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Old 07-03-2013, 05:23 AM   #1
butitsmyname
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spanish dictionary no longer works with spanish newspapers

Hi Everyone

This may be the wrong forum but I am currently extremely confused. For a year or so I've been using my Kindle keyboard with OS 3.3 and Calibre to downloaed and read spanish newspapers, with the help of the Merriam Webster Spanish English dictionary.

Through sheer carelessness, I allowed Amazone to 'upgrade' me to 3.4, and now I have problems.

The dictionary appears only to work on books downloaded directly from Amazon and spanish newspapers don't work at all.

The Spanish dictionary is set to default, but this appears to make no difference now.

I have updated both Calibre and the dictionary to the latest versions available but no joy. Amazon technical has failed to respond to my problem. All it will say is that 'We're looking into it'.

Does anyone have any idea what I could be doing wrong?

Thanks
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:33 AM   #2
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A quick update - the dictionary also now no longer works with Spanish books from Project Gutenberg.
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Old 07-03-2013, 05:35 AM   #3
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This is most likely a language metadata problem. Click the Edit Metadata button on the Calibre toolbar and check the language selected in the Languages field. If it's not set to Spanish dictionary lookup won't work on a K3.
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Old 07-03-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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metadata fields are correct

Hi

Thanks for the suggestion, but the metadata language fields in the Elpais download is Spanish - so that isn't the issue.

In fact the issue appears to be a change in the way the KIndle handles dictionaries. Before, it simply used the one you asked it to use on anything you were reading. Now, it seems to ignore the default setting and use some other, invisible, attribute to decide whether or not to let you use the dictionary you want to use.

thanks

To head off a couple of other possible suggestions. I have already removed all books from the Kindle, reset it to factory defaults and restarted as part of trying to find a fix.

I downloaded v3.3 of the OS but the Kindle won't install an older version of the OS

I've deleted the dictionary and downloaded again from amazon in case it had been updated in some way. No joy.

I can't use mobipocket (as was suggested in another forum as a possible route to a fix) as I run on Linux - and Mobipocket doesn't.

Here's weird. If I set the Kindle to an English dictionary it will work on cognates in some Spanish texts ('doctor' for example) - whether the original text worked with the Spanish dictionary or not - as well as English texts.

On others it won't. For example, La Vida de Lazarillo De Tormes from Gutenburg Project won't work with either Spanish or English dictionaries on my Kindle Keyboard.

So a default English dictionary seems to work on some English and Spanish texts but a Spanish default dictionary rarely works on anything.

I was rather hoping Mr Goyal might be able to suggest a change to the recipe for foreign language newspapers which could help the Kindle choose the appropriate dictionary.
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Old 07-24-2013, 09:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
This is most likely a language metadata problem. Click the Edit Metadata button on the Calibre toolbar and check the language selected in the Languages field. If it's not set to Spanish dictionary lookup won't work on a K3.
...
So a default English dictionary seems to work on some English and Spanish texts but a Spanish default dictionary rarely works on anything.

I was rather hoping Mr Goyal might be able to suggest a change to the recipe for foreign language newspapers which could help the Kindle choose the appropriate dictionary.
I have the same problem with Merriam-Webster French and Spanish Translation dictionaries and Kindle 3.4, and I have explored this further examining the French dictionary (I assume my comments here will apply to the Spanish dictionary as well), and some other custom dictionaries I generated using MobiPocket tools, as well as the MobiPocket 1932-35 Academie Francaise dictionary.

The problem does seem to be a language metadata problem, but one with the dictionaries, not with the e-books generated by Calibre. Using the tools mentioned in the Dictionary FAQ (both mobihandler and mobi2mobi) the language metadata for my Merriam-Webster French-English dictionary shows as "English (United States)" and "9 - 9 - 0 - ENGLISH -", not French as I would have expected. If I set this dictionary as the default dictionary it will not work with e-books which have the language metadata set as "French", but will now try to work with e-books where the language metadata is set as "English", if it can "make sense" of the English word in a French context. For example, "data" displays "dater vt: to date vi 1 : to be dated, to be old-fashioned 2 de : to date from, to date back to", taken from the Merriam-Webster French-English directory.

It seems to me that the change arising with Kindle 3.4 is that dictionary definitions will now only pop up if the language metadata for the e-book matches the language metadata for the dictionary, even where this dictionary is set as the default dictionary.

A possible fix when using Calibre is to set the language in the recipe as English instead of the actual language of the e-book, and set the appropriate Merriam-Webster dictionary as default. I've tested this with a French newspaper in Calibre, and it works. As I rarely need a pop up translation and I use the language metadata to control column colouring in Calibre, so that I want to have the correct language set, I have only tested with one run of one newspaper recipe. Setting the language as English instead of French did not appear to have any effect on the text in the e-book generated.

