Abstract

SYSTRANLinks is a turnkey Machine Translation solution that transforms standard websites and content applications into interactive multilingual hubs, all within seconds. With SYSTRANLinks, your website is translated on-the-fly. Your visitors browse through it in their native language with one click. Just manage your website in one language; SYSTRANLinks automatically updates its translations.


1. Website translation

1.1. Overview

SYSTRANLinks is a client-server Translation solution, hosted by SYSTRAN. Just paste a translation button on your website to make it multilingual. SYSTRANLinks supports both static and dynamic Web pages (ASP, JSP, PHP, Lotus Notes, Cold Fusion, CGI…). It can also translate password-protected and form-generated Web pages. The use of cookies is also supported by SYSTRANLinks. This is how SYSTRANLinks works:

  • A visitor goes to your website and clicks on the “Translate to” link.
  • The browser sends a request to the SYSTRANLinks server.
  • SYSTRANLinks fetches the original Web page from your webserver.
  • SYSTRANLinks translates the Web page.
  • SYSTRANLinks modifies the HTML Web page to enable fluid navigation.
  • The Web page is sent back to the client browser.
  • The visitor clicks on a link and the corresponding Web page is automatically translated (see Fluid navigation).

Each translated Web page counts as one translation request.

SYSTRANLinks is highly customizable using the online interface at http://www.systranlinks.com/:

  • Customizable translation links: choose among the predefined translation links (button, flags…) and paste the corresponding HTML to your website, or design your own.
  • Customizable translation: ranslation accuracy is enhanced by using terminology adapted to your website. SYSTRANLinks offers 20 ready-to-use specialized dictionaries and an Online Dictionary Manager that allows you to add new expressions and sequences not to be translated (ex: trademarks).
  • Add new languages and upgrade your SYSTRANLinks at anytime.

Images cannot be automatically translated, but SYSTRANLinks offers the possibility to replace original images with manually localized images during the translation process. Like images, Macromedia Flash animations cannot be translated. Javascript-generated text cannot be translated, as it is actually Javascript code. The SYSTRAN engine cannot separate the text strings (which will be read by the end-user) from the program code. This most frequently occurs with Javascript-generated navigation menus. For more information, refer to: Javascript localization.


1.2. SYSTRANLinks online interface

The registration and management of SYSTRANLinks websites is done by using the online interface available at http://www.systranlinks.com/. To use this interface, you need to sign up to get a SYSTRAN eServices account. This will allow you to get a Free Trial to test SYSTRANLinks on your website. If you already have a SYSTRANet account, please sign in using the same authentication information. If you have forgotten your password you can use the “Password lookup” feature at http://www.systranlinks.com/.

1.2.1. Registration of a new website

To be able to use SYSTRANLinks to translate your website, you need to sign in at http://www.systranlinks.com/. If you never have registered a website, you will automatically reach the “New website” page. Otherwise use the “Website” menu and click on “New”. You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • The main URL of your website: it is the part of the URL that is common to all the Web pages of your website. If you registered http://www.yourdomain.com/, SYSTRANLinks will accept to translate all URL beginning with http://www.yourdomain.com/such as http://www.yourdomain.com/dir/file.htmlor http://www.yourdomain.com/index.html
  • The language of your website: the language in which your website currently exists, that is the language from which you will translate
  • The SYSTRANLinks solution: we recommend that you take advantage of our Free Trial to test SYSTRANLinks. For advanced features and/or specific questions please contact our Sales Department.

1.2.2. Opening a website

If several websites have been registered, you need to “Open” a website in order to view and update its properties. Use the “Website” menu and select the “Open” item. If a website has not been opened you will automatically reach the “Open a website” page when trying to use the other elements of the “Website” menu.


