Tads and foreign languages

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Pascal Grossé

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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I would like to know is the TADS system can be used to write IF in other
languages than english (french in my case). Are there special libraries
to download for that ?

Darin Johnson

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Nov 23, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/23/98
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fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) writes:

> HTML TADS supports full ISO Latin,

Um, there are 8 ISO Latin encodings. I assume you mean it supports
ISO 8859-1, which covers the most popular Western European languages.

--
Darin Johnson
Luxury! In MY day, we had to make do with 5 bytes of swap...

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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"Pascal Grossé" <gro...@irma.u-strasbg.fr> wrote:

Inform can do other languages, notably German, I think, but for
French you'd need to write up all the default responses and messages
in French.


- jonadab

Neil K.

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.nospam> wrote:

> Um, there are 8 ISO Latin encodings. I assume you mean it supports
> ISO 8859-1, which covers the most popular Western European languages.

Yeah, I was a little vague. Out of the box most recent TADS ports should
be able to handle ISO Latin-1 and Latin-2. You can assemble your own
character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most if
not all the others. It doesn't handle double-byte or bidirectional scripts
at this point.

- Neil K.

--
t e l a computer consulting + design * Vancouver, BC, Canada
web: http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/ * email: tela @ tela.bc.ca

Rick van der Meiden

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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In article <36593ADC...@irma.u-strasbg.fr>, gro...@irma.u-strasbg.fr
says...

>
>I would like to know is the TADS system can be used to write IF in oth
>er
>languages than english (french in my case). Are there special librarie
>s
>to download for that ?

I myself was thinking of creating Dutch adventures, and rewriting adv.t and
the default messages. I've tried some things and it seems to work
reasonably. (but I won't start translating all before I've had some more
practice with TADS)

Using TADS for French grammer could be tricky though, because the French
often put adjectives after nouns. (I hope I got this right, French class was
a long time ago.)

Rick.


Pascal Grossé

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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So, it seems that the best solution would be to rewrite a whole new
language like
TADS. I think I should learn English instead, it would be much easier
:-)
Seriously, does anyone know something about writing IF in french ? For
TADS, is
it enough to rewrite adv.t (enough ? quite a big job already! ). I think
messing
with the c source code may be tricky.
Last question : is there any IF written in french. I searched on the
web, and
found nothing.


Pascal H. Grossé
------------------------
Université Louis Pasteur
F-67000 STRASBOURG

Remove the NOSPAM. from return e-mail adress.

Simon 'tufty' Stapleton

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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"Pascal Grossé" <gro...@irma.u-strasbg.fr> writes:

> So, it seems that the best solution would be to rewrite a whole new
> language like
> TADS. I think I should learn English instead, it would be much easier
> :-)
> Seriously, does anyone know something about writing IF in french ? For
> TADS, is
> it enough to rewrite adv.t (enough ? quite a big job already! ). I think
> messing
> with the c source code may be tricky.
> Last question : is there any IF written in french. I searched on the
> web, and
> found nothing.
>
>
> Pascal H. Grossé
> ------------------------
> Université Louis Pasteur
> F-67000 STRASBOURG
>
> Remove the NOSPAM. from return e-mail adress.

Pascal. I'm not sure, not being a TADS writer, but I believe writing
non-english IF in inform is easier. I know a few people writing in other
languages (mainly german) and they all use inform. When I was chatting
with some of them on the MUD, it seemed that TADS was basically
unfeasible, although the next version should fix this.

According to the inform page (http://www.gnelson.demon.co.uk/inform.html)
there is a translator's guide available, and there is also a french
guy who is interested in porting the library to french. I personally
would be interested in such an exercise, and would be willing to give
some help (my french is not that good, but my girlfriend's is :-) as
it would probably help my french grammar.

Anyway, the upshot of it is, have a look at Graham's inform page.
I'd be interested in any success you have.

