictionaries will be a
constant source of confusion for the users.

> The newest Dutch dictionary for OpenOffice.org, which was made in the
> OpenTaal project, follows the "green" spelling and actually received
> certification from the Nederlandse Taalunie (as did respected Dutch
> dictionaries and the Dutch spell checking in MS Office). This should be
> regarded as the standard.

This is very interesting. Having an "official blessing" for a dictionary
is cool.

Since I am doing QA for the linguistic in general, I plan to "go for the
dictionaries" after OOo 2.3 is done. I already mentioned this to
Jaqueline and Sophie from the OOo l10n team (As I believe that lingu QA
belongs to l10n QA).

I intend to kick-start this in September (I will be on vacation until
August 26th). Stay tuned!

> However, as a service to the followers of "white" spelling we are
> considering to make a "white" dictionary available as well, as an optional
> download.
>
> Adding an option to select between the two spellings, or adding a language
> code, might facilitate the exchange of documents between "green" and
> "white" spellers.

In older StarOffice versions, we had different (commercial, third party)
dictionaries that could be switched via UI. There is a little bit UI
left from the old days of "2 spelling rules existing beside each other"
for German ("NEW" and "old" spelling). This does not work, but we
refused to spend ressources on removing the UI because MAYBE someone
wants to re-implement this for German.

This "dead entry" is here:
Tools - Options - Language Settings - Writing Aids - Options
-> The check box "German spelling - old"

To me it looks like something like this could be a solution for "green
and white Dutch"

...and maybe more languages as well. Time and native speakers
(linguists) will tell...

Have a nice day!

Stefan Baltzer
OOo QA Team Lead Writer

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Re: language codes

Daniel Naber-9
On Thursday 02 August 2007 15:07, Stefan Baltzer wrote:

> Since I am doing QA for the linguistic in general, I plan to "go for the
> dictionaries" after OOo 2.3 is done.

Please be aware that the dictionaries that are part of OOo are not always
the latest version. For example, Björn Jacke is working on a new and
improved version, so you probably shouldn't spend much time trying to
evaluate or improve the versions that come with OOo (the same is true for
the thesaurus).

Regards
 Daniel

--
http://www.danielnaber.de

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Re: language codes

Stefan Baltzer
In reply to this post by Simon Brouwer
Thank you for the hint, Daniel.

The first part of QAing them will indeed be to get an overview:
  - What dicts do we have?
  - What dicts are "maintained", who is responsible?
  - Which one is the latest and/or greatest
  - What are the differences within one language (i.e. Dutch "green" vs.
"white", German "old vs. new"...)
  - How do we get rid of "outdated" ones?
  - What "quality level" do they have? This is
yet-to-be-defined-for-each-language, i.e. amount of "errors",
usefullness of proposals, memory and speed performance...

... since "QAing dictionaries" is no "industrial standard procedure", we
must find a way to get some kind of "structure" to do so.
It will be interesting to get "linguists" into QA work.
I heard that some native lang teams have a more or less strict
separation between localisation and QA.

I am looking forward to work in this "grey zone" this fall :-)

Regards
Stefan

Daniel Naber wrote:

> On Thursday 02 August 2007 15:07, Stefan Baltzer wrote:
>
>> Since I am doing QA for the linguistic in general, I plan to "go for the
>> dictionaries" after OOo 2.3 is done.
>
> Please be aware that the dictionaries that are part of OOo are not always
> the latest version. For example, Björn Jacke is working on a new and
> improved version, so you probably shouldn't spend much time trying to
> evaluate or improve the versions that come with OOo (the same is true for
> the thesaurus).
>
> Regards
>  Daniel
>

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Re: QA (was: language codes)

F Wolff
Op Vrydag 03-08-2007 om 13:18 uur [tijdzone +0200], schreef Stefan
Baltzer:

