|Tuesday, 05 September 2006|
In an electronic dictionary, a string of a word to be retrieved is input by a keyboard, and a result of retrieval is displayed on a screen of a displaying device. If an English word is inputted into an electronic dictionary, for instance, an electronic dictionary provided with an English- Chinese dictionary, the electronic dictionary outputs the Chinese word corresponding to the inputted English word, while if an English composition is inputted thereto, it outputs the Chinese composition corresponding to the inputted English composition. An advantage of an electronic dictionary lies in the ease of retrieval. Another advantage of such electronic dictionary is the ease of retrieving irregular conjugations of verbs or comparative and superlative of adjectives from a solid-state memory. A electronic dictionary apparatus has a configuration in which a word or a phrase is entered through a key typing, and information related to it, such as its translation, means, related idiomatic phrases etc., is looked up. Generally, electronic dictionaries are small enough to fit in a pocket or purse. This is quite convenient as it can be carried while traveling without any burden such as from a big printed dictionary.
Language translation is the most important function of a dictionary. Language translation is the transfer of the meaning of a text from one language to another for readership. For many years, people have been studying the machine translation technology which can translate written or speaking expressions from one language into another by means of computers. Language translation methods have evolved over the years and vary from traditional human translation to machine translation to machine translation with a human translation component. Machine translation is a kind of automatic translation from one language into another without human aid. On the basis of linguistic analysis regarding the form and structure of a language, it builds machine lexicon and machine grammar with the mathematical approach, by taking advantage of the huge power of computers in storing and data processing. The electronic translator mainly handles character information in various manners to display a huge quantity of character information on a display in an easy-to-see manner. Electronic dictionaries provide translation of a word and in some cases a phrase, together with pronunciation of the input word and/or pronunciation of the translated word or phrase.
In order to realize the language translation, a machine translation system has to have the functions of lexicon analysis, syntactic analysis, grammar analysis, lexicon, idiom dictionary, semantic analysis and target language synthesis. Language is an abstract, rule-governed system of arbitrary symbols that can be combined in countless ways to communicate information. All languages include a system of phonology, semantics, morphology, syntax and pragmatics. Computer systems for automatic natural language processing use a variety of subsystems, roughly corresponding to the linguistic fields of morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis to analyze input text and achieve a level of machine understanding of natural language. Morphological analysis identifies input words and provides information for each word that a human speaker of the natural language could determine by using a dictionary. Syntactic analysis analyzes each input sentence, using the information provided by the morphological analysis of input words and the set of syntax rules that define the grammar of the language in which the input sentence was written. Semantic analysis generates a logical form graph that describes the meaning of input text in a deeper way than can be described by a syntax parse tree alone. Further semantic processing after generation of the logical form graph may draw on knowledge databases to relate analyzed text to real world concepts in order to achieve still deeper levels of understanding.
An electronic dictionary uses a dictionary memory storing vocabulary data which consists of multiple blocks of word data representative of words of a language. One byte of the memory storage capacity is required to represent one character of each word data with ASCII code. The word data are stored in the data memory locations from the first to the last addresses, so that the words represented by the respective word data are arranged in a predetermined order of presentation of letters used in the language. Word data corresponding to a desired word can be searched by scanning the dictionary memory from the beginning of the memory while checking the individual sets of word data against the desired word to be searched. Corresponding to the word-data memory locations, there are provided multiple related-data memory locations which constitute a related-data storage section. The storage capacity of the dictionary memory can be compressed by a dictionary type coding using similarity of a data series and a probability statistic type coding using appearance frequency of only data. When a word is inputted from a keyboard, a central processing unit searches to determine if a word data coincides with the input word exists in the dictionary memory. If a coincident word data does not exist in the dictionary memory, the input word is flickered on the screen to inform an operator that the input word may be misspelt.
In general, an electronic dictionary may be executed by receiving a data request action for a word, accessing context information derived from electronic documentation in which the word appears, storing the definition of the word along with the context information, and enabling a computer user to access the definition of the word and the context information. The process to convert the first language information into the second language information is executed by a microprocessor by searching a memory in which the first and second languages are correspondingly stored with respect to the first language information. The keyboards of electronic dictionaries are generally the same as a typewriter keyboard with the arrangement of keys called a "QWERTY" keyboard. Some electronic dictionaries include an active screen area that is responsive to a pen or stylus device. Light pens are used as input devices for data processing and storage systems in place of conventional keyboards. As a method of outputting the language information, a display output such as a liquid crystal display or the like is provided.