Simon

--
_______ _______
| ----- | Biased output from the demented brain of | ----- |
||MacOS|| Simon Stapleton. ||Linux||
|| 8.5 || || PPC ||
| ----- | sstaple AT usa PerioD net | ----- |
| -+-.| (if you can't figure it out...) | -+-.|
|¬¬¬¬¬¬¬| |¬¬¬¬¬¬¬|
------- -------

Iain Merrick

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Neil K. wrote:

> Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.nospam> wrote:
>
> > Um, there are 8 ISO Latin encodings. I assume you mean it supports
> > ISO 8859-1, which covers the most popular Western European languages.
>
> Yeah, I was a little vague. Out of the box most recent TADS ports should
> be able to handle ISO Latin-1 and Latin-2. You can assemble your own
> character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most if
> not all the others. It doesn't handle double-byte or bidirectional scripts
> at this point.

Are there any TADS games around which give the interpreter's ISO Latin
support a good workout? If not - could someone possibly write one? This
would be quite handy for HyperTADS.

The most complicated usage I've seen so far is the set of _Jabberwocky_
translations in _The Golden Skull_, but that's mostly just accents: I
want to check that all the weird symbols and stuff work as well.

--
Iain Merrick

Neil K.

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Iain Merrick <i...@cs.york.ac.uk> wrote:

> Are there any TADS games around which give the interpreter's ISO Latin
> support a good workout? If not - could someone possibly write one? This
> would be quite handy for HyperTADS.

Done.

<http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/tads/authoring/chartest.t>

It omits a few things TADS supports and I'm not sure if TADS is supposed
to support the full Greek math set, but anyway. There it is.

Darin Johnson

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) writes:

> Yeah, I was a little vague. Out of the box most recent TADS ports should
> be able to handle ISO Latin-1 and Latin-2. You can assemble your own
> character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most if
> not all the others.

What's that mean? To me, character maps aren't platform specific.
The same character code in ISO-8859-3 means the same character
everywhere on every system that can handle 8859-3. At that point, I
should be able to say "here is TADS code that has ISO-8859-3" and
everyone that has a system that can handle it can play the game,
without *any* further TADS support (same for Inform). Everything else
to get this to work must be done by the user (starting up the right
xterm, telling the system to use 8859-3, or perhaps specifying code
pages). Same for Inform.

Well, this may not be true - perhaps there are TADS systems that
attempt to do their own display (excepting the obvious html-tads)??
I've only used the UNIX ones.

I would think that even Asian languages shouldn't necessarily need
TADS support (if you can get the strings into UTF-8 or EUC, then
few string parsing routines will break, so all you need is an
external text viewer that understands the multi byte encoding).

Of course, parsing the commands themselves is painful to impossible,
especially if you have a language that doesn't have imperative
commands like "verb d.o. i.o.".

--
Darin Johnson
"Look here. There's a crop circle in my ficus!" -- The Tick

Neil K.

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.nospam> wrote:

> What's that mean? To me, character maps aren't platform specific.

Sure they are. In the sense I mean. Here's what I mean. I'm talking about
mapping tables.

Let's say that under OS A, omega maps to ASCII 146*. But under OS B,
omega maps to ASCII 155. Now using ISO Latin-1 you'd simply specify the
character as &omega; and there's no ambiguity there. But each platform
then has to map &omega; to whatever internal platform-specific value it
uses. That's what I'm referring to.

The TADS game itself uses ISO standard encoding for all the various
glyphs and so is fully portable, but each interpreter still has to know
how to display those glyphs under the OS it's using. Mike designed TADS in
such a way that the mapping of glyphs to OS-specific codes is actually
outside the interpreter, (it reads in tables) and the necessary tables can
even by assembled by a knowledgeable user if he or she wants.

- Neil K.

* yes I know that technically ASCII is 7-bit only, but you know what I mean.

Mike Roberts

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Darin Johnson wrote in message ...

>fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) writes:
>> Yeah, I was a little vague. Out of the box most recent TADS ports should
>> be able to handle ISO Latin-1 and Latin-2. You can assemble your own
>> character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most
if
>> not all the others.
>What's that mean? To me, character maps aren't platform specific.
>The same character code in ISO-8859-3 means the same character
>everywhere on every system that can handle 8859-3.

The distinction here is between character *sets* and character *maps*. TADS
lets you play a game that uses a character set that isn't native to your
machine by using a character map, which provides the translation between an
ISO-8859-n character set (which is standardized) and the code page your
computer or terminal uses (which often is proprietary). If your computer or
terminal happens to be using ISO-8859-n as well, no mapping is needed,
obviously, but in many cases the local character set is proprietary and
won't match any of the ISO-8859-n codings.

TADS has a built-in mechanism (in the newer interpreters) that automatically
chooses the appropriate mapping for the combination of your local display
and the game's ISO-8859-n character encoding; this provides a reasonable
degree of portability for game that use 8-bit character sets. It's these
mapping files that are platform-specific - they're obviously tied to the
specific local encodings, which vary by platform. (This is all documented
at length in the TADS executables distribution if you want full details.)

>I should be able to say "here is TADS code that has ISO-8859-3" and
>everyone that has a system that can handle it can play the game,
>without *any* further TADS support (same for Inform).

The nice thing about the mapping system is that it lets you play an
ISO-8859-3 game even if your system doesn't use the ISO-8859-3 character
set. As long as you have a code page that has most or all of the characters
from ISO-8859-3, even if assigned to completely different code points, you
can still play the game using an appropriate mapping, and neither you nor
the game will know the difference.

--Mike Roberts
Note: to reply by email, please remove the "-SEENOTE" suffix (including the
hyphen) from my username, and replace it with a single underscore.


Darin Johnson

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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"Mike Roberts" <mjr-S...@hotmail.com> writes:

> If your computer or
> terminal happens to be using ISO-8859-n as well, no mapping is needed,
> obviously, but in many cases the local character set is proprietary and
> won't match any of the ISO-8859-n codings.

OK, this makes more sense. I was thinking in terms of OS's that
didn't need this help (even DOS comes with the right code pages
I think).

--
Darin Johnson
Support your right to own gnus.

Darin Johnson

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Nov 24, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/24/98
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Hmm, here's another snag with foreign languages and TADS (or Inform).

What if a verb uses accented characters, yet the player types in the
command without the accent, does the verb match? Or will the author
need to provide all the appropriate synonyms.

Is this even a case to worry about, as native speakers of the language
will be used to entering the accented characters at high speed? I
wonder about this, because I was trying to use an online French
dictionary yesterday (to do a crossword :-), and I wasn't sure if the
word needed an accent or not, so I found myself repeatedly typing in
variants hoping something would match.

David Glasser

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.nospam> wrote:

> fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) writes:
>
> > Yeah, I was a little vague. Out of the box most recent TADS ports should
> > be able to handle ISO Latin-1 and Latin-2. You can assemble your own
> > character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most if
> > not all the others.
>
> What's that mean? To me, character maps aren't platform specific.
> The same character code in ISO-8859-3 means the same character

> everywhere on every system that can handle 8859-3. At that point, I


> should be able to say "here is TADS code that has ISO-8859-3" and
> everyone that has a system that can handle it can play the game,

> without *any* further TADS support (same for Inform). Everything else
> to get this to work must be done by the user (starting up the right
> xterm, telling the system to use 8859-3, or perhaps specifying code
> pages). Same for Inform.

Well, it means the same pretty picture, but the OS might think that said
picture is somewhere else in its personal charset.

--
David Glasser gla...@NOSPAMuscom.com http://onramp.uscom.com/~glasser
DGlasser @ ifMUD : fovea.retina.net 4000 (webpage fovea.retina.net:4001)
Sadie Hawkins, official band of David Glasser: http://sadie.retina.net
"We take our icons very seriously in this class."