> Thank you for the hint, Daniel.
>
> The first part of QAing them will indeed be to get an overview:
>   - What dicts do we have?
>   - What dicts are "maintained", who is responsible?
>   - Which one is the latest and/or greatest
>   - What are the differences within one language (i.e. Dutch "green" vs.
> "white", German "old vs. new"...)
>   - How do we get rid of "outdated" ones?
>   - What "quality level" do they have? This is
> yet-to-be-defined-for-each-language, i.e. amount of "errors",
> usefullness of proposals, memory and speed performance...
>
> ... since "QAing dictionaries" is no "industrial standard procedure", we
> must find a way to get some kind of "structure" to do so.
> It will be interesting to get "linguists" into QA work.
> I heard that some native lang teams have a more or less strict
> separation between localisation and QA.
>
> I am looking forward to work in this "grey zone" this fall :-)
>
> Regards
> Stefan


Hi Stefan

About the 11 official languages of South Africa, the information is
summarised here: http://translate.org.za/content/view/1610/54/

This page mentions the quality and should give a link to the newest
version.

Pavel helped a lot recently to get the Afrikaans checker into the
official builds, but the others are only hosted by ourselves.

translate.org.za maintains all of these, although many of them really
hasn't received much attention at all yet. Basically all the non-English
languages needed hunspell features to some extent, so at least
improvement is possible now, but resources are scarce. For some of them
really big morphology work is necessary and up to now we just haven't
been able to dedicate time to it.

You can contact me if you need any information on any of these 11
checkers.

Although there has been some orthography changes for some of the
languages, this doesn't need to be considered while our support for
either orthography is not all that good.

We also have the initial files for a Swahili checker in our version
control, but I'm not aware of any work on that since it was initially
created.

All these languages use our unified build system for maintaining a
single word list and from that creating OpenOffice.org packs and
Mozilla .xpi files (also some support for aspell and ispell). Recently
there was some progress in getting hunspell into the Mozilla projects,
so hopefully we'll see it as part of Firefox 3 and Thunderbird 3.

About a QA procedure:
Somebody did a review of some Afrikaans spell checkers a while ago
(including ours) and devised a few simple metrics. It is written in
Afrikaans, but I can help with the basic idea or put you in contact with
the author.

While developing the Afrikaans hyphenation, I used some simple metrics
to track my progress, but nothing rigorous.  I might not even have the
exact scripts anymore, but can share the ideas if you are interested.

About thesauri I don't know - we haven't even gotten to that yet.

Keep well
Friedel

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Re: QA

Stefan Baltzer
In reply to this post by Simon Brouwer
Hi, Friedel!

Thanks a lot. That looks great!
The "simple metrics" you use is what I thought about...

<Quote>
Excellent - you can safely use this for all spell checking
Very good - there are a few minor corner cases or situations with
aglutenated words that will be missed
Good - very good coverage, but some obvious words will be missing
Basic - not good enough for general spell checking.  Useful for those
who wish to help advance the spell checker to the next level.
<Quote>

I put that page in my bookmark collection and get back to this after my
vacation.

Regards
Stefan

F Wolff wrote:

