About improving the 'Web Term Search' function
Thread poster: Dorian Cave

Dorian Cave  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:47
Chinese to French
+ ...
May 25, 2012

(this post is a spin-off of the idea I submitted on Proz's Uservoice website improvement space)

One thing Proz provides, which I've hitherto been unable to find anywhere, is the possibility of simultaneously processing the search for a keyword on a whole set of dictionaries (including the Kudoz database), and displaying the results within a single window in a single clicks.

None of the online metasearch engines I've examined up to now have this focus on dictionaries and language resources, nor do they offer the possibility of selectively adding one's prefered databases to the research scope. (but if anyone knows of such options available anywhere, for free, I'd be most interested!)

However, this Web Term Search function Proz makes available to us is far from perfect. I see at least 2 major defects:

  1. Broken / dysfunctional / outdated links on many search tabs;

  2. Very incomplete list of available sources.


1. I tried searching for a simple word in a English-French language pair, using the most up-to-date version of Firefox, and these were the results:

'Ectaco' tab: a "Forbidden" browser error ('You don't have permission to access /online/diction.php3 on this server.')
'Logos': displays the interface to process the search, again, from the website -- not the results of this very search.
'IEV': a "404" browser error ('HTTP Web Server: Couldn't find design note - SearchViewEN')
'GoogleTrans' & 'Google': empty windows. (admittedly, this could be because I'm connecting from within mainland China, without a VPN, so accessing Google can sometimes be problematic -- yet I'm perfectly able to access these websites right now, outside of this Proz 'Web Term Search' window!)
'Clusty': server timeout browser error.
'Webcorp': see comment on 'Logos', above.
'Alltheweb': 'Invalid URL' error (The requested URL "/search?q=fumes&cat=web&cs=utf-8&_sb_lang=any", is invalid.)
'Lycos': 404 error.
'Teoma': 404 error.
'Metacrawler': "Server is not able to respond to your request."

In brief, out of the 17 tabs made available in total for this particular language pair search, an astonishing 10 aren't functional or not very much so! A worrying proportion, isn't it?

2. I believe there would be quite a few other valuable input sources to add to the list. Off the top of my bookmark list:

English French, and many (many!) other pairs:



Chinese English, Chinese Chinese:



Chinese English, Chinese Japanese, JapaneseEnglish:



And I'm quite certainly omitting loads of other sites!

Therefore, I recommended on Proz's website improvement space to make a "Suggestions" input box directly available on the Web Search Term Window, so website users could send out suggestions of websites that could be added to (or, if not functional anymore, removed from!) the list of available tabs. The website team could then review those suggestions, and add the most useful sources.

I really believe this search page can be turned into something much better, and incredibly more useful still.

In the meantime... Would anyone have other websites to recommend than those already listed here, or on that Proz page? (*) Or other metasearch engines that would allow a focus on translation resources only?

(*) Come to think of it, there doesn't seem to be any page on Proz that would provide useful "References" in terms of websites specifically, in the same way the 'bookish' reference page does... Why not? Or did I fail to find it somewhere?


Oliver Clanget
Local time: 01:47
English to German
+ ...
Alternative Mar 19, 2013

Dear colleague,

I have been using my own tool for years for the purposes proz.com's Web Term Search was built. You'll probably want to have a try:


Make sure your browser opens links in new tabs (instead of windows), the rest should be self-explaining...

Does this suit your needs? I'm open for comments and ideas...



Dorian Cave  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:47
Chinese to French
+ ...
Great work! Mar 19, 2013

Excellent, thanks a lot for the link Oliver.

I actually found a Firefox plugin that works a bit in the same way: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/web-search-pro/

It enables the use of an advanced search field in FF, which can be customized to organize search engines into groups then perform a search in all of them simultaneously or separately.

But your website remains a great translation ressource, especially since one can choose to tick only certain checkboxes in particular.

Well done!


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