Using DéjàVu’s Lexicon

and the Build Lexicon function in particular

12 June 2002

Atril's DéjàVu is a tool for translators, also known as a translator's memory.

DéjàVu stores elements from translations in three different ways:

So at first sight the TDB and the Lexicon seem to be the same. But there are important differences:

In the MDB and the TDB - most experienced DV users recommend to use a single MDB and a single TDB, shared between all projects - segments and terms are flagged with the subject and client as defined for the project. It is important to set the project's subject and client before you import any files into the project. Using these flags, DV can pick the right term in case of multiple hits: it uses the one that fits best to the current project's settings for subject and client.
This means it is safe to send a client-specific Lexicon to the TDB after the project is completed, so its contents are available for re-use: the client who wanted this specific terminology is marked in the TDB, so for a later project for that same client these terms take precedence.

Filling the Lexicon

There are basically three ways to fill the Lexicon. They may of course also be combined:

To build a Lexicon on the fly, while doing the translation, you translate a segment, and before continuing to the next segment, you mark a source term (mouse, or shift-(ctrl)-arrows) and corresponding term in the target windows (press Tab to get there, then mark using mouse of keyboard), and finally press Ctrl-F9. This is similar to sending a term to the TDB, using Ctrl-F11. In fact, you use the Lexicon as a project-specific intermediate stage to the TDB. Later on, you'll send the Lexicon to the TDB, but not just now.

Advantages of filling on the fly:

Disadvantages:

A different approach is to set up the Lexicon, not (only) while you translate, but before you start translating. DéjàVu helps you by featuring the Build Lexicon function, to be found in the menu under File / Lexicon / Build. This function takes all the words from the source files, sorts equal words together, and counts how many times they occur. It generates a lexicon containing only source words, not target words. You can however resolve the Lexicon with the TDB, which means terms already in the TDB from earlier projects are used to fill Lexicon target terms. This hardly seems useful at first sight, because if these terms are already in the TDB, DV will find them in there, even if no translation is available in the Lexicon. But seeing the term is already known from the TDB saves you the trouble to think of a translation in the Lexicon.
(You can even resolve the Lexicon with the MDB, but it doesn't make much sense, because it can cause a lot of fuzzy matches (short source term - longer target segment) that aren't useful in the Lexicon. Perhaps it is useful if you first switch the fuzziness off).
What is still untranslated after resolving with the TDB you must either translate yourself, or you decide the term doesn't belong in the Lexicon.

Advantages of using the Build Lexicon approach:

Disadvantages:


Disclaimer: In this article I express only my own views. I have no business association with Atril other than having obtained a software license to use DéjàVu.


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