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Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 13:49:09
by tedg
I have a US system throughout. I started a document that way, then realized (realised) I wanted Australian spelling. I can switch a number of settings to English (Australian) but on a save, it switches back to US.

I am sure there is a sequence and a number of settings in different places I need to toggle.

English (Australian) is selectable in the popup in lower right but doesn't stick after a minute. It remains selected in the spelling window.

Australian spellings are not recognized (recognised).

best, Ted

Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 16:02:31
by adryan
G’day, Ted et al

I never use a spell-checker, but I mostly use English (Australia) settings everywhere to simplify life here in Australia.

I changed the setting in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the NWP window to English (U.S.). Like you, I observed a reversion to my original language setting (viz, Australian) after several minutes. This will be part of an auto-save operation, but it is not entirely clear to me how much of this process is mediated by Nisus Writer and how much by the operating system.

Having rummaged through my computer, I have come up with the following list of locations in which the language can be set:–

System Preferences > Language & Region
System Preferences > Keyboard > Text
System Preferences > Keyboard > Input Sources

Nisus Writer Pro > Preferences > New File > Format
Nisus Writer Pro > Preferences > Languages
Nisus Writer Pro > Preferences > Quick Fix

Nisus Writer Pro > Edit > Spelling > Spelling Window…
Nisus Writer Pro > Format > Language
Nisus Writer Pro > Window > Palettes > Language
Nisus Writer Pro > Change Language (icon at bottom of document window)

A number of these, particularly in the NWP sets, are interdependent, in that a change in one location results in a change in others as well. The change, however, may not be reflected immediately and may require a refresh (eg, of an NWP Preferences pane) to become apparent.

The interdependence highlights a serious problem lurking within NWP’s handling of languages. One gets the impression from the Nisus Writer Pro User Guide that the Language tab in a document’s Statusbar (the one we were referring to earlier) is for changing the language of the particular document, but in fact a change here is (eventually, after a refresh) reflected in the main NWP Preferences which should really be the default application-wide setting and not overwritten by the choice for a particular document. Opening a Nisus New File creates a document with the settings embedded in the New File template when it was created — and resets the main NWP Preferences to match them.

So it’s not quite clear to me whether there is a consistently maintained hierarchy when it comes to operating system, NWP application and NWP document.

I’m afraid I don’t have time at present to wade through all those possible locations and do the required testing. I am sure someone else here will already have a simple solution.

If you are going to do any testing, though, I’d suggest setting the NWP auto-save interval to the minimum, so you can check your results more rapidly.

If the worst comes to the worst, you can just replace all occurrences of “ly” with “lly”, of “ling” with “lling”, of “led” with “lled”, of “ze” with “se”, of “zing” with “sing” — oh, and perhaps of “me” with “mme” (but only for words of French origin). It would be easy to write a macro to automate this process.

Akshal(l)y, I’m not sure that would work, but without another cup of coffee I can’t for the life of me think why not.

Let’s not forget, though, that most Strayans these days are bilingual, so it doesn’t really matter which spelling variant you use. Alas, it’s getting harder and harder to maintain a life of pedantry….


Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 17:59:15
by tedg
Thanks. It is all quite puzzling. My situation is that all my work is US-centric until recently where I am and for some time will be running an Australian research lab. So it is quite important that the docs fit in.

I just can't figure how to have some docs be Aussia, and how to convert Yankee ones.

Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 19:10:39
by phspaelti
Adrian is sending you into all kinds of preferences, but none of that should be necessary. You should select the document text and "apply" the language (it's like a style) to the text that you want to be Australian English. Depending on your document set-up you may want to change the settings of the Normal style in that document, i.e., you can add the language attribute to the style for the document. Note that you can have any sub-part of your document set to a different language and Nisus should spell-check accordingly.

If applying the language style in that fashion really doesn't get saved for that document, then you may want to ask Nisus about that.

Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 20:08:42
by adryan
G’day, Philip et al

That’s an interesting suggestion, Philip, but it doesn’t get around the peculiar behavior I’ve alluded to.

If you select all the document text and change the language style (using the Language tab in the Statusbar), the language in the overall application Preferences is changed as well. Not only that, but positioning the cursor below the selected text shows that the rest of the document (which should be empty) retains the original language setting (and Preferences then reverts accordingly). My test document terminated with a paragragh return which was part of the original selection, but positioning the insertion point beyond it for subsequent text insertion shows that that part of the document was never changed with respect to language.

I suppose that, as Philip suggests, this latter behavior might be corrected by incorporating the language in the style sheet, but you would have to do this for every paragraph style in the style sheet, to ensure that whatever text you inserted next assumed the desired language attribute.

The fact remains that it should not be this obscure or confusing.

I would go so far as to say that, given Nisus Writer’s position as a word processor with special appeal to those who use multiple languages, unless Martin can apprise us of a simple approach to the problem (ie, something we’ve missed), sorting this out should be the Number One Priority for the next version.


Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-04 20:19:35
by adryan
G’day, Ted et al

While we’re still grappling with the technicalities…

Notwithstanding the technical problem of language selection for individual documents — a problem which does demand a clear-cut solution — are you sure you really need to be so concerned with this sort of spelling variation in your particular context?

My remark about bilingualism was not entirely in jest. Indeed, if you consult English dictionaries with more of a bias towards British/Australian language than towards American, they frequently cite both spelling variants as acceptable. You will certainly not be misunderstood if you choose one over the other, but consistency in one’s own practice is, I think, desirable. In the end, the choice becomes one of (Publishing) House Rules or personal preference.

Without knowing your precise area of research, off the top of my head I can only think of two main areas of disparity in a scientific context (as in such a context I consider the differences so far cited to be largely inconsequential). One is the Australian “aluminium” versus the American “aluminum”. The other is a whole class of Greek- or Latin-derived words commonly used mainly in medical or other biological contexts in which Australian spelling generally adopts the original Greek or Latin spelling (with “æ” or “œ”) while American usage dispenses with the ligature or corresponding digraph and contents itself simply with “e”. Examples of such words (with American spelling) are: “etiology”, “gynecology”, “estrogen”, “esophagus”, ”hemolysis”, “ameba”. Given the preponderance of American textbooks in (for example) Australian medical schools, the spelling distinction is increasingly irrelevant except, perhaps, when it comes to acronyms.

Given this evolving ambivalence, and again without knowing your specific needs, one approach might be to use whatever spelling dictionary your computer seems to prefer (not worrying about “ize” vs “ise” and such) and use a Nisus Glossary for the (presumably relatively few) technical words you wish to cast in an Australian light. If your computer flags these latter words as spelling errors, just get the spell-checker to “learn” them.


Re: Changing Language

Posted: 2018-02-05 02:32:52
by tedg
Selecting text and applying the language worked for my 'after the fact' language assignment and making a style sheet for future docs looks promising.

The requirement for using Australian spelling is purely political. I'll be an American working with collaborators, so may as well give the courtesy of using their conventions.