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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Darin Johnson <da...@usa.net.nospam> wrote:

> fake...@anti-spam.address (Neil K.) writes:

> > You can assemble your own
> > character maps (which are necessarily platform specific) to handle most if
> > not all the others.
>
> What's that mean? To me, character maps aren't platform specific.
> The same character code in ISO-8859-3 means the same character
> everywhere on every system that can handle 8859-3.

I took platform-specific character maps to mean graphical maps of the
appearance of characters. Any reasonably modern platform provides
*some* means of displaying characters that aren't inherently
supported. In Windows you'd have a separate font with the special
characters and display individual characters in that. If worst comes
to worst, on any system that supports graphics you could bitmap it.
Which is, of course, platform-specific.

- jonadab

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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"Pascal Grossé" <gro...@irma.u-strasbg.fr> wrote:

> > Using TADS for French grammer could be tricky though, because the French
> > often put adjectives after nouns.

> So, it seems that the best solution would be to rewrite a whole new
> language like TADS.

Inform's grammar is very flexible. Putting adjectives before nouns
wouldn't be any kind of problem at all. Even parsing
constructes like verb adjective noun adjective adverb helper-verb
wouldn't be hard. In fact, the grammar would be the easy thing.
The hard part would be translating all the default responses
(or writing them from scratch) in the new language. But that's
unavoidable in any language, unless you find one that already
has a French library.


- jonadab

Neil K.

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Nov 25, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/25/98
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mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:

> 1. Many functions, e.g. say(), would need to be redirected, e.g. dire().

Well. I don't know if it's necessary to translate all the actual *code*
that makes up adv.t. I thought the point was to translate only the
user-visible text. It's like programming in C in French - the programmer
is still using the same English-derived mnemonic symbols that an
English-language programmer would. Besides, a lot of function names are
hardcoded into the TADS runtime. It's *possible* to change them, but it'd
be messy and introduce incompatibility issues.

> 2. One cannot even redirect the vocabulary properties.

I don't know what you mean by this. If you're rewriting adv.t, just
change all the vocabulary into French words.

> 3. In French, the imperative is often tied to object pronouns with a
> hyphen. This is not a serious problem.

This could be hacked around.

> 4. In French, certain words are used as both pronouns and articles.
> This is a serious problem.

Mmmm. Yeah, there could be big disambiguation problems with this.

> 5. In French, one would have to account for both the plural and
> singular forms of the second person.

True. But it's just more work, and thus a nuisance, but not insurmountable.

> 6. Some TADS error messages, such as those output by TR and TC --
> runtime errors, not parser errors -- cannot be easily changed.

This is more an issue of translating the user interface for the TADS
runtime, which is a separate issue from translating the adv.t and std.t
files. It's like translating Frotz or MaxZip compared to translating the
Inform libraries. And since the TADS source is available it wouldn't be
that difficult to translate the terp if someone wanted to do it.

Really, I think the biggest issue is that adjective ordering in French is
different from English, (eg: "l'horloge verte" in French is "the green
clock" in English) and TADS wants English ordering. There's also the
matter of noun gender in player input, but the simplest thing here I think
would be to accept grammatically incorrect input from the player. I mean,
if someone refers to "une lapin" instead of "un lapin", who cares? It's a
game, not an enforcement agent for l'académie. :)

- Neil K.

TenthStone

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
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Rick van der Meiden thus inscribed this day of 24 Nov 1998 11:46:29 GMT:

>Using TADS for French grammer could be tricky though, because the French
>often put adjectives after nouns. (I hope I got this right, French class was
>a long time ago.)

That is correct.
I've tried this same rouet (translating adv.t into French) and there are
several problems:

1. Many functions, e.g. say(), would need to be redirected, e.g. dire().

2. One cannot even redirect the vocabulary properties.

3. In French, the imperative is often tied to object pronouns with a
hyphen. This is not a serious problem.

4. In French, certain words are used as both pronouns and articles.
This is a serious problem.

5. In French, one would have to account for both the plural and
singular forms of the second person.

6. Some TADS error messages, such as those output by TR and TC --
runtime errors, not parser errors -- cannot be easily changed.

