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Old 07-24-2013, 08:57 PM   #5
oneillpt began at the beginning.
Posts: 62
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Device: Kindle 3 (cracked screen!); PW1; Oasis
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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