The Centre for Text Technology (CTexT) of the Potchefstroom campus of North-West University has released Afrikaanse Skryfgoed 2008, a collection of Afrikaans writing aids for Microsoft Office.
The suite includes an Afrikaans spelling checker and the first Afrikaans grammar checker for Microsoft Office. It also includes an Afrikaans thesaurus and a hyphenator for Afrikaans, which will improve page layouts.
CTexT is a self-supporting unit of the NWU-Pukke that specialises in the establishment of Human Language Technology (HLT) in South Africa. HLT is a cover term for information and communication technologies that are specialised for interpretation and generation of speech and text in human language.
CTexT's work towards the promotion of human language technology in South Africa includes the development of software such as spelling checkers and language learning programs for various South African languages.
Since the first release of the Afrikaanse Speltoetser in the 1990s, the lexicon has doubled in size, with the Afrikaanse Speltoetser 3.1 recognising more than 430 000 words, including a variety of pronouns, acronyms and technical terms. Because it includes advanced morphological analysis, the spelling checker also recognises many new compositions and inflections.
The first Afrikaans grammar checker for Office comes after about two years of R&D at the centre.
The Afrikaanse Grammatikatoetser is the first aid to evaluate, among others, the following aspects in Afrikaans: word choice (for example, the correct use of the words pyl and peil); the writing of words as single or multiple units; and correct grammatical constructions.
It can also determine whether text adheres to specific style requirements.