Syntax Modifiers - Part I
This week we will start explaining the Modifier functions and the icons that appear on the right-hand side of the Interactive Syntax Control Window.
In case this Modifier control box is not being displayed in your window, you can open it by clicking on the twelfth icon from left to right in your Interactive toolbar. By clicking on this button, you can either hide or show the Modifier box.
You will notice that when you translate a sentence, this section displays headings such as “Gender”, “Article”, “Subjective Vrb.”, “Progressive”, etc.
Each one of these headings is actually a combo box where you can choose your preferences during the translation process. These boxes will pop up whenever a specific grammar situation asks for your intervention. Otherwise, they will remain hidden.
For instance, if you write a simple statement such as, “I am reading” (progressive form of the verb “to read” in English), the translation in Spanish could be either “Yo leo (I read)” or “Estoy leyendo (I am reading)”.
You will notice that the message box that reads “Progressive“ shows up at the right, in the Modifiers section. Now click on it, select “Progressive”, and you will see how the translated display changes immediately from “Leo” to “Estoy leyendo”.
Another example: If you translate the phrase “I read”, you will notice that the message “Subjunctive: OFF” shows up this time,
indicating that the Subjunctive mode is also available for this phrase, but that it is off at the moment. In other words, ESI has not translated this phrase into Spanish using the subjunctive mode.
The subjunctive mode is especially tricky because, in English, subjunctive and non-subjunctive verbs are spelled exactly the same. In Spanish, however, they are spelled differently and mean different things; they might even have different nuances. If you click on the box to change it to on, you will notice how the translation changes from “Leo” to “Lea”, which could mean something like:
“…(that) I read.”
There are many more messages that may occasionally pop up in the Modifiers section. When any of them appears, it is highly recommended that you click on it, turn on/off all the different options it offers, and observe the changes in the translation display. Remember: no changes will pass on to your final document until you press the button.
Play a while with the Syntax Modifiers and learn more Spanish possibilities while carrying out your translation job.