Friday, July 08, 2005

talking tables / files

We are arriving at the point where we have to talk file design. What tables do we need what fields will they have and how will this relate to the functionality of what we have.

The three most important tables will be "Language" "Word" "Meaning". They are top down related. The most difficult to understand will be "Meaning" because the meaning itself will be in a seperate table "Meaning-text". This is because the text of meaning is to be had in every language, and it is the abstraction of the meaning that is in "Meaning".

This "Meaning" will relate to synonymes and translations (a synonym is equivalent to a translation in the same language). This will give people an instant problem many words are not the exact translation of another, so how will we deal with this.

When a word is translated, the word picked in the translation is the one that fits best in the meaning of the original word. This meaning is therefore one that is of importance to this word as well. This meaning can be endemic to the language of the word, this makes it a natural fit or the meaning can be external to the language of the word. When the meaning is external to the language, this meaning is only relevant when translating the word.

This sound problematic. The word girl, meisje, M├Ądchen are good translations. In the Neopolitan language there are words that are specific to girls of a certain age. The meaning of these word is included in the meaning of the word girl. They need to be shown when you are interested in the Neopolitan language. However, when you are not interested, these meanings that are external to words of the English language, do not have to be shown.

I have been told that there are some four words that can be included in the word girl. These meanings do relate to each other and as such it makes sense to use thesaurus like structures to describe these relations. As these relations describe the meanings, these relations are relevant when you are interested in the Neopolitan language. They do help a translator choose the best fit and also alternatives when one word is used too often.


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