1.2.3. Website properties

Once a website has been opened, the “Website properties” page can be opened by using the “Website” menu and selecting the “Properties” item. This page sums up the properties of your SYSTRANLinks website. The “General information” section contains the following items:

  • Website: the main URL of your website you gave during the registration.
  • Aliases: the main URL of other websites that should be considered as part of your website. This allows you to group several websites and manage them as a whole. It is especially useful if your website uses several domain names. Aliases are added by SYSTRAN to your account upon request, depending on your SYSTRANLinks solution.
  • Solution: the type of SYSTRANLinks you chose. You can upgrade to any other SYSTRANLinks solution at anytime by changing the value of the drop-down menu.
  • Activation date: the date when you registered your website. The date is written in ISO format which is YYYY-MM-DD.
  • Expiration date: your SYSTRANLinks solution is active until this date, written in ISO format which is YYYY-MM-DD. You can extend your solution by clicking on the “Renew” icon, or remove an expired website by clicking on the “Delete” icon.

The “Language Pairs” section allows you to choose the languages into which SYSTRANLinks will translate your website. You can also change the source language of your website if you made a mistake during the registration process. The list of disabled language pairs appears on the left, and the list of enabled ones appears on the right. The maximum number of languages pairs you are allowed to enable depends on your SYSTRANLinks solution and is indicated on the page. All exceeding language pairs will be automatically removed by SYSTRANLinks upon validation.


You will get detailed information on how to modify your website to add SYSTRANLinks translation links by selecting “HTML links” in the “Website” menu. You first need to indicate the URL of the Web page that will have to be translated when your visitors will click on the translation links. Then click on “OK”. SYSTRANLinks will update the instructions on the page and offer 3 possibilities:

  • Translation preview: SYSTRANLinks will generate a Web page with flags so that you can test SYSTRANLinks without modifying your website.
  • Ready-to-use translation links: you just need to copy and paste the HTML code of one of the SYSTRAN-designed translation links to make your site multilingual in just a few moments.
  • Design your own translation links: for each language that you chose on the “Website properties” page, you will have the exact instructions on how to design the translation link adapted to your website look and feel.

1.2.5. Translation preview

SYSTRANLinks will generate a Web page with flags so that you can test SYSTRANLinks without modifying your website. Just select “Translation preview” in the “Website” menu. The default page can be modified by using “HTML links”.


1.2.6. Translation customization

Translation accuracy is enhanced by using terminology adapted to your website. SYSTRANLinks offers 21 ready-to-use subject-specific dictionaries and an online Dictionary Manager that allows you to add new expressions and sequences not to be translated (ex: trademarks, company and product names…). The “Translation customization” page allows you to activate dictionaries in order to customize your translation and adapt the translation to your specific terminology. When multiple dictionaries are selected, prioritize the dictionaries with the first selection being counted as most important. You can choose between SYSTRAN dictionaries and your own user dictionaries, created by using the Dictionary Manager. The list of disabled dictionaries appears on the left, and the list of enabled dictionaries appears on the right.

  • Activating too many dictionaries will only reduce performance and will not improve translation accuracy. You need to choose carefully the dictionaries adapted to your terminology and/or build your own user dictionary. The “User Dictionary test mode” can be used to highlight Not Found Words (NFW) in bold red, and User Dictionary Entries in bold green.
  • User Dictionary test mode should not be permanently activated but only when you are working on your translation customization and when you wish to see the coverage of your user dictionaries and which entries are missing.

1.3. Fluid navigation

SYSTRANLinks offers fluid navigation. Fluid navigation is the process of transparently modifying the translated Web page so that the hypertext links will be automatically translated. Image maps, forms and Javascript are also supported.

  • Standard fluid navigation (SYSTRANLinks Bronze, Silver and Free Trial) modifies links belonging to your website only. These are the links beginning with your website main URL or one of its aliases.
  • Full fluid navigation (SYSTRANLinks Gold) modifies both links to your website and links to other websites. In the latter situation SYSTRANLinks will systematically detect the source language of the Web page and will translate it only if the corresponding language pair exists. Otherwise it will return the original Web page.