Hope this helps.

-----------

The imperturbable TenthStone
tenth...@hotmail.com mcc...@erols.com mcc...@gsgis.k12.va.us

Roger Carbol

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
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Neil K. wrote:

> There's also the
> matter of noun gender in player input, but the simplest thing here I think
> would be to accept grammatically incorrect input from the player. I mean,
> if someone refers to "une lapin" instead of "un lapin", who cares? It's a
> game, not an enforcement agent for l'académie. :)


It adds another layer to disambiguation, though. "Take it" in
French, where "it" is feminine, should disambiguate to something
different than "take it" where "it" is masculine. It's essentially
as though it all becomes "take her", "take him", and "take them".

.. Roger Carbol .. r...@shaw.wave.ca .. take me away

Graham Nelson

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Nov 26, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/26/98
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In article <365D39...@shaw.wave.ca>, Roger Carbol

<URL:mailto:r...@shaw.wave.ca> wrote:
> It adds another layer to disambiguation, though. "Take it" in
> French, where "it" is feminine, should disambiguate to something
> different than "take it" where "it" is masculine. It's essentially
> as though it all becomes "take her", "take him", and "take them".

French needs a little more parsing, too. For instance one must
distinguish between "lui" the dative pronoun ("donne-le-lui",
give it to him) and "lui" the disjunctive pronoun ("mange avec
lui", eat with him); and then of course "le" can be both pronoun
and article; and "l'" might mean "le" or "la" and this can
sometimes only be deduced from context. And so on... Anyone
interested in doing all this in TADS might want to sneak a look
at the Inform translator's manual, which is mostly very dull, but
French is a running example so at least some of the issues are
raised.

I remember I had a nice little one-room example game to test all
this at one stage, an aviary, full of unlikely objects (mostly
birds) with awkward French names. And an oyster, in order to
see if "h" was properly recognised as a vowel...

--
Graham Nelson | gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk | Oxford, United Kingdom


Magnus Olsson

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
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In article <ant261900b49M+4%@gnelson.demon.co.uk>,

Graham Nelson <gra...@gnelson.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>French needs a little more parsing, too. For instance one must
>distinguish between "lui" the dative pronoun ("donne-le-lui",
>give it to him) and "lui" the disjunctive pronoun ("mange avec
>lui", eat with him);

This problem is common for many inflected language, where prepositions
determine the case of the following noun or pronoun, so you can't use
the case of a word to deduce its part of speech. And the same
preposition can use different cases depending on context (such as
German "in" + dative meaning "in" and "in" + accusative meaning
"into"). And some verbs change the case of their objects as well,
so the direct object of German "begegnen" (encounter) is in the
dative case, rather than the accusative.

>I remember I had a nice little one-room example game to test all
>this at one stage, an aviary, full of unlikely objects (mostly
>birds) with awkward French names. And an oyster, in order to
>see if "h" was properly recognised as a vowel...

But I think that in some French words, an initial h doesn't count
as a vowel, even though it's silent?

--
Magnus Olsson (m...@df.lth.se, zeb...@pobox.com)
------ http://www.pobox.com/~zebulon ------

Graham Nelson

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Nov 27, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/27/98
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In article <73mht1$s9o$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>, Magnus Olsson

<URL:mailto:m...@bartlet.df.lth.se> wrote:
> >I remember I had a nice little one-room example game to test all
> >this at one stage, an aviary, full of unlikely objects (mostly
> >birds) with awkward French names. And an oyster, in order to
> >see if "h" was properly recognised as a vowel...
>
> But I think that in some French words, an initial h doesn't count
> as a vowel, even though it's silent?

Oh yes, I remember this now. This was particularly amusing to
make provision for (not).

