The Centre for Text Technology (CTexT) at the NWU-Pukke has launched a collection of four Afrikaans proofing tools for Microsoft Office.
CTexT’s Afrikaanse SkryfGoed includes a spelling checker, a grammar checker, a thesaurus and an Afrikaans hyphenator.
“You don’t need a degree in linguistics – a forefinger is sufficient,” comments professor Hans du Plessis, director of the ATKV-Skryfskool, reassuring Afrikaans computer users that there is no need to feel overwhelmed when using electronic writing media like Microsoft Word.
The spelling checker, as the only so-called second-generation spelling checker for Afrikaans, is the most advanced Afrikaans proofing tool. This means that it applies complex processes like morphological analysis to evaluate words instead of merely comparing them to the entries in a word list (which is the case for many spelling checkers). This tool offers good suggestions and alternatives for spelling errors, automatically recognises new compounds and inflections, and boasts comprehensive word lists.
Unlike a spelling checker, a grammar checker deals with more than just spelling. CTexT’s Afrikaans Grammar Checker is the first Afrikaans proofing tool for Microsoft Office that evaluates the language used in a text, based upon the rules and conventions (grammar) of the language. Examples include:
* Choice of words (for example the correct use of rys, reis or ruis);
* Compounding and non-compounding of words (for example besigheidsure); and
* Grammatically correct constructions (for example “lelik boom” versus “lelike boom”).
Besides grammatical aspects, a grammar checker can also determine whether the text fulfils particular requirements of style such as the correct use of punctuation and language.
The Afrikaans Thesaurus helps users freshen up their writing with synonyms for more than 40 000 words, while the Afrikaans Hyphenator helps users to hyphenate words correctly at the end of a line.
The new Afrikaanse SkryfGoed 2011 is compatible with Microsoft Office 2010.