Fluid navigation is an automatic process that usually needs no website modifications, except for some very specific situations: to disable it for some specific HTML sections, or to handle Javascript.


1.3.1. Limitations

Fluid navigation relies on rewriting the translated HTML content. Therefore SYSTRANLinks needs to be able to identify the links, which is done automatically for common HTML content.

  • However there is no generic means to identify links in Javascript code. But SYSTRANLinks is able to support Javascript-generated links with minor modifications of your Javascript code.
  • Links contained in external proprietary documents such as Macromedia Flash animations cannot be parsed and will not benefit from fluid navigation.

1.3.2. Javascript support

SYSTRANLinks knows how to rewrite links in ordinary a href tags to enable fluid navigation but it does need some help to rewrite links generated by Javascript functions. Indeed, there is no generic way to identify where in Javascript code variables or strings that are URLs are used.

To achieve this, it is necessary to use the systranURL Javascript function. This is a wrapper that enables SYSTRANLinks to identify and rewrite URLs that are not directly in “a href ” tags but which are generated by Javascript functions. It must be added in each page in the “head” section of the HTML (not as included as a “.js “file).


<script type="text/javascript">
function systranURL(url) {
return url;
}
</script>

Then, when any function calls a URL, the URL has to be encapsulated by the function systranURL().

Example 1. Simple HTML file using the systranURL wrapper


<html>
<head>
<title>SYSTRAN URL</title>
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type "content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1">
<script type="text/javascript">
function systranURL(url) {
return url;
}
function openNewWindow(URLtoOpen, windowName, windowFeatures) {
newWindow = window.open(systranURL(URLtoOpen),windowName,windowFeatures);
}
</script>
</head>
<body>
<a href=javascript:openNewWindow('http://www.example.com', 'ExampleWindow', 'height=400,width=400,toolbar=no,scrollbars=yes')>pop-up</a>
</body>
</html>


1.3.3. Disabling fluid navigation

The default behavior is to rewrite all links and forms present in an HTML page, provided that they belong to your website or one of its aliases (except for Gold solutions which have full fluid navigation).

If you do not want some links and/or forms to be redirected, just add the systran=”no” attribute in your HTML <a> <form> and <area> tags.

Example 2. In this case SYSTRANLinks will not redirect the link to SYSTRANLinks server.


<a href="page.html">My link</a>

should be written on your webserver as


<a href="page.html" systran="no">My link</a>

However if you have a lot of links, it can become impractical to add this attribute.
If you want to prevent the rewriting of a whole section of HTML, it must be placed between some special HTML comments: <!– begin_dnr –>and <!– end_dnr –> (as in “Do Not Rewrite”).

Example 3. Here all links will not be rewritten


<!-- begin_dnr -->
<a href="page1.html">Link1</a>
<a href="page1.html">Link2</a>
<a href="page1.html">Link3</a>
<form action="cgi">...</form>
<p>...</p>
<!-- end_dnr -->

Which is exactly the same thing as:


<a href="page1.html" systran="no">Link1</a>
<a href="page1.html" systran="no">Link2</a>
<a href="page1.html" systran="no">Link3</a>
<form action="cgi" systran="no">...</form>
<p>...</p>


1.4. Website content optimization

1.4.1. Do No Translate (DNT) blocks

SYSTRANLinks allows you to prevent whole HTML blocks of a Web page from being translated by placing them between <!– DNT –> and <!– /DNT –> (as in Do Not Translate).

DNT blocks are meant to be used for some specific HTML blocks, such as addresses on “Contact us” Web pages, list of publications, legal disclaimers and legal notices. However DNT blocks are not meant to be used in order to prevent expressions or words such as company names, trademarks, proper nouns from being translated. For these you should create a user dictionary using the online Dictionary Manager and customize your translation with it.

