Reform of the French spelling. Part 2. Electronic dictionaries

Published on November 13, 2016

Reform of the French spelling. Part 2. Electronic dictionaries

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    The first part of the article dealt with the sensational reform of French spelling. The French government has actively spoken about the need to extend the new spelling rules to all school textbooks. But did these innovations touch on electronic dictionaries and translators?
    This aspect has not been overlooked.


    How to be someone who is learning French or looking for the correct spelling of words in a dictionary?

    In the era of information technology, people naturally tend to turn to electronic dictionaries and translators for help. I wonder if these technologies keep up with the times, whether their sensational changes in French spelling have affected them . Search queries in electronic dictionaries were the words: bonhomie (friendliness, good nature) / bonhommie and chariot (trolley, wagon) / charriot . Similar words refer to everyday vocabulary and are used both by residents of large megacities and small villages.


    And here are the results of how electronic dictionaries responded to reform in French spelling:

    • [+++] very good
    • [++] satisfactory
    • [+] "don't make my horseshoes laugh"


     


    French → Russian


    Vocabulary


    “Old spelling”


    “New spelling”


    Situational contextual options


    Multitran


    +++


    +


    +++


    Context reverso


    +++


    +


    +++


    Google translator


    ++


    +


    -


    Glosbe


    ++


    +


    -


    ABBYY Lingvo


    ++


    +


    ++



     


    Russian → French


    Vocabulary


    “Old spelling”


    “New spelling”


    Situational contextual options


    Multitran


    +++


    +


    +++


    Context reverso


    +++


    +


    +++


    Google translator


    ++


    +


    -


    Glosbe


    ++


    +


    -


    ABBYY Lingvo


    ++


    +


    ++



    For the first part of the search (from French to Russian), I used two spelling options: the generally accepted (first) and the new (second), corresponding to the reform in spelling. And now to the point!



    Multitran electronic translatorwhich I had high hopes for, completely refused to accept the requested words in the reformed spelling. But with the conventional spelling of French words coped flawlessly. The undoubted advantage of Multitran is that it includes more than 200 different thematic and industry dictionaries. Anyone will find his theme here and will be able to use it not only in daily work, but also in creative activity. In addition, if you have heard the word, but do not know how it is spelled, it does not matter. Online translator Multitaran is indispensable in this case. It is necessary to enter in the field for the search what was approximately heard - the translator will do the rest of the work. He will search for the closest (in his opinion) words and most likely in the results you will see what you were looking for.


    » Screenshot Multitran 1
    » Screenshot Multitran 2



    The Context Reverso contextual translator was also very popular, which I often use myself, as it can be used not only to translate a given word, but also to see how it can be used in periodicals and literature. This contributes to visual memorization in accordance with the context, which is much more efficient than contextless memorization. Context Reverso did an excellent job with the requested words, providing a translation. But in the examples were used generally accepted norms of spelling.


    » Context Reverso 1 Screenshot
    » Context Reverso 2 Screenshot



    The Google translator was less accommodating . He, of course, mastered the words bonhomie / bonhommie and chariot / charriot. But I strongly advised me to use common spelling. Google translator defined the terms translated and at the same time hinted that I didn’t mean it) This dictionary is useful where you need quick translation of the word or interpretation of a separate phrase in its entirety. Audio in good quality allows you to clearly hear and remember the words. For beginners, this dictionary is indispensable when comparing sounds that are still poorly distinguished by ear. One of the drawbacks is the impossibility of selecting the subject matter of the translation.


    » Google Translator Screenshot 1
    » Google Translator Screenshot 2



    But the electronic dictionary Glosbe responded to the search query chariot / charriot (introduced in the reformed spelling). And the bonhomie / bonhommie innovation was a daunting task for him. So I did not recognize the interpretation of the requested term. One of the advantages: if Glosbe copes with the translation, it will provide a variety of variations on the thematic use of the translated word.


    » Glosbe 1 Screenshot
    » Glosbe 2 Screenshot



    I was surprised by ABBYY Lingvo : I entered the specified words in a new spelling. The dictionary meekly translated them, but provided a generally accepted version of spelling. One thing confused: the translation seems to be as it is, but the electronic dictionary corrects my search query. If Google translator paid my attention to the fact that I might have been mistaken in spelling, ABBYY Lingvo did not provide me with such reflections. But in general, this dictionary is universal and easy to use, the translated word is accompanied by transcription.


    » ABBYY 1 Screenshot
    » ABBYY 2 Screenshot


    Then I decided to check which translation into French (the generally accepted or reformed version) will be provided by these electronic translators, if you enter the words cart / cart and good nature / friendliness in Russian. Will the interpretation of the requested terms be provided, taking into account the new spelling?


    One by one, electronic dictionaries coped with the task of translation, but in unison provided a generally accepted spelling variant (bonhomie and chariot), persistently ignoring the reform .


    None of the electronic translators made it clear that there are two equivalent spelling variants of the requested words.


    Bottom line: no dictionary took a leading position in electronic translation (from French to Russian) in accordance with the spelling reforming. Multitran ignored my search query in the new spelling, and mastered only the generally accepted version. Context Reverso coped with the translation, but examples of the use of the requested words would be worth updating. Google translator advised me to think about whether I use the terms correctly, because he has not mastered the new spelling. Glosbe translated words selectively; he had such a mood. ABBYY Lingvo turned out to be ambiguous - there is a translation, and there is no understanding of correct spelling.


    As for the translation from Russian into French, electronic dictionaries are not in a hurry to switch to a new spelling. They are still true to the traditions and the reforms they have nothing to do)


    In other words, although electronic transfer becomes better and better with time, at the moment the results of electronic systems leave much to be desired. And for a long time they will not be able to replace a person.


    However, electronic dictionaries and translators play the role of serious helpers for us in learning the language. And since the knowledge of a foreign language literally opens the whole world over and over again, simplifies the organization of travels and expands their geography, the next article will discuss methods of learning French using modern technologies and gadgets.