Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Language/2008 June 25

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June 25[edit]

French translation[edit]

Hiya ... i work for a children's book publishing company and we have a product that is to be pitched in France . What i'm after is the verification of a translation of a coupla terms :

Solution | La solution
Show Outline | Montrez le contour
Hide outline | Cachez le contour
Play again | ????

Are these correct including no accents etc? Thanks for any help  :1 Boomshanka (talk) 01:45, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

The first three look OK to me, although if they are menu items I would be tempted to leave out the 'la' and 'le'. For the fourth one I would go with "Jouez encore". --Richardrj talk email 05:26, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
For children I would say Solution or La solution, Montre le contour, Cache le contour, Rejoue. (For children tu is used instead of you. See T-V distinction). AldoSyrt (talk) 06:36, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Great, thanks for all your help :1 Boomshanka (talk) 00:28, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
I'd use the infinitive (montrer, cacher, jouer) for the menu commands. If the context is what I guess it is, they are not imperatives to the reader (of any age), but invitations to the user to click if they want the computer to do something. (Clique(z) ici pour montrer...) —Tamfang (talk) 04:50, 27 June 2008 (UTC)
Exactly. The proper translation would be "solution", "montrer le contour", "cacher le contour" and "rejouer". Turiacus (talk) 22:48, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

What does "great primer" mean?[edit]

What does "great primer" mean?

What does "double pica" mean? (talk) 04:19, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

Can you quote the contexts in which you have seen these phrases, please? --Richardrj talk email 05:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
They're old-fashioned typographical terms. Nowadays the size of type s described using a measurement in points or millimeters; for example, the ordinary text of a book or newspaper is usually about 10 points. But at one time different sizes had names. Here [1] is a list of many of those named sizes: as you see, "great primer" is 18-point type and "double pica" is 24 points. --Anonymous, 05:39 UTC, June 25, 2008.


The old spellers were highly reliable and accurate when guessing a misspelled word. I would call them professional. Then apparently some teachers began complaining that students were unable to spell without relying on a computer so at their request speller engines were handicapped to correct spelling errors only to a limited extent. This is great for teachers who want their students to be forced to learn how to spell but worthless and time consuming for adults engaged in high speed writing or who are using a speech to text converter who need the computer to correct spelling errors so they can concentrate on content and on context, etc. How can I replace the student handicapped school teacher speller with a professional speller in Firefox especially? -- adaptron (talk) 06:01, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

I find it hard to believe that general-purpose software was made worse to please school teachers. Reference? --Sean 14:22, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Yeah, I don't know where you heard this but it certainly is not true. -Elmer Clark (talk) 21:20, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
I would be very surprised, but interested, if that were true. Fribbler (talk) 22:45, 25 June 2008 (UTC)[edit]

What does "Edge Combiner" mean? (talk) 00:52, 26 June 2008 (UTC)

From web search results, the term seems to refer to a type of digital electronic circuit with multiple inputs and a single output. An edge (i.e. high-low or low-high voltage transition) in any of the inputs will cause the output of the circuit to toggle (i.e. to transition from high to low, or the other way around, depending on the current state of the output). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:31, 26 June 2008 (UTC)[edit]

What does "not transformational" mean (

What does "left" mean ( (talk) 04:55, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

The first one is kind of defined by the foregoing text, i.e. "generated by a system component that ostensibly has no inputs", although that isn't much of a definition either. The second one just means "left on its own", i.e. the music is generated without the need for any human input. Come to think of it, that's probably what the first one is trying to say as well. --Richardrj talk email 05:21, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
What is the etymology? (talk) 08:07, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, which word are you asking about the etymology of? --Richardrj talk email 08:10, 25 June 2008 (UTC)
"Transormational". (talk) 00:59, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
"Transformational" in the context seems to refer to processes or mechanisms akin to "transducers" in automata theory—something that takes an external input (sequence) and produces an output (sequence). Something "not transformational", based on that interpretation, works like "generators" in automata theory—the output (sequence) is affected only by the mechanism's internal state and possibly some internal source of randomness. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 25 June 2008 (UTC)

That page, Generative music, is not well written. It looks like you would have to read the cited source (Wooller, R,, 2005) to learn exactly what is meant by the various terms like "transformational", "inputs", etc. I think what it is trying to say is that in an "interactive" generative system there are some things that only a person can cause to happen. These things have no "inputs" within the system, meaning the system itself cannot cause them to happen. I'd also guess that these "things" are ways of transforming the algorithmic structure that is generating the music. Some generative systems are "self-transformational", meaning they can trigger changes to their own algorithmic structure. A "non transformational" system, I would guess, can't do this, but is instead interactive, with a person triggering the transformations. I don't have a good understanding of generative music and don't really understand the terms. But I think generative music systems sometimes use "transformational music grammars". Musical grammar is a complex topic with a lot of technical jargon, and I barely understand it. You could probably learn more about the meaning of terms like "transformational" by reading pages like Transformational grammar (music grammars are based on linguistic theories), Transformational theory, Rewrite rule, Chomsky hierarchy, and perhaps some of the external links on Koan (program). Pfly (talk) 16:24, 25 June 2008 (UTC)