tlhIngan-Hol Archive: Fri Sep 26 07:02:40 2014

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lojmitti7wi7nuv ([email protected])

There is no published, comprehensive Klingon dictionary. Most of us have compiled our own. We don't talk about it a lot.

So, just to open a discussion, I'll give the history of mine, and its unusual features.

My first personal Klingon dictionary was created in MS Word. It basically mimicked The Klingon Dictionary in style, though in making it I sought to fix the errors I found (especially differences between the English-Klingon vs. the Klingon-English sides) and to add in the new words we were learning about. I manually sorted it like Okrand does, and in addition to the information as presented in TKD, I used Lawrence's pIqaD font to redundantly present each entry, and I noted the source of each word, if from any source other than the original TKD (I noted words from the TKD addendum as such), and noted any differences between the two sides of TKD. Yes, it took a remarkable number of hours.

I also introduced at least one error that I later had pointed out to me, and I feel confident that every dictionary I've ever created has at least one error in it, undiscovered.

After that, I created a database on my Palm Pilot (an ancient hand-held device), putting all of this information and slightly more (creating fields for word types so that I could find body parts or military terms or food terms, etc. when searching for words) into the database, manually, word by word, using the stylus interface of the device. Yes, it took a remarkable number of hours.

Later, I created another database using MS Access on a PC. It was yet more sophisticated and took yet another remarkable number of hours to manually enter the data, but I was never very happy with it and never used it much.

Later, on a Mac, I created yet another database using Bento. I had managed to take my old Palm Pilot database and convert it to a CSV file and dumped that data into Bento, then modifying the structure a bit. I lost the pIqaD entries, but I created a new field to sort by. This was not my idea, so I know I'm not the only person to do this. Perhaps ghunchu'wI' suggested it?

The sort field replaces some characters with others in order to force the database to be sorted according to the rules that Okrand uses in TKD:


I then manually filled in the sort field for every entry, which took a remarkable number of hours.

Bento was very useful because it could be synchronized among all the OS X and iOS devices that I own or use. I was more than a little disappointed when it became legacy software, no longer supported by the company that invented it, pretty much guaranteeing that I will never use another FileMaker product for the rest of my life.

I moved it to TapForms with mixed success. There are performance issues and synchronization issues, and in other databases that I use, there are sorting issues. Bento was much better at spontaneously choosing to sort a database differently. I'm still working with it because its development is ongoing, so there is more hope for its survival than Bento, which may stop working with some future version of OS X or iOS, and that will be the end of it. But I'm not as happy with TapForms as I was with Bento.

In particular, when I manually synchronize (upload data from) any device to iCloud, I have to allow all other devices to passively go through the glacial process of downloading the synchronization before I can upload updates from any other device. I don't get a choice about when this happens. I open an iOS device and am surprised to discover that it wants to download data, which can take 10 minutes, during which time I can neither shut off the device or switch to any other app without Really Bad Things Happening.

I have the UltraLingua dictionary, which I use from time to time, though I'm not happy with the limits on annotation, the strange way it sorts, and the lack of documentation on the details of creating new entries with alternate definitions, homonyms, etc.

The interface is also indirect and inefficient enough to make using the dictionary tedious. Nothing else is as quick and functional as Bento was. It was my personal zenith in terms of best personal dictionary. I'm strongly tempted to go back to it, despite the risk to its arbitrary future demise.
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