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Noticia Elhuyar

Remarks by Xabier Artola Zubillaga of the Ixa Group of the UPV/EHU on the presentation of Xuxen 5

2015 | November 10

Remarks by Xabier Artola Zubillaga, member of the IXA Group of the UPV/EHU, in the presentation of the new spelling and grammar checker in Basque Xuxen 5:

"Xuxen has become an indispensable tool for anyone who writes in Basque using the computer"

"Behind Xuxen there is research. Elhuyar and Ixa Taldea investigate in the field of automatic language treatment and focus on the treatment of Basque"

From left to right: Leire Cancio Orueta (Elhuyar); Xabier Artola Zubillaga (G...

Remarks by Xabier Artola Zubillaga, member of the IXA Group of the UPV/EHU, in the presentation of the new spelling and grammar checker in Basque Xuxen 5:

"Xuxen has become an indispensable tool for anyone who writes in Basque using the computer"

"Behind Xuxen there is research. Elhuyar and Ixa Taldea investigate in the field of automatic language treatment and focus on the treatment of Basque"

From left to right: Leire Cancio Orueta (Elhuyar); Xabier Artola Zubillaga (Grupo Ixa de la UPV/EHU) and Itziar Cortés Etxabe (Elhuyar)

Usurbil, 10 November 2015

Welcome Xuxen 5

"Egun on denoi:

When we published in Xuxe more than twenty years ago, we did not believe that it had its echo in Basque society. But it is clear that Xuxen has become an indispensable tool for anyone who writes in Basque using the computer.

Twenty years have passed since we published the first Xuxen, the version for Macintosh computers, on three-and-a-half inch floppy disks. I remember that on the day of the public presentation I was absent from some of my colleagues and that we sent the telegram congratulating them (telegrams have remained in place today! ); if I'm not mistaken, this telegram should still be stored in the office drawer of some member of the Ixa group. Time has passed, therefore, and throughout that time Xuxen has advanced, has had various versions, has prepared for different platforms and word processors, has been distributed along with Euskaldunon Egunkaria, has had thousands of downloads on the website of the Basque Government euskadi.net... Xuxen is used by students and teachers, both writers and translators, journalists... anyone who wants to write in Basque correctly and complying with the rules, in a word. Who does not know Xuxen is not who writes in Basque.

Without pride, but with pride, we can say that Xuxen has been a great help in the last two decades so that, shortly after having published the rules of the Euskaltzaindia dictionary, it was accepted and used normally. Among the norms of Euskaltzaindia we can mention some milestones, since the 1970s: the unified verb and the decline of adjectives, that of exhibitors, the first orthographic norms (lists of words with h, for example), the rules of adaptation of loans, the names of place, institution and language... but, in the case of the lexicon, we should cite the publication of the Unified Dictionary. This dictionary has been, since its first publication, the main instrument used by Euskaltzaindia to consolidate and extend the standard lexicon. The Unified Dictionary was first published in 2000 and in Xuxen there was already a version 2.3. Since then, Hiztegi Batuak has had several editions and Xuxen has had several versions, and they have been traveling companions.

Behind Xuxen there is research. Elhuyar and the Ixa Group of the UPV/EHU investigate in the field of automatic language treatment and focus on the treatment of Basque: basic tools and resources, presence of Basque in numerous applications, corpus and dictionaries consultable on the web... publications in congresses and local and international journals. The Ixa Group maintains the vocabulary on which Xuxen – EDBL, that is, the Basque Lexical Database – is based and the Xuxen engine, since the Basque corrector is not based on a simple dictionary, but needs a morphological segmenter to determine if a word is correctly written. This database is used in all language processing tasks, is constantly updated, is constantly corrected and enriched, and to prepare this new version of Xuxen has also been compared with Elhuyar dictionaries, and it must be said that the corrective enrichments derived from this comparison have been of great importance. At present, all the norms and recommendations dictated by the Royal Academy of the Basque Language through the Unified Dictionary have their reflection in the EDBL, rules that materialize in the database as they are published by Euskaltzaindia. Therefore, the EDBL is always up to date and hence the lexicon that the corrector needs in the format he needs.

In addition to the red underlines, the user will now have the green underlines that will help him write more “whispered” texts. Just as reds should be taken critically, since although in the vast majority of cases we are informed of our mistakes, do not forget that spell checkers usually review the text literally, so it is possible that they are false negatives from time to time, before the greens the user must act even more prudent, and whether or not to obey the proposed by Xuxen each case. Through the green underlines, as two types of warnings will be transmitted to the user: when, despite being standard words, they are not preferred by Euskaltzaindia, you will be informed of the preferences of Euskaltzaindia – the most recommended – through those green underlines, and will be used to report some common grammatical errors. Needless to say, this grammatical help is more for those who are learning Basque or do not master grammar than for those who write well and correctly in Basque; you will always have at your disposal configuration options to enable or disable the detection of grammatical errors.

The writer Xuxen Juan Luis Zabala considers “Andere zorroza” and we have read it in some article. It is also known as “On Xuxen”, highlighting its authority. “My heart Xuxen, dear, dear,” says Andu Lertxundi, and has referred to “the words that Xuxen applauds without reddening,” or to those that lit her “red whistle,” quoting that same whistle as part of them (therefore, we can tell Andu that, therefore, the kid will not emphasize). Eneko Bidegain, for his part, said that “it will not admit to the students works full of errors that Xuxen would not let pass” – and it is not the only one, because it is not the only one, that is done, among the teachers. In the same article he says that “a journalist should not end any article without going to Xuxen”, and that “it is convenient for a writer to work with the help of the spell checker to save the publisher a useless work in the phase of amendments and orient the work of the editor to a deeper and more rigorous correction”.

Finally, to say that by relativizing words and adjectives, Xuxen Xuxen remains, as until now, the spellchecker, lexicon and grammatical to which we will always have access, the help that we can install and use in the tools and applications that we currently have to write.

And to Andi I'm going to steal other words, from the response to the journalist, who asked him about his hateful love relationship with Xuxen: “Thanks to Xuxen, all the literature that comes out now, the books and the articles, drawn more neatly than before being founded on Xuxe. So chapeau Xuxeni,” says Lertxundi, and I end up saying “welcome, Xuxen 5.”

Nothing else, thank you."

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