Example 4. DNT block declaration


<!-- DNT -->
This text should not be translated.
<!-- /DNT -->


1.4.2. Image localization

Obviously SYSTRANLinks cannot translate images. However you might want to localize your images, store the localized versions on your website and have the translated pages use these localized versions instead of the original ones. The images will look “as if” they had been translated.

To localize an image, you should add the attribute systran=”yes” in your HTML tags. These can be (for both images and background images).

An image named image.jpg will be rewritten as image-lg.jpg where lg is the ISO639 two-letter code for the target language (the same that is used in your translation links).

Example 5. English to Japanese localization


<img src="menu.jpg" systran="yes">

Will be rewritten as:


<img src="menu-ja.jpg">

If you have a lot of images to localize, you can use the following HTML comments to avoid adding the systran=”yes”attribute in all your HTML tags.

To rewrite all <img> tags, include the relevant HTML section between <!– begin_img_translation –> and <!– end_img_translation –>.

To rewrite all <body>, <td>, <tr>, <table> tags, include the relevant HTML section between <!– begin_bg_translation –> and <!– end_bg_translation –>.

To rewrite all <img>, <body>, <td>, <tr>, <table> tags, include the relevant HTML section between <!– begin_allimg_translation –> and <!– end_allimg_translation –>.


1.4.3. Javascript localization

Javascript-generated text cannot be translated, since it is part of Javascript code. The SYSTRAN engine cannot separate the text strings (which will be read by the end-user) from the program code. The most frequent situation is the use of Javascript-generated navigation menus. However you might want to localize your images, store the localized versions on your website and have the translated pages use these localized versions instead of the original ones. The Javascript texts will look “as if” they had been translated.

To localize an image, you should add the attribute systran=”yes” in your <script> tag.

A script named script.js will be rewritten as “script-lg.js” where “lg” is the ISO639 two-letter code for the target language (the same that is used in your translation links).

Example 6. English to French localization


<script src="menu.js" systran="yes">

Will be rewritten as:


<script src="menu-fr.js">


1.4.4. HTML Writing Guidelines

SYSTRANLinks’ translation relies on proper word and sentence boundaries. The first recommendation is to respect the standard punctuation and typographic rules. Punctuation is very important, especially for long sentences. Obviously it is also the first means used by SYSTRANLinks to find sentence boundaries and define linguistic compounds within a sentence.

Sentence and word boundaries also rely on the HTML markup. Some ways of using HTML tags can result in incorrect sentence analyses, thereby resulting in incorrect translations. Here is a list of common mistakes. They are often related to improperly using HTML tags for some visual effects.

  • A word should never be divided by HTML tags.
  • A sentence should not be divided into two separate parts using tags such as “<br>” or “<td>” which are regarded as sentence boundary markers.
  • Do not use whitespaces to separate different sentences or titles. For example the different elements of a text menu should not be separated by whitespaces. Tables without any border are often a convenient way of achieving exactly the same result, by preserving the visual aspect and by allowing SYSTRANLinks to analyze properly the content.

1.5. Data form reverse translation

Data form reverse translation is part of SYSTRANLinks’ advanced features. Once you have made your site multilingual with SYSTRANLinks, your visitors will naturally fill in your data forms (for example “Contact us” forms) in their native language. Data form reverse translation offers you the ability to have SYSTRANLinks automatically translate these forms (completely or only some of the fields) back into your website source language.

To enable data form reverse translation you need to add some additional hidden information to your forms, information that will only be used by SYSTRANLinks. Specifically, you must indicate which fields should be translated, and how.

  • Put the comma-separated list of field names to be translated in the hidden field “SYSTRAN-S” if you want to get both the original user data and its translation (recommended).
  • Put the comma-separated list of field names to be translated in the hidden field “SYSTRAN-T” if you want to get only the translation. However SYSTRAN recommends that you get both original user data and the translation.