TenthStone

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
Neil K. thus inscribed this day of Wed, 25 Nov 1998 18:28:04 -0800:

> mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:
>
>> 1. Many functions, e.g. say(), would need to be redirected, e.g. dire().
>

> Well. I don't know if it's necessary to translate all the actual *code*
>that makes up adv.t. I thought the point was to translate only the
>user-visible text. It's like programming in C in French - the programmer
>is still using the same English-derived mnemonic symbols that an
>English-language programmer would.

Well, I was trying to make it easier. You're right, however, it's not
particularly necessary.

>> 2. One cannot even redirect the vocabulary properties.
>

> I don't know what you mean by this. If you're rewriting adv.t, just
>change all the vocabulary into French words.

I mean, in the sense of 1. Note the word "redirect". You can't make
TADS accept .nom as a valid subistitute for noun, no matter what you do.

>> 5. In French, one would have to account for both the plural and
>> singular forms of the second person.
>

> True. But it's just more work, and thus a nuisance, but not insurmountable.

True. But then again, I've forgotten substitution strings (formatString).
The way I see it, an ideal French-centered IF development system would
allow the libraries to implmenet a complex system of conjugation, so that
you could just input a set of 'roots' and such and receive as output the
full conjugation (obviously, some verbs would be harder than others).

For example:
tenir: venirVerbe
infinitif = 'tenir'
;

where a venirVerbe might be defined as:
class venirVerbe: verbe
radical = (substr( infinitif, 1, find( infinitif, 'enir' )))
imperatif = [ (self.radical + 'iens') (self.radical + 'enez') ]
;

et cetera. Naturally, at initialisation these routines would made
constant (verbeobjet.imperatif := verbeobjet.imperatif).

The problem is that vocabulary properties cannot be methods in TADS. Now,
you could hack around this with addword, but preinit would become
interminably slow.

> Really, I think the biggest issue is that adjective ordering in French is
>different from English, (eg: "l'horloge verte" in French is "the green

>clock" in English) and TADS wants English ordering. There's also the


>matter of noun gender in player input, but the simplest thing here I think
>would be to accept grammatically incorrect input from the player. I mean,
>if someone refers to "une lapin" instead of "un lapin", who cares? It's a
>game, not an enforcement agent for l'académie. :)

That would be fine in that example, but as it has been noted
disambiguation would need to consider gender. In fact, pronouns in
general would need to be better handled -- 'y' and 'en' would be
"interesting" to implement.

Neil K.

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
to
mcc...@erols.com (TenthStone) wrote:

> > Well. I don't know if it's necessary to translate all the actual *code*
> >that makes up adv.t. I thought the point was to translate only the
> >user-visible text. It's like programming in C in French - the programmer
> >is still using the same English-derived mnemonic symbols that an
> >English-language programmer would.
>
> Well, I was trying to make it easier. You're right, however, it's not
> particularly necessary.

Hm. I wonder if it really would make it easier. It might make it easier
for someone who doesn't know English and thus to whom all the TADS
mnemonic symbols are kind of meaningless. But it would also mean that
they'd have greater difficulty finding help, as all us TADS users out here
only know the English-derived form.

I'm not that familiar with programming languages used in France. Are
there, in fact, any common programming languages which are French-derived?
All the programming stuff I've ever seen has used the same languages -
BASIC, Pascal, C - that's used in English-speaking countries. Same
elsewhere. Or are there Swedish, German, French, Italian... versions of
these languages? I do get the impression that English seems better suited
to the sort of non-grammatical, telegraph-like forms of English used in
computer languages.

I know that Apple included language hooks in the HyperTalk scripting
language that was built into HyperCard. (or at least, they were described
in documentation - whether they actually shipped them, I don't know)
Basically HyperTalk used the English-derived scripting language as its
basic form, but you could add scripting modules so that you could use a
French dialect of HyperTalk with French-language symbols, and HyperCard
would translate it for you automatically. So a HyperCard stack written in
French would function normally on an Italian system, for instance. (though
of course any text output by the system for the user's benefit would only
be in French unless the author made provisions for that) A nice touch, and
very considerate. The general attitude in computer programming in North
America seems to be - huh? People speak *other languages*? Geez - why
don't they just learn English like everyone else?

