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.

In server projects, all project users can view project properties (including the text content language and stop words list), but only Project Owners can make changes. Collaborate in a server project

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 that is used for:

  • Spell checking.
  • Finding words with the same stem or similar meanings when you run Text Search and Word Frequency queries.
  • Including words with the same stem when you auto code based on existing coding patterns. (NVivo 12 Plus only)

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 Word Frequency or Text Search query
  • Generate a cluster analysis diagram comparing words in files or nodes

If you auto code based on existing coding patterns, NVivo excludes the stop words when comparing wording of text passages to previously coded content.

If you auto code themes or sentiment, the text content language determines the language used when processing your files. The 'stop word' list is not used for this feature. (NVivo 12 Plus only)

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.

NOTE  For Chinese and Japanese text content, stop words are not used to filter out content when running Text Search queries.

What stop words are provided by default?

NVivo provides default stop words for Chinese, English (UK), English (US), French, German, Japanese, Portuguese 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.

Set the text content language for your project

  1. Click the File tab and then click Project Properties.
  2. On the General tab, select the language used in your files from the Text content language list.

NOTES

  • 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 application options

View, add or remove stop words

  1. Click the File tab and then click Project Properties.
  2. On the General tab, click the Stop Words button. The Stop Words dialog box opens.
  3. Add or remove words from the list. Each word must be separated by a space.

NOTES

  • 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 Words group on the Word Frequency Query tab.
  • If you want to change the stop words for more than one language, make sure you click Apply on the Project Properties dialog after changing the stop words for a language (before you select the next language).
  • In a server project, you cannot add or remove stop words when another user has a file (internal, external or memo) open in edit mode.

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.

  1. Click the File tab and then click Project Properties.
  2. On the General tab, click the Stop Words button. The Stop Words dialog box opens.
  3. Click Reset, and then click OK.