Let us create a simple DSL dictionary. We will name it "My
first dictionary". This will be an English-Russian dictionary
which will contain one card. The card will translate the
phrase "my first dictionary" from English into Russian.
You can create a DSL dictionary file in any text editor. We
recommend using Notepad for the purpose.
Create a new text file in Notepad or any other text editor. At
the very beginning of the new text document, enter the header for
the new dictionary. You can copy the header from this example
and then paste it into your document:
#NAME "My first dictionary"
The codes #NAME, #INDEX_LANGUAGE, and #CONTENTS_LANGUAGE must
begin a new line each. These codes are followed by one blank space
and some text in inverted commas. This text must be provided by the
user and means the following. "My first dictionary" is the
name of your new dictionary, "English" is the source
language of your new dictionary, and "Russian" is its target
Now write the text of your new dictionary card. Every
dictionary card must have a headword and body. A
headword is a word or expression to be translated. It must always
be placed at the start of a line (i.e. there must be no
other characters or spaces on this line preceding the headword).
The body of the card contain a translation, comments, notes or any
other information you may wish to include. The body of the card
must be placed below the headword and be preceded with a blank
space (inserted by pressing the Space button) or a
tabulation symbol (inserted by pressing the Tab button).
This will enable Lingvo to distinguish the headword from the body
To see how it works, simply copy the sample text given below into
your document below the header:
my first dictionary
мой первый словарь
Save the dictionary file in Unicode encoding (in the
Save As… dialog box, select Unicode in the
Encoding drop-down list) and name the file
FirstDictionary. Close Notepad or any other text
editor you may have used.
Change the extension of the text file to .dsl. (If you
do not see the extension of the file, in Windows Explorer, go to
Tools>Folder Options, click the View tab and clear
the box nest to "Hide extensions for known file types".)
In the DSL Compiler
dialog box that opens, under the Source file properties
group, browse to the file FirstDictionary.dsl, which
contains the dictionary you created and select the Unicode
Make sure that the Create dictionary ready for indexing
option is selected. With this option selected, DSL Compiler
will automatically add the necessary markup to the dictionary
(otherwise, this markup must be added manually by the user when
creating the text file). Also make sure that the Create error
log file (*.dde) option is selected.
Click Compile. If the compilation is successful, the
About Dictionary dialog
box will open saying that the dictionary has been created
successfully. Two files will be created as a result of compilation:
a dictionary file called FirstDictionary.lsd and a file
called FirstDictionary.dde which logs any errors detected
during the compilation.
What shall I do if
during the compilation I receive the massage saying that the
annotation file was not found?
Annotation files are optional. They contain general information
about a dictionary - its author, number of entries, etc. Our sample
dictionary will have no annotation, so just click Yes in the
message box that opens and the compilation process will
What shall I do if the program fails to
compile the dictionary?
Compilation may fail due to errors in the file. See the list of
errors in FirstDictionary.dde. Correct the errors and repeat
the compilation process.
Add the dictionary to ABBYY Lingvo (Tools>Add
Dictionary… or simply drag and drop the *.lsd file onto the
You have just created your first dictionary, which contains one
card, i.e. one dictionary entry. Now that you get the idea how the
DSL language and DSL Compiler work, you can start creating larger
dictionaries to use in your work and study.
If you compare this sample dictionary with any of the
dictionaries supplied with Lingvo, you will notice that the sample
card is much less informative: it includes no pronunciation,
examples, comments, etc. However, the DSL language allows you to
create dictionaries whose appearance and capabilities are similar
to the Lingvo dictionaries.
In your new dictionaries you can:
highlight fragments of text in colour, change fonts to bold,
italics or underlined by using special DSL tags
mark different zones in dictionary cards
add links to other dictionary cards and links to Web sites
create an icon to be displayed on the Lingvo Bookshelf
add pictures and sound to dictionary cards
and much more…
Tips and tricks
http://www.LingvoDA.ru/ - The Web
site of the Lingvo Dictionary Association offering a vast
collection of free additional dictionaries for Lingvo.
How can I create a
dictionary in a different text editor, for example, Microsoft
You can use any text editor, including Microsoft Word, to create
the text file of a new dictionary. Just make sure that the text
complies with the above requirements, i.e. contains a header which
specifies the name of your dictionary and its source and target
languages, the headword is placed immediately at the beginning of
the line and the body text below is preceded with a blank space or
tab character. Once you have typed the dictionary text, you need to
save it in TXT format with Unicode encoding. To do this:
in Microsoft Word 2000, in the Save As dialog
box, select Coded text in the Save As Type drop-down
in Microsoft Word 2002, in the Save As dialog
box, select Plain Text (*.txt) in the Save As Type
drop-down list, then click Save. In the dialog box that
opens, select Unicode in the Other Encoding
If your text editor does not allow you to select Unicode, save
the text to TXT format, then open the file in Notepad. Select
Save As… on the File menu. In the dialog box that
opens, select Unicode in the Encoding drop-down
How can I expand and
edit DSL dictionaries?
To add new cards or edit a dictionary which has already been
compiled and added to ABBYY Lingvo, remove the dictionary from
ABBYY Lingvo Bookshelf, open the *.dsl dictionary file which
corresponds to the compiled *.lsd file and make the necessary
changes. Then recompile the dictionary and add it to the ABBYY
Lingvo Bookshelf. More...
New cards can also be created in a separate file which can then be
attached to the main dictionary file with the help of the
#INCLUDE command. More...
How can I create a
Annotations contain general information about dictionaries (i.e.
their author, subject, date of creation, etc.). This information
can be viewed in ABBYY Lingvo by double-clicking the dictionary
icon on the Bookshelf. We recommend using Notepad to create
annotation files. The name of the annotation file must be the same
as the name of the dictionary it refers to. Save the file in
Unicode, and then change the extension of the file to
.ann. During compilation, this file will be used by DSL
Compiler to add an annotation for your dictionary.