This page updated 5 May 2006
Version note: Applies to TMG 7 & 8
This article discusses using Languages other than the standard English (U.S.) in reports. The Language used in reports is generally independent of the Language used for the user interface – what you see in TMG's screens. Interface Languages are covered in my article on Selecting and Editing Languages.
Other articles, found on the main Languages page, or linked in appropriate places below, provide more detail on other related features.
|Topics Included in this Article|
|Languages and Reports||Understanding how Languages work in reports|
|"Built-in" Terms and Phrases||Controlling the report phrases created by the program|
|Sentence Structures||Managing Sentence Structures in Languages|
|Copying Global Sentences||Copying Global Sentences between Data Sets or Languages|
|Copying Local Sentences||Copying Local Sentences between Languages|
|Managing Conversions||Managing the change from one Language to another|
|Other Fields||Managing Tag Labels, Past Tense, and Abbreviation fields|
Using Languages other than the default English (U.S.) in reports requires that the desired Language be specified in each report configuration you use. That on the General tab of report Options. By default, the Language specified in a new report definition is the same Language specified for the interface. Once a report definition is saved the specified Language does not change if the interface Language is changed.
Success in producing reports in a given Language also requires that you properly manage your data entry, as we will address in the following sections.
If you are considering using a Language other than the default English (U.S.) in your reports, it is important to understand where the parts of a report come from and how they can be controlled. The actual phrases used by TMG's report writer in constructing the text of any reports you generate come from three sources, and each may need to be managed to successfully apply your chosen Language:
1. The Phrases Built Into the Report Writer
Examples: In a Family Group Sheet, the report title - "Family Group Sheet" - is created by the report writer. In a Journal Report, in the sentence "The children of Frank Smith and Mary Jones were:" everything but the names comes from phrases built into the report writer.
Also in this category are the modifiers and other terms TMG applies to the data as reports are produced, such as "circa" or "before" for dates, the names of months or days, and prepositions such as "in" or "at" for places.
Changing the report Language, or editing the phrases in the selected Language, cause these phrases to change accordingly.
2. Tag Labels and Sentence Structures
Examples: In a Family Group Sheet, event labels like "Birth" and "Death" come from the Tag Type definition of those Tag Types. In narrative reports the sentence "He was born on 11 Jul 1851 in Cincinnati" everything but the date and place comes from the Sentence Structure in the Birth Tag.
The Labels and Sentence Structures for the Tag Type or the local tag Sentence for the Language used by the report control how these elements will appear in reports. To change them you edit these fields on the Tag Type Definition screen, or the local Sentence Structure on the Tag Entry screen for the Language used in the report.
3. The Data Entered in the Various Fields of the Tags
All the data you enter in the Name, Place, and Memo fields appears in reports exactly as you enter it, regardless of the Language used for the report.
For example, in a narrative report the sentence "He was a farmer in 1870 in Kern Co., California" the phase "a farmer," the year, and place all come from data fields in the Occupation Tag, and are printed just as they were entered.
Exception: in the Date field, if you enter a "regular" date, and if you specify a date format that includes the month in text rather than as a number, the name of the month will appear in the specified Language. Similarly, if days of the week are output for regular dates, they appear in the specified Language.
We will discuss each of these aspects in more detail in the following sections.
You change the phrases built into the report writer by specifying the desired Language on the Report Definition of the report you are going to create. This is done on the General tab of the report Options, where you choose the "Output Language." If you want to use something other than one of the supplied translations, you will also need to make modifications to the Language tables. See the Modifying the Language Tables in my article Selecting and Editing Languages for details on how to do that.
This method controls the following kinds of terms and phrases:
|Caution:||Changing the report Language also changes the way Sentence Structures are used. If you have customized any Sentence Structures you must manage the issues described in the section on Managing the Conversion to a New Language below.|
TMG uses Sentence Structures to assemble the data entered in the various fields into the text of Narrative style reports. Sentence Structures are provided at two levels. "Global" sentence structures exist for each Tag Type (like Birth, Note, and Marriage). When you create an individual Tag of one of those types, the global Sentence Structure applies by default, but you can modify it for that specific tag if you like, creating a "Local" Sentence. See my article on Modifying Tag Sentence Structures for details.
