The ELDIT system currently includes an electronic learners' dictionary for the German and Italian languages, consisting of about 3,000 entry words for each language, and a pedagogical text corpus consisting of 400 texts for each language. The system supports Italian learners of German and German learners of Italian from beginners to intermediate level.
Accessing the System
When using the system the first time please click on the dark red link at the starting page "Sind Sie ein neuer Benutzer? Dann klicken Sie bitte hier / Sei un nuovo utente? Per registrarti clicca qui" to register. In this way you will access the welcome page (Willkommen! Benvenuti!).
Choose a username and password by yourself (at the moment, the password system is not encrypted, hence, do not select a password which you already use in other applications). The password must only consist of letters and digits, also spaces are not allowed. Then click on the button 'Registriere/registra'.
Afterwards you will be faced with an introduction page. Please repeat the password and click on the button '>Weiter/continua'. Please remember your password, because at the moment there is no automatic possibility to find it out, if you forget it!
The main page
Then you have reached the main page from which the single modules can be accessed. The links lead to the following main modules of the system:
You can always return to this main page by clicking on the button 'Inhalt/indice' on top of the screen.
Searching - on top of the screen
Clicking on "ELDIT-Wörterbuch - Dizionario ELDIT" at the main page you enter the ELDIT learners' dictionary. A list of all word entries which we have elaborated up to now can be found by clicking on the button "Liste/lista" on top of the screen. Dark blue words are extensively elaborated, light blue words are provisorically elaborated and will be incrementally substitute by extensive entries.
Now, please close this window and use the direct search feature. Write a word (for instance "chiesa" - church) in the edit field on top of the screen. Please indicate the language of the word (Italiano) and click on "Suche/cerca". You can also hit the enter-key. Unlike in other dictionaries you do not get a list of words and its translations, but the single word "chiesa" is described within several modules in order to transmit all information that is important for a language learner.
Meaning description - on the left hand side
The information of an entry (in our case "chiesa") is presented in two frames. The left-hand frame shows the lemma (i.e. citation form) "chiesa". Below the lemma morphological information, namely the article and plural form "la chiesa (le chiese)" is shown. Further below several word meanings are listed, each of which is described by a definition, a translation, and an example. For the word "chiesa" two meanings are distinguished, chiesa as a building, and chiesa as a group of people forming a church. The users get their first contact with the word through the definition ("Edificio sacro …"). A lexicographic example below the definition illustrates the meaning in context ("La chiesa si trova nel centro del paese …").
By clicking on the translation "Kirche" one can access directly the corresponding dictionary entry for "Kirche" and all the information collected for this word. A triangle (+ the word "click") on the left-hand side of each definition allows the activation of one particular meaning. This gives access to the information provided in the right-hand frame. Some of this information is different for different word meanings, and can only be accessed, if a particular meaning is selected. If a triangle is blue and points upwards, and if the corresponding meaning description is emphasized in yellow, then this meaning is currently selected.
Additional Information - on the right hand side
Let us now have a look at the word "Haus" (house) to explore the information on the right hand side at the screen. Type "Haus" in the edit field on top, indicate the language (Deutsch) and click "Suche/cerca". The word "Haus" appears, the first meaning is activated. The right-hand frame is divided into several tabs:
Within the tab "Verwendung/combinazioni" (usage) word combinations are listed for the learner. Each word combination is treated as a separate
item supplied with a translation and an example sentence. The first word combination is "ein Haus bauen, errichten", the corresponding Italian
translation equivalent is "costruire una casa", and the example sentence is "Meine Eltern haben das Haus vor 50 Jahren gebaut". Within the example
sentence the pattern "haben das Haus gebaut" is emphasized.
At the bottom of the list a number of adjectives which are typically used together with the lemma under consideration (Haus) are listed together with respective translations and a few examples. Some adjectives used typically together with the word "Haus" are "hellhörig (poorly soundproofed), modern (modern), baufällig (dilapidated), …".
Let us now have a look at verbs, since for verbs you get one more information. Type the verb "chiedere" into the edit field, indicate the language (Italiano) and click "Suche/cerca". The word appears; please activate the first meaning and the first tab "Verwendung/combinazioni" (if they are not yet activated). In the right hand frame you can see small tables and example sentences which indicate how to construct sentences with this verb. This is how we transmit so-called "verb valency" information to the learner. Draw the mouse pointer over the table or sentences and the corresponding elements will light up in color in order to show the correspondence and to indicate the sentence part.
Let us now go back to the word "Haus". Type it into the edit field, indicate the language (Deutsch) and click "Suche/cerca". Please activate
now the second tab "Redewendungen/modi di dire".
Within the tab "Redewendungen/modi di dire" (idioms) different kinds of idiomatic expressions are listed similarly as the word combinations in the previous tab. The first idiom is "aus dem Haus sein" (wich means that a person has moved out of his or her home and does not live with the parents any more), its Italian equivalent is "essere fuori di casa" (also an explanation of the idiom is given), and the example sentence shows a first application of this expression.