Example 7. HTML form that takes advantage of SYSTRANLinks data form reverse translation

We will assume that the following form is part of an English page that gets translated into French by SYSTRANLinks.


<form action="http://www.yourwebsite.com/form.cgi" method="post">
<input type="hidden" name="SYSTRAN-S" value="field1, field2">
Name <input type="text" name="name" size="20"><br>
Address <textarea name="address"></textarea>
Subject <input type="text" size="50" name="field1">
Description <textarea name="field2"></textarea>
</form>

If a French visitor fills in this form in French, your website will receive the content of “field1” and “field2” in both English and French. But name “address” will not be translated.


2. SYSTRANLinks API

2.1. Overview

SYSTRANLinks’ API provides direct and easy access to the SYSTRAN translation engine. It offers plain text, HTML and RTF translation, either mono-target or multi-target. SYSTRANLinks’ API uses the leading industry standards: HTTP or HTTPS for the communication protocol, XML and UTF-8 for translation output. Therefore Machine Translation can easily be embedded into any type of eCommerce application, database, chat, forum, email, SMS and WAP services.

  • The application connects to SYSTRANLinks using either HTTP or HTTPS.
  • It sends the source language of the document and the desired target language, along with the document to be translated using the HTTP POST method.
  • SYSTRANLinks’ API detects the format of the source document (plain text, HTML or RTF)
  • SYSTRANLinks’ API translates the document.

2.2. Usage

The access to the translation is easy as it is done through the HTTP and HTTPS protocols. The request will be done using the POST method to to following SYSTRANLinks URL.

HTTP http://www.systranlinks.com/trans

The following mandatory parameters must be included in the request:

  • “api” with the value “1” to enable the API mode
  • “id” to authenticate your requests. The value must be what is referenced as your “website” in SYSTRANLinks, usually its main URL.
  • “text” which contains the exact document to be translated.

The format of the source document will be automatically detected by SYSTRANLinks (plain text, HTML or RTF). Its encoding should be specified using the optional “charset” parameter. The list of accepted charsets is available here. SYSTRANLinks API also accepts UTF-8 documents. If no “charset” is specified, SYSTRANLinks will assume it uses the default encoding.


2.2.1. Mono-target translation

In order to switch to mono-target mode you must include the language pair in your request, by using the “lp” parameter. It has the “xx_yy” format where “xx” and “yy” are the two-letter codes of the source (“xx” ) and target (“yy”) languages. The list of the language codes is available here.

It is possible not to get XML output by specifying the”noxml” parameter with the value “1”. In this case SYSTRANLinks’ API will return the translation in the same format as the original document, with the default encoding of the target language.

If the application does not support UTF-8 it should specify the “noutf8” with the the value “1” then the XML output will use the default encoding of the target language.


2.2.2. Multi-target translation

In order to switch to multi-target mode you must include the “src” mandatory parameter which is the two-letter code of the source language. The comma-separated list of the two-letter target language codes can also be specified using the “tgt” optional parameter. Otherwise SYSTRANLinks’ API will return the translation in all available languages.

SYSTRANLinks’ API will always return XML output, with UTF-8 encoding.


2.3. XML structure

UTF-8 encoded XML is the default output of SYSTRANLinks’ API. The root element is “translation”. It contains one or several “target” elements depending on the number of target languages. This element contains the translation in a CDATA zone; RTF documents are MIME-64 encoded. If the translation fails, the CDATA zone is preceded by an “error” element which contains the error message. If SYSTRANLinks encounters a fatal error before the translation process itself (such as an unknown ID), the “target” element(s) is replaced by a single “error” element.

The “translation” element attributes are:

  • “source” : the two-letter code of the source language.
  • “format” : the format of the source document; it can be TXT, HTML or RTF.
  • “multi” : indicates whether the API is used in multi-target mode ( value “1” ) or not ( value ” 0″ ).