If I am correct, the proper solution for this problem is for Kindle/Amazon/Merriam-Webster to set the language metadata of the *-English dictionaries as *, not as English.

butitsmyname - if you read this, perhaps you could bring this further information to Amazon technical if they have not closed your problem report. I'll also report this now as a suggested solution.

As far as I recall (it is now too late to check this of course) with Kindle 3.3 I had the Merriam-Webster set as default dictionary whenever I wanted definitions from French to pop up, and in that case the language metadata, whether French or English, did not matter, although of course only words which "made sense" popped up definitions from English e-books, and these were attempted "translations from French", not definitions from an English dictionary. The only problem with this procedure came when I added the c. As this has language metadata set as French, this was used in preference for French e-books, with the limitation that only basic forms and not inflected forms would be recognised. To force use of the default dictionary rather than the Academie Francaise dictionary I set the language metadata of the Academie Francaise dictionary to Romanian, a language I do not read, leaving that dictionary as one which I needed to open to look up a word. I could similarly set the Merriam-Webster Spanish-English as default if I wished translations from Spanish.

My testing with other dictionaries backs up my understanding of what is happening in Kindle 3.4. Where a custom dictionary is present with the same language metadata as the e-book being read is available, this is used in preference to the default dictionary. Otherwise the default dictionary is tried, but only pops up if the languages for dictionary and e-book match. I have simple Finnish-English, Norwegian-English, Portuguese-English and Swedish-English custom dictionaries installed, which pop up definitions for basic word forms for e-books in these languages. These are never set as default dictionary. I have the MobiPocket 1932-35 Academie Francaise dictionary installed (language metadata set as French now in Kindle 3.4), which pops up definitions, not translations, for French e-books, and is not set as default. It also works for French e-books when set as default. But if the version with language metadata set as Romanian is installed instead it will not pop up definitions for French e-books (or other language, except presumably Romanian) even if set as default dictionary. All these behaviors are consistent with my understanding of how Kindle 3.4 is handling dictionaries.

Hope this helps.
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oneillpt View Post
The problem does seem to be a language metadata problem, but one with the dictionaries, not with the e-books generated by Calibre. Using the tools mentioned in the Dictionary FAQ (both mobihandler and mobi2mobi) the language metadata for my Merriam-Webster French-English dictionary shows as "English (United States)" and "9 - 9 - 0 - ENGLISH -", not French as I would have expected.
Note that dictionaries have 3 language metadata entries (document language, input language and output language). Unfortunately, only the document language, which has no effect on dictionary selection, is shown in Calibre.

AFAIK, only Java Mobi Metadata Editor displays all of these metadata entries. (For example, in the French dictionary that you have all of these entries are coincidentally set to French.)

Note that unless a default dictionary has been defined, the K3.4 firmware will always select a dictionary based on the dictionary input language of the dictionary. I.e. changing the document language of a mobi dictionary file is rather pointless.

I have multiple custom dictionaries installed on my K3.4 and all of them are correctly selected if the document language matches the dictionary input language language.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:37 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doitsu View Post
AFAIK, only Java Mobi Metadata Editor displays all of these metadata entries. (For example, in the French dictionary that you have all of these entries are coincidentally set to French.)

Note that unless a default dictionary has been defined, the K3.4 firmware will always select a dictionary based on the dictionary input language of the dictionary. I.e. changing the document language of a mobi dictionary file is rather pointless.
Thanks for the link to JavaMobi Metadata Editor. Mobi2Mobi does show three entries, but one of these is sometimes wrong.

The input and output languages are indeed correct for the MobiPocket 1932-35 Academie Francaise dictionary.

However the problem with the Merriam Webster French-English and Spanish-English translation dictionaries is that the input and output languages are reversed, as shown in the attached image. These input and output languages are the same as the corresponding English-French and English-Spanish dictionaries, and so correct in the English-* dictionaries but wrong for the *-English ones.

I can use the editor to correct these settings, but the corrected file is then not recognised when uploaded to the Kindle. I guess that this is because the file is protected against tampering by a CRC calculation.
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Old 07-27-2013, 01:30 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by oneillpt View Post
I can use the editor to correct these settings, but the corrected file is then not recognised when uploaded to the Kindle. I guess that this is because the file is protected against tampering by a CRC calculation.
I have now been able to switch the input and output languages for both the Spanish-English and French-English Merriam Webster dictionaries, and both now work correctly. When I tried to do this on PC and then upload to Kindle, either by USB connection or using Send To Kindle, this failed. But when I used MobiMetaEditor to edit the azw files already installed on the Kindle, then deleted the originals leaving just the edited copies with input and output languages switched, this worked.

Worked immediately for Spanish, but I had first to set the French dictionary as default, allow it look up a translation, then reset an Oxford English dictionary as default, leaving the French dictionary to activate automatically for French text, which it now does. I suspect that I may have set the French directory as default and forgotten that when I edited and then deleted the original, causing temporary confusion.
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