Make it easier to write compound words
Some languages, for example Swedish, have a lot of compound words.
Perhaps this could be done by long-pressing space before entering the next word to tell SwiftKey I want the next word to be joined with previous.
1 Enter first part and press space or select prediction
2 Long press space
3 Enter second part and press space or selection prediction
4 SwiftKey removes space between part one and two
Not sure how well this would work in practice though and it would be a very hidden feature. A nice side effect would be that this could also be used to make it easier to enter e-mail addresses.
Being a Swedish speaker I'm very happy that you support Swedish, but you seem to lack proper understanding of how Swedish works, regarding composition of new words.
In essence you can construct just about any word by joining two existing ones. For example: "bild" = "picture"/"slide" and "spel" = "show". In English you would sage "slide show", but in Swedish you say "bildspel", not "bild spel". Swiftkey incorrectly suggests "bild spel".
There's even a special word for this kind of writing error, called "särskrivning" (not "sär skrivning"), in essence "writing apart". Many Swedes do this by mistake, but it can lead to severe misunderstandings. For example "brunhårig flicka" means "brown haired girl", but "brun hårig flicka" means "brown hairy girl". :-)
Do you think you can fix it?
I've seen several other suggestions here on this same subject, one mentions "telefonkiosk" as opposed to SwiftKey's suggestion "telefon kiosk". They often mention "compond words". One said to turn off auto space (which I think is already possible in current version, but I think it's nice to have this on if SwiftKey can handle compound words better).
I think the key here is that SwiftKey might need to be able to take two arbitrary words in its dictionary and suggest their composition WITHOUT SPACE as a new word. I don't know the grammar well enough to be able to say if there are rules regarding what kinds of words can be combined (noun + noun is common of course, but perhaps preposition + verb is impossible, and so forth). You should get some help in this area unless you already have staff who know this well...
In the Swedish language many words are written together. It would be really nice if there where some kind of swipe-gesture that removed the space between the last two written word.
This suggestion is now under review. Thanks for your input and watch this space for more updates.
Eppu Ainola commented
Is there any workaround for this problem? E.g. a way to disable auto-space after a word?
The lack of compound word support makes it very difficult to write Finnish too.
Try to type the following german text with SwiftKey, it's drives me mad!
"In einer Diskussionsrunde der Kommission für Jugendmedienschutz wurde bekannt, dass die Rundfunkreferenten der Länder im Herbst einen neuen Entwurf für den Jugendmedienschutzstaatsvertrag vorlegen wollen."
We need a easy way for writing compound words soon! Until then I have to use Swype again.
Kjell Rilbe commented
I'd like to upvote the problem, but not the suggested solution. A long press would be totally useless. It's counter intuitive to "emphasize" the key that you actually want to avoid. It would slow down typing quite a lot.
What's needed here is a feature that knows what types of words can be combined, e.g. noun + noun (bildäck = car tyre) works but verb + noun would be rather exotic (mostly the verb would be substituted with corresponding noun, e.g. gångväg (walkway) rather than gåväg (err... well walkway?). The feature should also have some grasp of when to insert an s and when not to do it. For example we write bildäck without s (not bilsdäck) but bildäcksmönster with an s (not bildäckmönster). These rules are a bit difficult I believe, but there are rules and they could be coded into SwiftKey.
I think the proposition of having all compound words in the dictionary would be rather futile, since the Swedish language tends to allow arbitrary construction of new compound words. For example, any native Swedish speaker would not really find the word "bickdäcksmönstermätarmanual" (car tyre groove meter manual) very strange, albeit rather hard to read. I would not expect any dictionary to list it though. SAOL (Svenska Akademiens Ordlista) does list compound words, but only those that they find to be in regular use, so it misses many many quite useful and not at all strange compound words. Even if SwiftKey did include all compound words found a single time in a large text corpus, it would still miss many of the possible and natural combinations people use in common spoken language.
Kjell Rilbe commented
Oh, it might be a good idea to get a large word corpus to find compound words that are in common use and perhaps analyze them. I'm sure such a corpus can be found. In fact I think there are several. I just don't know if they are available from Stockholm University, University in Gothenburg, Svenska Akademien, or wherever. Svenska Akademien has a dictionary called SAOL, Svenska Akademiens Ordlista, which is supposed to contain all words, including compound ones, that are in common use.
The problem is that we have a habit of creating new compound words very regularly. We just make them up as we go along and the need arises. In this case I might say "ordsammansättningsproblemanalys" = "compound word problem analysis". You wouldn't find that one in ANY dictionary, but it's completely valid. There are rules to handle regarding where to insert an "s" too: "car wheel" = "bilhjul" and "problem" = "problem", but "car wheel problem" = "bilhjulsproblem" with an "s" inserted before "problem". But no "s" between "bil" and "hjul". This is rather complicated and in fact it's not uncommon for native Swedes to get this wrong.
Sami-Pekka Lehmuskoski commented
The main reasin why I'm not using your keyboard right now. (Plus "Smart Keyboard" has better buttons for accuracy.) Will check back when this compund words problem gets fixed.
I don't understand how the review of this suggestion could be taking so much time.
We NEED to be able to turn this feature OFF. It doesn't work for all languages.
I totally disagree with this idea, it would be much better to be able to turn off the feature instead, long pressing would take too much time.
I would be very happy to turn off the new anti-compound-words-feature.
Johan Varland commented
Combined words should be in the dictionary. Problem solved.
I'm not sure if I think that I agree with the solution of how to do compounds words... but I'm totally agree that compound words is a problem in swiftkey. I'm a swedish too.
Usefull for dutch and german as well
Same goes for the Hungarian language. There should be an option to turn this feature off altogether or it should be automatically disabled for certain languages.
All old Nokia phones has this function by pressing arrow down. When typing a compound word, the arrow down will be interpretded as an "invisible space", so that you can type the second (and third etc.) word with predictions, but without inserting a space.
On an android phone, long-pressing space bar could be a usable alternative.
This issue will be just as important for e.g. Norwegian and German too...
YES! I just started using Swiftkey, and it rocks! Except that it is a pain to write some compound words, and those are plentiful! Another way of implementing it would be to not having pressing a suggestion insert a space. Of course selectable behavior in settings.
Alternatively, a simple way to temporarily disable automatic space insertion after the current word, like Swype does.