The “target” element attributes are:

  • “language” : the two-letter code of the target language
  • “status” : indicates whether the translation was successful ( value “1” ) or not ( value “0” ).
  • ” time” : the number of seconds it took to perform the translation.

Example 8. Mono-target translation from English to French of the word “Hello”


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<translation source="en" format="TXT" multi="0">
<target language="fr" status="1" time="0.015"><![CDATA[
Bonjour
]]></target>
</translation>

Example 9. Multi-target translation from English to French and Spanish of the word “Hello”


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<translation source="en" format="TXT" multi="1">
<target language="fr" status="1" time="0.015"><![CDATA[
Bonjour
]]></target>
<target language="es" status="1" time="0.011"><![CDATA[
Hola
]]></target>
</translation>

Example 10. Mono-target translation that results in an error message because the requested language pair (English to Japanese) is disabled


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<translation source="en" format="TXT" multi="0">
<target language="ja" status="1" time=""><error>Bad language pair
(en_ja).
LP list:en_fr, en_de, en_es, en_pt, en_it, en_nl, fr_en,
de_en, es_en, pt_en, it_en, nl_en</error><![CDATA[
Bonjour
]]></target>
</translation>

Example 11. Fatal error because of an unknown ID


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<error>Not registered</error>
</translation>

SYSTRANLinks’API default XML format can be tailored to your needs upon request, depending on your SYSTRANLinks solution.


2.4. Language detection

SYSTRANLinks’ Gold solutions provide language detection capabilities for plain text and HTML source documents only.

Language detection is enabled by specifying the source language code “xx” which designates an unknown language. It is also recommended to always provide the charset of the source document. If the source language cannot be detected by SYSTRANLinks it will return an error.

Example 12. Language detection error for mono-target translation


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<translation source="en" format="TXT" multi="0">
<target language="ja" status="1" time=""><error>Could not detect source language</error><![CDATA[
Bonjour
]]></target>
</translation>

Example 13. Language detection error for multi-target translation


<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8" ?>
<error>Could not detect source language</error>
</translation>


2.5. Implementation

SYSTRANLinks’ API uses open standards (HTTP and XML). Therefore interfacing with SYSTRANLinks is pretty simple. The HTTP implementation can be done by using standard libraries such as LWP for Perl implementation, or the W3C Protocol Library for C/C++.

Example 14. Perl client

For your convenience we provide a very simple command-line client written in Perl (PERL – 1 Kb).


3. User account

To be able to register one or several websites to use SYSTRANLinks website translation, you must have a SYSTRAN eServices user account. If you already used SYSTRANet or another SYSTRAN eService please use the same email address and password. Otherwise you can sign up for free at http://www.systranlinks.com and get a SYSTRANLinks Free Trial for any website.

The access to your SYSTRANLinks website parameters is protected by your SYSTRAN eServices user account. You must sign in to be able to modify your SYSTRANLinks. If you forgot your password it is possible to have your password emailed to you by using the "Password lookup" feature at http://www.systranlinks.com.


3.1. Signing up

Only registered users can use SYSTRANLinks and other SYSTRAN eServices. Your account allows you to keep personal information. If you are a new user complete the sign up form, and be sure that your email is correct. You will then receive an email with a random password. This password must be used at least for the first access to SYSTRANLinks. You will be able to modify this password anytime thereafter. For your convenience, your account will allow you to access any other SYSTRAN eServices with the same email and password.

Change the random password that was automatically generated in order to have a password you will easily remember.


3.2. Change your password

You can change your password at any time; choose a password you will easily remember. Your password must be between 4 and 8 alphanumeric characters long.


3.3. Change your personal information

You may change the personal information you provided during sign up at any time. SYSTRAN has a strict policy against junk and unsolicited emails, often referred to as spam. Because we block spam, you will be protected from any unwanted email.