> I mean, in the sense of 1. Note the word "redirect". You can't make
> TADS accept .nom as a valid subistitute for noun, no matter what you do.

Ah, okay. Yes, certain symbols are hardcoded in the parser.

> The way I see it, an ideal French-centered IF development system would
> allow the libraries to implmenet a complex system of conjugation, so that
> you could just input a set of 'roots' and such and receive as output the
> full conjugation (obviously, some verbs would be harder than others).

Hm. This is an intriguing idea. Whether it'd be worth the effort, given
all the irregular verbs out there, I don't know. Maybe Spanish would work
better with this. But it's certainly interesting.

Jonadab the Unsightly One

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
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m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:

This problem is common for many inflected language, where
prepositions determine the case of the following noun or
pronoun, so you can't use the case of a word to deduce its part
of speech. And the same preposition can use different cases
depending on context (such as German "in" + dative meaning "in"
and "in" + accusative meaning "into"). And some verbs change
the case of their objects as well, so the direct object of
German "begegnen" (encounter) is in the dative case, rather
than the accusative.

Wow.

German sounds a *lot* like Greek.

- jonadab

Erik Max Francis

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Nov 28, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/28/98
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Magnus Olsson wrote:

> This problem is common for many inflected language, where prepositions
> determine the case of the following noun or pronoun, so you can't use
> the case of a word to deduce its part of speech. And the same
> preposition can use different cases depending on context (such as
> German "in" + dative meaning "in" and "in" + accusative meaning
> "into").

Esperanto does the same thing.

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@finger.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\
/ To know oneself, one should assert oneself.
/ Albert Camus

Magnus Olsson

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Nov 29, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/29/98
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In article <36605c6a...@news.bright.net>,
Jonadab the Unsightly One <jon...@zerospam.com> wrote:

>m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:
> This problem is common for many inflected language, where
> prepositions determine the case of the following noun or
> pronoun, so you can't use the case of a word to deduce its part
> of speech. And the same preposition can use different cases
> depending on context (such as German "in" + dative meaning "in"
> and "in" + accusative meaning "into"). And some verbs change
> the case of their objects as well, so the direct object of
> German "begegnen" (encounter) is in the dative case, rather
> than the accusative.
>
>Wow.
>
>German sounds a *lot* like Greek.

Funny you should say this: I took a semester of Greek at university
(as a contrast to all the maths-related subjects), and one of the
first things the lecturer said was that "Learning Greek is a lot like
learning German again".

The old Germanic languages (like the Gothic of the Codex Argenteus (a
bible translation from the 4th century, now kept at Uppsala) are even
more similar to Latin and Greek - the common Indo-European heritage is
very obvious. Modern German has lost a lot of the inflections and
replaced them with prepositions, but it retains a lot more than
English does.

pricer...@my-dejanews.com

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Nov 30, 1998, 3:00:00 AM11/30/98
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In article <36607C6F...@alcyone.com>,
Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:

> Magnus Olsson wrote:
>
> > This problem is common for many inflected language, where prepositions
> > determine the case of the following noun or pronoun, so you can't use
> > the case of a word to deduce its part of speech. And the same
> > preposition can use different cases depending on context (such as
> > German "in" + dative meaning "in" and "in" + accusative meaning
> > "into").
>
> Esperanto does the same thing.

Uhhhhhhh... sort of. It's true that, for example, "Kuru en via chambro" is
the equivalent of "Run in your room!", while "Kuru en vian chambron" would be
"Run into your room!", but there's no problem determining what "part of
speech" of "vian" and "chambron" are, since a different part of the word
indicates that. A truly inflected language is (generally) not agglutinative
in the way that Esperanto is. but perhaps Magnus is using the term "part of
speech" differently from the way I'm used to...

