Article about Lingo 1.2 published in 'Language International'

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Article by Magda Clegg, published in Language International (Autumn 96)

Whether you are a translator in need of a friendly glossary management pack or a student of a foreign language trying to gather and learn all the new terms meticulously, you will love this! A software package at a very modest price, performing any task that a creditable, standard terminology management package does, Lingo is definitely the best value for money.

The first thing to notice is the small "toolbar" type interface which stays above your own processor and does not awkwardly get in the way. If its size still causes a problem, you can click on the yellow filename box and the interface will get reduced even more!

The programme comes with two small pre-installed glossaries which come in handy when you test out the various options in order to get to know the package. This shouldn't take too much time, as the typical creating/modifying/deleting functions are easy to get along with. Search facility is also smooth and quite powerful, and is performed on the basis of the partial match.

In Lingo you work with datafiles, which are simple bilingual glossaries with a possibility of including notes with every entry. The programme can easily handle glossaries of 15,000 entries and more. Terms can be entered in any language pair, provided your word processor supports it, and the custom versions of Lingo for non-standard languages like Greek or Russian are available on request.

Printing, importing and exporting functions are also straightforward. Entire datafiles may be printed by clicking on Print in the File menu. This function prints approximately 30 records per A4 page (portrait) and you can also include the notes. Any existing glossaries may be imported into Lingo's datafile if they are in simple text file format with entries separated by tabs and records separated by carriage returns. Importing is suprisingly fast. There are two options of exporting the datafiles, either to the clipboard which allows you to paste its contents in other Windows application or to the text file automatically created by Lingo.

One additional feature of this package is the test option, particularly useful for language learners who will no doubt find it indispensable. Lingo's automatic test function will check your knowledge with its pop-up random questions which can appear at any pre-set time interval. There is also a clever facility allowing you to exclude the "learnt" records from the test, which means you will be only tested on vocabulary that you have not consistently got correct. The test results are also displayed. Personally, I would not recommend setting the test option to automatic, as there is a strong possibility you will get annoyed by the chime announcing every test question whilst you are doing something else. Nevertheless, it is a desirable addition to this software package.

Flexibility, wide range of accessible and user-friendly features make Lingo an invaluable little package.


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