3.4. Change your email

You may change the email you provided during sign up at any time. SYSTRAN has a strict policy against junk and unsolicited emails, often referred to as spam. Because we block spam, you will be protected from any unwanted email. Be sure to give us a valid email. You will then receive an email with a random password. This password must be used at least for the first access to SYSTRANLinks with your new email. You will be able to modify this password afterwards.

Change the random password that was automatically generated in order to have a password you will easily remember.


3.5. Close your account

You can close your account if you do not wish to use SYSTRANLinks and the other SYSTRAN eServices anymore. If you change your mind you can sign up again at any time.


4. Dictionary Manager

To lend ease in translation customization, SYSTRANLinks offers a complete Dictionary Manager, thereby providing a means for improving translation results through the formation of multilingual user dictionaries. User dictionaries are user-created collections of subject-specific terms that are analyzed prior to being integrated directly into the translation process.

To adapt translations to specific terminological needs, it is possible to:

  • Reserve words that should not be translated: DNT entries(Do Not Translate). DNT entries are used to circumvent the translation of company names, proper names, locations, trademarks or any titles or expressions that should not be translated.
  • Create multilingual entries to modify current translations by giving equivalencies or adding new words. You can give a technical equivalent for a general word, define the specific meaning of a word with multiple possible translations, or add words that are not part of SYSTRAN’s standard dictionaries (Not Found Word).

4.1. Creating a new dictionary

Creating a new user dictionary is the first step towards translation customization. To create a new dictionary select “New” in the “Dictionary” menu. You will then need to give a name to the dictionary. This name should be chosen to reflect its terminological content. Eventually you will be asked to choose the type of the dictionary, which will depend on how you wish to manage its content:

  • Mono-target entries: this type of dictionary is appropriate when the terminology for each language is independently managed by different persons. Dictionary content is entered as bilingual entries. For example there is a set of entries for English to French, another for English to Spanish, etc.
  • Multi-target entries: this type of dictionary is the recommended one. It is appropriate when the terminology is managed in a more organized and centralized manner. It reduces the required amount of user input as there is a set of entries per source language and not per language pair. For example there is one single set of entries for English to French, Spanish and German instead of one for English to French, another for English to Spanish and yet another for English to German.

4.2. Opening a dictionary

If several user dictionaries have been created, you need to “Open” a dictionary in order to view and update its properties and entries. Use the “Dictionary” menu and select the “Open” item. If no dictionary has been opened you will automatically reach this page when trying to use the other elements of the “Dictionary” menu.


4.3. Dictionary properties

Once a user dictionary has been opened, the “Dictionary properties” page can be opened by using the “Dictionary” menu and selecting the “Properties” item. This page sums up the properties of the user dictionary. If you own the dictionary, you will be able to modify these properties and add or modify its content. The “General information” section contains the following items:

  • Name: the name you gave to your dictionary and which describes its content.
  • Type: the type of the dictionary which can be either “mono-target” or “multi-target” (see « Creating a new dictionary »).
  • Owner: the email address of the person who created the dictionary.
  • Group: the name of the group that can view and use the dictionary. For all the dictionaries you have created this will be your own private group, the name of which is your email address.

You can change the name, type and group of the dictionary by clicking on the “Modify” icon. You can also delete the dictionary by clicking on the “Delete” icon to remove the user dictionary and all its entries from SYSTRANLinks.

The “Entries” section lists all the different types of entries that are contained in the user dictionary. For multi-target dictionaries the entries are grouped by source language; for mono-target dictionaries the entries are grouped by language pair. For each type of entry the following information is given:

  • Type: for a multi-target dictionary it is the name of the source language. For a mono-target dictionary it is the name of the language pair.
  • Status: it is “compiled” if the entries have been successfully compiled by SYSTRANLinks and are ready for integration into the translation process.
  • Total entries: the total number of entries (both multilingual and DNT entries).
  • Multilingual entries: the number of multilingual entries.
  • DNT entries: the number of DNT entries.
  • Source: by clicking on this icon you will see the entries in text form (even if you uploaded an Excel file).