-----------== Posted via Deja News, The Discussion Network ==----------
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Magnus Olsson

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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In article <73v9sl$3rj$1...@nnrp1.dejanews.com>,

<pricer...@my-dejanews.com> wrote:
>In article <36607C6F...@alcyone.com>,
> Erik Max Francis <m...@alcyone.com> wrote:
>> Magnus Olsson wrote:
>>
>> > This problem is common for many inflected language, where prepositions
>> > determine the case of the following noun or pronoun, so you can't use
>> > the case of a word to deduce its part of speech. And the same
>> > preposition can use different cases depending on context (such as
>> > German "in" + dative meaning "in" and "in" + accusative meaning
>> > "into").
>>
>> Esperanto does the same thing.
>
>Uhhhhhhh... sort of. It's true that, for example, "Kuru en via chambro" is
>the equivalent of "Run in your room!", while "Kuru en vian chambron" would be
>"Run into your room!", but there's no problem determining what "part of
>speech" of "vian" and "chambron" are, since a different part of the word
>indicates that. A truly inflected language is (generally) not agglutinative
>in the way that Esperanto is. but perhaps Magnus is using the term "part of
>speech" differently from the way I'm used to...

Well, what I meant was that you can't just look at the cases of the
words and say things like "this word is in the dative case, hence it
must be the indirect object".

It's true that Esperanto is agglutinative in a way that, say, German
isn't, but I'm not sure if that applies to this case. What does the
suffix -n on "chambron" mean - it looks as if it's the accusative
ending?

Erik Max Francis

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
to
Magnus Olsson wrote:

> Well, what I meant was that you can't just look at the cases of the
> words and say things like "this word is in the dative case, hence it
> must be the indirect object".

Indeed. In Esperanto there are very few cases where the accusative
ending (-n) doesn't indicate the direct object, but in a few cases there
are (indicating direction is one, which is why I brought it up).

--
Erik Max Francis / email m...@alcyone.com / whois mf303 / icq 16063900
Alcyone Systems / irc maxxon (efnet) / finger m...@finger.alcyone.com
San Jose, CA / languages En, Eo / web http://www.alcyone.com/max/
USA / icbm 37 20 07 N 121 53 38 W / &tSftDotIotE
\

/ Strange is our situation here upon earth.
/ Albert Einstein

pricer...@my-dejanews.com

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Dec 1, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/1/98
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In article <740dbm$k62$1...@bartlet.df.lth.se>,
m...@bartlet.df.lth.se (Magnus Olsson) wrote:
(snip)

> It's true that Esperanto is agglutinative in a way that, say, German
> isn't, but I'm not sure if that applies to this case. What does the
> suffix -n on "chambron" mean - it looks as if it's the accusative
> ending?

Yes, it's usually called "akuzativo", but what it means depends on the
context. Primarily the -n indicates that the word or words to which it's
attached are the direct object of a verb (sometimes the verb is "understood",
e.g. "Dankon!" means "Thank you!"; in this case some verb phrase like "Mi
shuldas al vi dankon" (I owe you thanks) is (theoretically!) being
truncated). However, the accusative can also be an accusative of time (Mi
alvenos lundon=I'll arrive _on Monday_) or and accusative of "motion toward",
as in the examples I gave previously, or "Mi rajdas chevalon sur la
plagho"=I'm riding a horse on the beach vs. "Mi rajdas chevalon sur la
plaghon"=I'm riding a horse _onto_ the beach... or "La horo jam venas por
reiri hejmen"=It's time to go home vs. "Plachas al li resti hejme"=He likes
to stay at home.

Don Harlow has actually translated Gaston Waringhien's essay on the
accusative into English and put it on the web somewhere, but I can't find it
just at this moment. It's definitely the clearest presentation I've seen.

Neil K.

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Dec 2, 1998, 3:00:00 AM12/2/98
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I've updated the HTML TADS character test program slightly.

<http://www.tela.bc.ca/tela/tads/authoring/chartest.t>

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