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Using the web - searches
Thread poster: Nikki Scott-Despaigne
Given that many of the terms you might need do not exist in dictionaries but that all the info you need is out there on the web just waiting to be discovered, as long as you have a discerning eye and brain, any search techniques to improve efficiency and accuracy are very welcome indeed.
Here are a couple of mine. Post yours! Share and share alike.
When conducting a websearch for a term, try typing in your original term and
- either add other langauage (which may lead you on to bi-lingual sites, good starting point)
- if you have an idea about a term, type in both the original term in the source language and a keyword in the target langauge.
- typing in the source langauge term and adding the word \"glossary\"
These are simple tehcniques and surprisingly successful, ones I often use to get started. They seem obvious to me but might not be to others.
Any other hints on getting set on the right track quickly?
With regards to
\"The only problem with entering the other language as well (or the term in the other language) is that these are not usually captured by the search engine as they would be at two different addresses: e.g., http://www.abc.com/products and http://www.abc.com/german/Produkte, etc.).\",
That\'s just the point. I use Google and AltaVista a lot and being able to catch them out, as it were, will often advance the sifting process and at least get you onto the right sites. Try it! It\'s not 100% but extremely helpful.
| | gianfranco
Local time: 23:04
English to Italian
Knowing how to use several search engines is nowadays an essential tool for translators.
I have specifically studied how they work and how to extract the best from several engines, but nobody has yet mentioned in this forum the \'meta search engines\'.
Basically they are interfaces to a number of \'real\' search engines and produce a number of occurrences pulling out all the results in a single list.
Even better, I like a software called Copernic.
It\'s a meta search engine that works from
your desktop, not on-line, with several advantages.
Here is a quick list of what I like about this software:
- it is fast
- it can be configured to use MANY search engines
- it queries many different categories of search engines
- it eliminates the duplicates
- it can verify if the sites are still active (very often the occurrences provided by src.eng. are not up-to-date)
and optionally can discard all items \'not found\')
- it can \'refine\' a first large list using additional criteria
- it can save the list for future reference and re-use (very important!, this is not available in any of the on-line systems)
I have tried it and after ONE day I had already paid for the Plus version (it costs only US$ 39.95.
There is also a Pro version, but I didn\'t see it necessary.
On the minus side, some traditional search engines can be more efficient. The trick is again to use for each situation the right tool.
Some searches are better done in Google, on other occasions this is the best way to find that elusive piece of information.
Where can it be found?
Oh, well, use a search engine...
[ This Message was edited by: mancag on 2001-05-30 16:13 ]
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I was introduced to this one last year by a friend. Very useful although almost too useful sometimes. When speed counts, then Google and Alta Vista are pretty efficient!
Check out www.onelook.com - quite helpful, searching across over 720 online dictionaries and glossaries...in English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Chinese and other...
| | LAC
Local time: 21:04
French to English
when all else has failed, I often have been able to get \"unstuck\" by performing a google search (requesting target language sites only) by searching on all the OTHER key words in the sentence/paragraph surrounding the term I\'m looking for (and refining the results using \" - \" to eliminate interference from non-related topics). At the very least, this can often get me enough background to be able to find (using other means) the exact term needed.
any other tactics?
| | Roomy Naqvy
Local time: 07:34
English to Hindi
| | Doru Voin
Local time: 05:04
English to Romanian
You might find this book very useful, as did I: Olivier Andrieru, Méthodes outils de recherche sur l\'Internet. It explains in great detail, for each important search engine, the refine searc criteria.
Just a quick thank you to those who are sharing their hints for websearches, all very useful.
Though it might be an unnecessary warning, I keep two caveats in mind when using a search engine for translation research:
1. Frequency (hit count) is not as relevant as some people take it. If there is a common misspelling in a certain language, it\'s quite likely to find enough hits to think it\'s correct.
Two examples in Brazilian Portuguese:
- pobrema (wrong) instead of problema (correct)
- excessão (wrong) instead of exceção (correct)
2. Translated sites might contain word usage wrongly \"imported\" from a different language, especially when translation was done by software:
A \"slurry pump\" would be a \"bomba de lama\" in Portuguese, but this could easily be translated back into English as a \"mud bomb\"!
So it\'s better to double-check when some \"solution\" for one language is found in a site from a country where that language is not the official one.
Absolutely José. Finding hits for a term does not mean it really exists, is right or appropriate for a given context. That\'s why you have to spend time selecting, reading through the pages, and checking the reliability of the sources.
I also agree with you that you should never loose sight of the fact that it might already be a translation. It is always worth double checking by doing a series of searches for the term from independent sources in both the source and target langauges and seeing how they are used in their original form. There is jno other way to do that in fact!
I have put together a few search interfaces to help translators locate the following on the internet:
- dictionaries & glossaries containing specific keywords/phrases
- lists of abbreviations and their meanings
- parallel texts
They work in several languages.
If anyone would like me to add another language, just email me at:
All feedback is much appreciated!
Additional techniques for finding translations are listed at the bottom of the search interfaces, e.g.:
- searching for an English term in Altavista and setting the language to German: that is useful for finding parallel texts on the same page, or simply the English word next to a German equivalent.
- searching for your German word along with an English word you are certain to find on the same page if parallel texts are available (e.g. Steuerzahler AND tax): you may even find a bilingual glossary!
Additional tips for finding definitions:
MOST IMPORTANT TIP: try lowercase letters if you are getting no results! Lowercase finds ALL variants (e.g. house, House, HOUSE, HoUsE etc.)
Tanya Harvey Ciampi
[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-16 00:26 ]
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[ This Message was edited by: on 2001-07-16 00:27 ]
| | GoodWords
Local time: 21:04
Spanish to English
Here are 2 more tips:
1) Some glossaries can only be found with the keyword \"terminology\"; it\'s a good idea to do 2 searches, one with \"glossary\" and another one with \"terminology\".
2) To add to what Lara mentioned, about using other words that might be found near your target term, once you start getting some hits that seem to be moving you towards what you are looking for, you often start getting an better idea of what other words will likely be on the \"perfect page\" that answers your question 100%. So now you start using a few of these as keywords, too.
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