Please activate the third tab "Wortbeziehungen/Relazioni lessicali" (word relations). Within this tab relations between different words are
shown in so-called "semantic fields" or "word fields". The semantic fields are illustrated in graphs in ELDIT. Please scroll to the left of the
quite large graphics. In the center you can see in red the lemma in consideration, namely "Haus". Three levels are distinguished within the graph:
The significance of the colors (i.e. semantic relations between the words) are explained in a section you can get by clicking on the link "Wortbeziehungen und Farberklärungen/ Relazioni lessicali e significato dei colori" (relations between words and explanation of the colors). You can also enlarge the graph by clicking on "Grafik vergrößern/Ingrandisci il grafico" (enlarge the graph).
When clicking on a word within the graph describing information appears: definition, translation, examples, and most important, a description of the difference between the word in the box and the lemma in consideration. For instance, if you click on the light blue word "Wohnung" on the bottom-left part of the graphics the explanation is "Eine Wohnung ist ein Teil des Hauses."
Please activate now the tab "Deklination/declinazione" (declension). Within this tab we provide the entire inflection paradigm for each word entry. For nouns and adjectives we provide the declension, for verbs we provide the conjugation. The word forms are organized in tables according to modes (indicative, subjunctive, and imperative mood), tenses (present, perfect, etc), persons (first, second and third), cases (nominative, genitive, etc.) and number (singular, plural).
Please activate now the tab "Wortfamilie / famiglia lessicale" (word family). Within the tab "Wortfamilie / famiglia lessicale" compound words and derivations are shown. Prefix, basis and suffix are emphasized. In this way the user can see the underlying construction rule..
Please activate now the tab "N.B." (nota bene=note well). Within the tab "N.B." we list particularities relevant to the entry word. This information will be explained in more detail below.
ELDIT uses footnotes next to the corresponding content piece to inform learners of potential linguistic difficulties. Footnotes may appear everywhere in the text. Let us have a look at the word "Haus". Type it into the edit field, indicate the language (German) and click on the search button. Activate the first meaning and the first tab "combinazioni". Two footnotes can be found next to "ein Haus mieten" and "ein Haus vermieten". Clicking on these notes a particularity is emphasized: while in German we have two different words to describe the two concepts "mieten" (to rent from somebody) and "vermieten" (to rent to somebody) in Italian we have only the word "affitare" (to rent) that is used in both cases. Within the tab "N.B." a list of all particularities belonging to a specific word entry are summarized.
When the user drives over an arbitrary piece of text with the mouse cursor, the single words appear in blue and are underlined (only in Netscape, Mozilla, and Opera; Internet Explorer does not support our implementation of this highlighting), because they are linked to the corresponding dictionary entry. When clicking on a word, the description of its meaning appears in a separate window. For instance clicking on "Menschen" in the first definition on the left-hand side opens a Window with the definition and translation of this word. Within the new window all words are linked to the corresponding dictionary entry, too. For instance clicking on "Sachen" in the definition of "Menschen" opens the meaning description of this word. In this way the user can go on exploring words. On the bottom of the additional windows a button is placed, which allows to access the entire dictionary entry. Clicking on this button (e.g. in "Sache") all additional windows are closed and the dictionary shows the word "Sache".
It is possible to find single words and multi-word expressions. Simply type the word or part of the expression into the search field, indicate the language, press the enter key, and get the result. Indicating the correct language is important, because the search term could contain mistakes and the spell check does only work within the correct language.
The search feature includes the possibilities of a wildcard search, i.e. problematic parts of the search expression can be ignored: searching "das Abende*en ko*en" (German) results in "das Abendessen kochen". A spell checker is included, up to two, sometimes even more, spelling errors are detected: searching "Brievumsclag" (German) results in "Briefumschlag". Also a stemming feature is included, i.e. inflected word forms can be found: searching "chiesi" (I have asked), or "daglielo" (give it to him) and indicating the language (Italiano) leads to "chiedere" and "dare" respectively.
The text corpus
Click on the button "Inhalt/indice" on top of the screen in order to return to the main page.
How to choose a text
Click with the mouse pointer onto the links "Eldit-Texte/Testi ELDIT" in the main page. Then an interface will appear which allows carrying out several choices.
The texts in ELDIT are those texts that serve as preparation material for the exams in bilingualism in South Tyrol. Please choose then the difficulty level ("Schwierigkeitsgrad/Livello di difficoltà"): A/B = more difficult, C = easier.Then choose the language of a text ("Sprache des Textes/Lingua del testo"): German or Italian. Then you can either choose a domain ("Themenbereiche/argomento") or you can ask for a list of all texts ("Liste aller Texte/Lista completa dei testi"). In the second case you will get the list of all texts in the order of the corresponding books in paper form.
Then you can click onto the go-on button 'Weiter/Continua'. You will then see a list with the titles of a text and can choose one by a mouse click.
How to work with the texts and the dictionary
Please select one text out of the list. As you can see, one text consists of the title, the text body, a reference note and six questions.
The words in the text, in the questions, etc. are linked to the ELDIT dictionary. Hence, you can simply click with your mouse pointer onto a text word in order to see the corresponding information in the dictionary. When you click on a word a small window with its meaning description will appear. You can enter the entire dictionary entry by clicking onto the grey button added at the bottom of the window (you will have to enlarge the window, if you do this).
At the end of the text you will find some questions. If you need help when answering a question of a text you can also use the dictionary by entering the word into the edit field which you can always see on top of the page. When answering the questions, you can use the dictionary in several cases: