Text content language and stop words
Text content language is the language of the files that you import or work with in NVivo. You can work with your NVivo interface in one language and your source files in another. For example, you may work with the interface in English, but you are analyzing interviews that are transcribed in French.
The text content language and stop word lists are managed via project properties. Project property settings apply to every user who accesses the project.
This topic is about changing the settings to match your text content language. If you want to know about changing the interface language to French, German or Spanish (Mexico), refer to Understand how the interface language is determined.
Why set the text content language?
NVivo provides the following text content languages: Chinese, English (UK), English (US), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese and Spanish.
Each text content language has an associated dictionary which allows you to find words with the same stem when you run Text Search or Word Frequency queries.
Each text content language also has an associated 'stop word' list. The words in the stop word list are filtered out (removed) when you run a Text Search or Word Frequency query.
If you auto code based on existing coding patterns, NVivo excludes the stop words when comparing wording of text passages to previously coded content.
Make sure that the text content language is set to match the language of your files. If the language of your files is not available as a text content language, you should set the text content language to 'Other'. When the text content language is set to 'Other', you cannot look for similar words when you run a Text Search query or Word Frequency query.
- For Japanese text content, stop words are not used to filter out content when running Text Search queries.
- For Chinese text content, stop words are not used to filter out content when running Text Search or Word Frequency queries.
What stop words are provided by default?
NVivo provides default stop words for English (UK), English (US), French, German, Japanese and Spanish. The default stop words are less significant words like conjunctions or prepositions that may not be meaningful to your analysis. You can view the stop words associated with each language, and you can customize the stop words by adding or removing words from the stop word list.
Choose File > Project Properties, and click General and then select the language used in your files from the Text content language pop-up menu.
- If the language used in your files is not available in the Text content language list, select the language 'Other'. By default, the stop word list for the language 'Other' is empty—you can add your own words to create a stop word list to suit the language of your files.
- You can also set the default text content language that will apply to any future projects you create. Set NVivo preferences
Choose File > Project Properties, click General and then click the Stop Words button.
- You can also add stop words by selecting words displayed in the results of a Word Frequency query.
Select the word you want to exclude from the query results, then click Add to Stop Words List, in the Actions group on the Query tab.
Restore the default stop words
CAUTION When you restore the default stop word list for a text content language, any additional words that you have added to the stop word list are removed.
- Choose File > Project Properties, click General and then click the Stop Words button.
- Click Restore Defaults, and then click OK.