Synonyms in multi-line format

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There is a rather popular spreadsheet format that is basically a bilingual dictionary. Since most translators translate from one language into one other language, it is useful for small scale terminology lists. In Glossary Converter, this format is called multi-line format.                


It has one term term and one translation per line, and if there are multiple translations, there are multiple lines, like this:


English

German

Comment

car

Auto


car

Wagen

colloquial


Or sometimes, the duplicate source is just left empty


English

German

Comment

car

Auto



Wagen

colloquial


This format quickly reaches its limits when it gets even marginally complex. Take for example the not uncommon case of synonyms in both source and target. There is no way of representing synonyms in the source, and the targets have to be repeated. If you convert this to a termbase, car and automobile would become separate entries.


English

German

Comment

car

Auto



Wagen

colloquial

automobile

Auto



Wagen

colloquial


It is also difficult to handle homonyms: how would you know if the two terms are referring to the same bank or to two different concepts?


English

German

Comment

bank

Bank

financial

bank

Ufer

geographical


you can carefully craft your spreadsheet and make sure homonyms don't follow each other directly, as below:


English

German

Comment

bank

Bank

financial

apple

Apfel


bank

Ufer

geographical


Anyway, it remains messy, and I didn't even start on having more than two languages. Glossary Converter supports both reading and writing this format, but it's not really recommended.



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