Sentence Structures can be different for each Language you use. That way, when you change the Language setting for a report, the appropriate Sentence Structure will be applied.
For example, the default Sentence Structure for the Birth Tag is:
[P] was born <[D]> <[L]>
An appropriate sentence structure for another Language would change "was born" to a phrase appropriate to that Language. It might also rearrange the order of the variables or make other changes if needed for that Language.
As this is written, TMG ships with Sentence Structures in the following Languages:
The Sentences in Languages other than English (U.S.) were added relatively recently, and only appear in new Projects created since these Sentences were added.
If you are using a Language that currently has supplied Sentences but your Project was created before Sentences were available in that Language, you can add them. To do so, create a new Project (it doesn't even have to contain any people) and copy the Sentences from it using the procedure described below.
Important: The priority for determining which Sentence is used is as follows:
This sequence has some very important implications:
The screens for defining Sentence Structures for both Tag Types and individual Tags have a "Language" field, with a drop-down list to select the desired Language. By default, the Language currently specified for the user interface (using the File > Languages menu) will be selected in that list. But you can select any other Language, and the Sentence Structure for that Language can then be edited. Obviously, it's simpler to edit the Sentence Structures for a Language if you change the interface to that Language, since you don't have to select the desired Language for each Sentence Structure you edit.
When you customize the Sentence Structures of individual Tags it is possible to edit the structures for two or more Languages one after the other during data entry. But a considerable amount of discipline is required to do it consistently, without missing one Language or the other in some of the Tags.
You may want to copy all the "Global" (Tag Type) Sentences from one Data Set to another or from one Language to another. You might do this if you:
There are two tools for copying Global Sentences, with different capabilities. This table may help in selecting the best one for your purpose:
|Translate Function in TMG||John Cardinal's TMG Utility|
|Note:||Both overwrite the existing information in the "to" Language. If you have already customized some of that information in the "to" Language, consider carefully whether you want to loose those customizations.|
The two sections that follow describe how to use each of these tools to copy Sentences.
Using the Translate function is simpler if it meets your needs, because it doesn't require use of a separate program. To use it:
John Cardinal's TMG Utility can be found on his website. The Utility is "Donorware" – if you find the utility useful, John asks that you donate to his favorite charity.
You copy Global Sentences with the Utility by first exporting them, then importing them into a different Data Set and/or Language. It is done as follows:
The previous sections discussed "Global" Sentences the so-called default Sentences for each Tag Type. This section deals with "Local" Sentences the Sentences you may choose to modify in individual Tags. This is only an issue for you if you have created Local Sentences in some of your Tags.
You may want to copy all the "Local" Sentences from one Language to another, in the same Data Set or between Projects or Data Sets. You might do this if you:
You could manually copy the Sentences using Windows copy and paste functions. To do that, select one Language from the drop-down list at the top of the Sentence Structures screen, copy the Sentence, select the other Language, and paste. This is simple if you are working with a few Tags, but quickly gets tiresome if you have many Tags to work with. You may prefer an automated tool.
You can copy all Local Sentences with John Cardinal's TMG Utility (the Utility is Donorware - if you find the utility useful, John asks that you donate to his favorite charity). You copy Local Sentences with the Copy Custom Sentences feature. It is done as follows:
If you have worked in one Language and are changing to another there are several aspects you need to manage. They are all described elsewhere, but for clarity I'll list them together here:
Most of the attention when changing Languages involves Sentence Structures. However, there are four other aspects of Tag Types that are Language-specific. Three of them are defined on the General tab of the Tag Type Definition screen for each Tag Type. The fields are used as follows:
The fourth group are the names of Roles. Role names appear in Tag Entry screens, and may appear in the Detail View depending on settings in the Tag Type definition. They appear in reports only in Family Group Sheets.
Translations for some Languages have been provided with more recent versions of TMG, but they do not automatically apply to Projects created with older versions. If there is no translation for your chosen Language, the standard English (U.S.) values will be used.
Some users have found the ability to create separate sets of Sentence Structures in different Languages a handy tool for creating specially formatted output. This application is discussed in my article Using Languages to Create Special Format Reports.
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