> Op Vrydag 03-08-2007 om 13:18 uur [tijdzone +0200], schreef Stefan
> Baltzer:
>  
>> Thank you for the hint, Daniel.
>>
>> The first part of QAing them will indeed be to get an overview:
>>   - What dicts do we have?
>>   - What dicts are "maintained", who is responsible?
>>   - Which one is the latest and/or greatest
>>   - What are the differences within one language (i.e. Dutch "green" vs.
>> "white", German "old vs. new"...)
>>   - How do we get rid of "outdated" ones?
>>   - What "quality level" do they have? This is
>> yet-to-be-defined-for-each-language, i.e. amount of "errors",
>> usefullness of proposals, memory and speed performance...
>>
>> ... since "QAing dictionaries" is no "industrial standard procedure", we
>> must find a way to get some kind of "structure" to do so.
>> It will be interesting to get "linguists" into QA work.
>> I heard that some native lang teams have a more or less strict
>> separation between localisation and QA.
>>
>> I am looking forward to work in this "grey zone" this fall :-)
>>
>> Regards
>> Stefan
>>    
>
>
> Hi Stefan
>
> About the 11 official languages of South Africa, the information is
> summarised here: http://translate.org.za/content/view/1610/54/
>
> This page mentions the quality and should give a link to the newest
> version.
>
> Pavel helped a lot recently to get the Afrikaans checker into the
> official builds, but the others are only hosted by ourselves.
>
> translate.org.za maintains all of these, although many of them really
> hasn't received much attention at all yet. Basically all the non-English
> languages needed hunspell features to some extent, so at least
> improvement is possible now, but resources are scarce. For some of them
> really big morphology work is necessary and up to now we just haven't
> been able to dedicate time to it.
>
> You can contact me if you need any information on any of these 11
> checkers.
>
> Although there has been some orthography changes for some of the
> languages, this doesn't need to be considered while our support for
> either orthography is not all that good.
>
> We also have the initial files for a Swahili checker in our version
> control, but I'm not aware of any work on that since it was initially
> created.
>
> All these languages use our unified build system for maintaining a
> single word list and from that creating OpenOffice.org packs and
> Mozilla .xpi files (also some support for aspell and ispell). Recently
> there was some progress in getting hunspell into the Mozilla projects,
> so hopefully we'll see it as part of Firefox 3 and Thunderbird 3.
>
> About a QA procedure:
> Somebody did a review of some Afrikaans spell checkers a while ago
> (including ours) and devised a few simple metrics. It is written in
> Afrikaans, but I can help with the basic idea or put you in contact with
> the author.
>
> While developing the Afrikaans hyphenation, I used some simple metrics
> to track my progress, but nothing rigorous.  I might not even have the
> exact scripts anymore, but can share the ideas if you are interested.
>
> About thesauri I don't know - we haven't even gotten to that yet.
>
> Keep well
> Friedel
>
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Re: QA

F Wolff
Op Vrydag 03-08-2007 om 15:52 uur [tijdzone +0200], schreef Stefan
Baltzer:

> Hi, Friedel!
>
> Thanks a lot. That looks great!
> The "simple metrics" you use is what I thought about...
>
> <Quote>
> Excellent - you can safely use this for all spell checking
> Very good - there are a few minor corner cases or situations with
> aglutenated words that will be missed
> Good - very good coverage, but some obvious words will be missing
> Basic - not good enough for general spell checking.  Useful for those
> who wish to help advance the spell checker to the next level.
> <Quote>
>
> I put that page in my bookmark collection and get back to this after my
> vacation.
>
> Regards
> Stefan
>

Glad you like these. Actually what I was referring to were number
metrics - ways to measure performance objectively. The schema above is a
good classification for users, but in order to decide in which class a
checker is, one would need some way to measure it, I guess. Not that
anybody would agree on the meaning of the numbers, but at least it gives
a way to track progress and to compare different checkers in the same
language.

Keep well
Friedel

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Re: QA

Jonathon-4
In reply to this post by F Wolff
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F Wolff wrote:

> (including ours) and devised a few simple metrics. It is written in
> Afrikaans, but I can help with the basic idea or put you in contact with
> the author.

Is that a subtle request to translate it into English?  Or other
European language?  If so, send me a copy, and I'll translate it.

> About thesauri I don't know - we haven't even gotten to that yet.

Are there hard copy thesauri for any of the nguni languages?

xan

jonathon
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Re: QA

F Wolff
Op Dinsdag 2007-08-14 skryf jonathon:

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> F Wolff wrote:
>
> > (including ours) and devised a few simple metrics. It is written in
> > Afrikaans, but I can help with the basic idea or put you in contact with
> > the author.
>
> Is that a subtle request to translate it into English?  Or other
> European language?  If so, send me a copy, and I'll translate it.

Hi Jonathon

No, it is a subtle _offer_ to explain the gist of the Afrikaans text if
somebody needs it. (Afrikaans is my native language.)

>
> > About thesauri I don't know - we haven't even gotten to that yet.
>
> Are there hard copy thesauri for any of the nguni languages?

Not that I'm aware of.  I'm not that familiar with all the dictionaries,
but I haven't seen any myself. As far as I know people are still working
on the very first Ndebele dictionary right now, so I guess thesaurus is
of a much lower priority.

People convened earlier this year to discuss the possibility of WordNets
for the South African languages. If this is built (with the appropriate
licences), it will allow us to make OOo thesauri for those languages as
was done for English as far as I know.

F

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