For each type of entry there is also a “Modify” icon that allows you to view and modify the content. You can also remove the entries from the dictionary by clicking on the “Delete” icon.


4.4. Dictionary entries

You can access this page either by selecting “Entries” in the “Dictionary” menu or by clicking on the “Modify” icon on the « Dictionary properties ». First, select the type of entries. The Dictionary Manager will automatically reload the page and display the current content in a text box. You can either modify the entries in the text box, or choose to upload a file with the new content. The former should only be used when there are few entries. The latter is the recommended solution. If both are used only the uploaded file will be taken into account. There are three possible formats:

  • Microsoft Excel file (recommended): the entries must be on the first sheet, with the first line being the list of the two-letter language code (one column per language, first one being the source). Then there should be one entry per line. For Do Not Translate (DNT) entries, just fill in the first column. For multilingual entries the source entry should be in the first column and its various translations on the same line in the adequate column (depending on the language.
  • Plain text: enter one entry per line. Do Not Translate (DNT) entries should be given “as is”. For multilingual entries you need to specify the language by adding “<xx>”
  • before the entry which is the two-letter language code. Multilingual entries
  • Bilingual plain text: this applies only to entries of mono-target dictionaries. For each bilingual entry, enter “source=target”. DNT entries should be given “as is”, without their corresponding meaning.

Detailed information on how to code and optimize the dictionary entries is available online at here.

Example 15. Multi-target dictionary – Microsoft Excel format for English to French and Spanish entries.

“Apple” (proper noun)    
“Virgin Mega Store” (proper noun)    
“NATO” (noun) “OTAN” (noun) “OTAN” (noun)
“all rights reserved” (sentence) “tous droits réservés” (sentence) “derechos reservados” (sentence)
“web based” (adjective) “en ligne” (adjective)  
an interface   una interfaz

Example 16. Multi-target dictionary – Plain text format for English to French and Spanish entries.

For the same entries as in the preceding example, here is the corresponding plain text version. Both the Excel source and the plain text version will of course give exactly the same translation results.


"Apple" (proper noun)
"Virgin Mega Store" (proper noun)
<en> "NATO" (noun) <fr> "OTAN" (noun) <es> "OTAN" (noun)
<en> "all rights reserved" (sentence) <fr> "tous droits réservés" (sentence)
<es> "derechos reservados" (sentence)
<en> "web based" (adjective) <fr> "en ligne" (adjective)
<en> an interface <es> una interfaz

Example 17. Mono-target dictionary – Microsoft Excel format for English to French entries.

EN FR
“Apple” (proper noun)  
“Virgin Mega Store” (proper noun)  
“NATO” (noun) “OTAN” (noun)
“all rights reserved” (sentence) “tous droits réservés” (sentence)
“web based” (adjective) “en ligne” (adjective)

Example 18. Mono-target dictionary – Plain text format for English to French entries.

For the same entries as in the preceding example here is the corresponding plain text version. Both the Excel source and the plain text version will of course give exactly the same translation results


"Apple" (proper noun)
"Virgin Mega Store" (proper noun)
<en> "NATO" (noun) <fr> "OTAN" (noun)
<en> "all rights reserved" (sentence) <fr> "tous droits réservés" (sentence)
<en> "web based" (adjective) <fr> "en ligne" (adjective)

Example 19. Mono-target dictionary – Bilingual plain text format for English to French entries.

For the same entries as in the preceding example here is the corresponding bilingual plain text version. This format is completely equivalent to the other plain text format but can obviously be used only for mono-target dictionaries.


"Apple" (proper noun)
"Virgin Mega Store" (proper noun)
"NATO" (noun) = "OTAN" (noun)
"all rights reserved" (sentence) = "tous droits réservés" (sentence)
"web based" (adjective) = "en ligne" (adjective)


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