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Franklin TG-450 12-language translator

Spelling correction

A useful feature of the TG450 is its built-in spelling correction which we've already touched on briefly. If you type in a query that does not exactly match any entry in the translator's vocabulary, it will assume that your query is a misspelt word and suggest which words you may have misspelt. The spelling correction algorithm appears to cope reasonably well with a number of common sources of misspellings, including transposed letters (veindront instead of viendront); missing letters (viendrnt); the 'wrong' letter with a particular phonetic value (calson instead of caleçon), or a combination of these mistakes. As some of these examples illustrate, the spelling correction also generally works on declined forms.

Franklin TG-450 spelling correction Franklin TG-450 spelling correction

Two slight limitations of the spelling correction are common to many computer spell correction algorithms. Firstly, the machine generally appears to have more success at finding a match if the first letter of the word is spelt correctly. Thus in our example of viendront, reversing the first two letters (ivendront) will send the machine off on various tangents such as éteindront). Secondly, the algorithm does not appear to be sensitive to word morphology. More advanced spell checkers, for example, would recognise that queries ending in -osn are likely to be misspellings of words ending in -ons. Faced with misspellings of this kind, the TG-450 fairs poorly. For example, for chantosn, it lists various forms of the verb chanter such as chantais-- and even chantas and chantasse(nt)!-- but sadly not the most likely form chantons.

Still, I stress that these slight weaknesses are common to many spelling correction algorithms. In general, the spelling correction feature is very effective.


As well as the basic dictionary, the TG-450 has a number of set phrases built in. As mentione previously, these are automatically searched alongside the main database when you look up a word. However, they can also be accessed directly.

The phrasebook is split up into general categories including emergencies, travel and directions, hotel, shopping, doing business... the usual stuff. A downside is that this is the only level of categorisation. Other than that, you're just given a list of phrases in alphabetical order. So bien à vous sits next to ceci c'est très demandé. Scrolling through the long list of unrelated phrases can be slow so that for "browsing" phrases, a traditional paper phrasebook may be more practical. But clearly, the strength of the electronic version is that it can search within the phrases.

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