Tips for translators

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This page collects practical tips and tricks for using apertium as a translator.

General tips[edit]

If you're translating something that is to be published, you'll get the best results if you

  • run a spellcheck on the source text before translating, and
  • run a spellcheck on the target text after translating

Remember that any machine translated text needs to be post-edited before publication.

Are there any graphical user interfaces or apps?[edit]

Other than our web site, see Tools#Tools_for_users_.2F_translators

What do the funny symbols like */#@ mean?[edit]

A star * means a word was unknown to the translator and passed through unchanged. For proper nouns, this is often OK, but other words might need manual correction. (Some times you might see other symbols like #/@, these are debug symbols which indicate a bug in the translator.)

How do I make the translator ignore certain strings?[edit]

Use one of the XML based modes, e.g. html and put <apertium-notrans> tags around the text you don't want translated. E.g.

$ echo "Translate me <apertium-notrans>don't translate me</apertium-notrans> but translate me" |apertium en-es -f html
Me traduzco <apertium-notrans>don't translate me</apertium-notrans> pero traducirme

The HTML format adds entities, I want plain (Unicode) symbols[edit]

When using the HTML format, most non-ASCII characters are turned into HTML entities:

$ echo "Today's <a id="foo" href=""/>date</a> is March 12th" |apertium -f html en-ca
Avui  <a id="foo" href=>la data</a> és March 12è

This might not be preferable.

You can use the html-noent mode instead to avoid this.

With older versions of apertium you have to use this hack: With have perl and perl-html-parser installed, you can append the following little script to the command:

perl -we 'use HTML::Entities;binmode(STDOUT,":utf8");while(<STDIN>){print decode_entities($_);}'


$ echo "Today's <a id="foo" href=""/>date</a> is March 12th" |apertium -f html en-ca|perl -we 'use HTML::Entities; binmode(STDOUT, ":utf8");while(<STDIN>) { print decode_entities($_); }'
Avui  <a id="foo" href=>la data</a> és March 12è

See also[edit]