THE latest edition Dewan Eja Pro 2010 for Microsoft Office comes with the first commercially available Bahasa Malaysia grammar checker as well an updated spell checker.
Developed by The Name Technology Sdn Bhd (tnt), Dewan Eja is a proofing and reference software for Bahasa Malaysia and it is officially endorsed by Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (DBP).
DBP is the government body responsible for coordinating the use of the Malay language in Malaysia and Brunei.
According to tnt, the software is able to detect more than 40 types of common grammatical errors and will underline potential mistakes in green automatically.
It provides explanations to why a certain grammatical rule was violated and, in certain cases, suggest how to correct them. The explanations were prepared in collaboration with DBP.
This breakthrough is significant as developing a grammar checker is much more difficult than a spell checker, the company said. This is because the application is no longer looking at just words but needs to analyse the whole sentence.
It needs to distinguish whether the words are nouns, verbs, adjectives or otherwise; and whether they follow a certain order, added the company.
tnt said it spent more than a year to develop the grammar checker, which can also serve as a foundation to assist machine translation, speech recognition, and more.
In fact, the Dewan Eja Pro 2010 also features a translation interface. With it, users can simply highlight sentences in Microsoft Word or other applications and immediately have them translated by online translation services like Google Translate, Yahoo! Babelfish or the upcoming tnt translation service.
However, the company made it clear that it has not made a translation software — instead it has simply provided a more convenient interface to access online translation services.
Other enhancements in Dewan Eja Pro 2010 include a template collection, which offers more than 100 samples to help users to start writing Bahasa Malaysia documents.
The software will go on sale in October for RM280. — ZAM KARIM