Using image search during translation
Thread poster: Phil Hand

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:17
Chinese to English
Feb 25, 2014

I was just answering another thread, and thought about how much I use image search to help me understand my source texts, and to check that my target is correct. I searched, and it seems like the topic hasn't come up on the forums for a very long time. Seems like a major omission to me, so I'm starting a thread. How do you use image search when you translate? Any recent good examples?

Here are a few of mine.
1) Identifying people. No usually a problem for those who work in languages with roman script, but many people have their names transcribed into Chinese characters, and you can't always be sure who they are. Image search can solve this problem (if the images exist on the web, of course!)

2) Understanding mechanical things. A picture says more than 1000 words. Especially if you can find good, labelled technical drawings.

3) Colours. Pretty obvious this one: sometimes particular tones are difficult to interpret. What does British racing green actually look like?

4) Getting a feeling for tone. This is a subtle one: emotional words can be quite hard to get spot on. Sometimes I just stick the word into Google Images and look at the expressions on the faces that pop up. It's hardly exact science, but it can help to stimulate the mind!

5) Event names. In China, a lot of public events are dominated by backboards with the name of the event in Chinese, and often English as well. These backboards are a goldmine, as the official English name of a Chinese event may well not appear anywhere else in text.

That's your starter for ten, now over to everyone else. A friend of mine called Dave put me onto using image search about five years ago, and it's been a massive help in my translation practice. I'm putting up this thread to remind anyone who doesn't yet regularly use image search: it's a boon.


 

Jean Lachaud  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:17
English to French
+ ...
sounds interesting Feb 25, 2014

quite interesting, in fact.

Although I don't really understand the procedure. How does one search "images"?


 

Michele Fauble  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:17
Member (2006)
Norwegian to English
+ ...
Searching images Feb 25, 2014

JL01 wrote:

How does one search "images"?


Simply click on "Images" (Web Images News Shopping Videos) when googling a term.


 

Triston Goodwin  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 12:17
Spanish to English
+ ...
Limited use Feb 25, 2014

I like your idea of searching for expressions, that's not something I would have ever thought of. We use image searches for some product or marketing texts, in order to get a better feel or vibe from the product.

 

Elizabeth Adams  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 11:17
Member (2002)
Russian to English
+ ...
Image Search Feb 25, 2014

Hi Phil,

I love using image search! What I usually do is open two windows and do an image search for the source term and then, in the other window, do image searches for proposed translations from whatever source.

Your idea to use it for colors is brilliant.

Let's open a thread for other interesting search ideas!

Elizabeth


 

Tim Friese  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 13:17
Member (2013)
Arabic to English
+ ...
Good topic Feb 25, 2014

Phil Hand wrote:

1) Identifying people. No usually a problem for those who work in languages with roman script, but many people have their names transcribed into Chinese characters, and you can't always be sure who they are. Image search can solve this problem (if the images exist on the web, of course!)

2) Understanding mechanical things. A picture says more than 1000 words. Especially if you can find good, labelled technical drawings.

3) Colours. Pretty obvious this one: sometimes particular tones are difficult to interpret. What does British racing green actually look like?

4) Getting a feeling for tone. This is a subtle one: emotional words can be quite hard to get spot on. Sometimes I just stick the word into Google Images and look at the expressions on the faces that pop up. It's hardly exact science, but it can help to stimulate the mind!

5) Event names. In China, a lot of public events are dominated by backboards with the name of the event in Chinese, and often English as well. These backboards are a goldmine, as the official English name of a Chinese event may well not appear anywhere else in text.



I certainly use image search for machines and equipment very frequently. I remember on one Arabic > English project I was stumped about these two things with confusingly similar names in both Arabic and English: "rescue vehicle" (generally a kind of SUV ambulance) and "recovery vehicle" (a vehicle on tank treads mainly to get other tanks or vehicles out of mud or other terrain).

I hadn't thought about searching for emotion words though I could have used that in projects of surveys and the like that ask about annoyed vs. upset vs. angry etc.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 01:17
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Integrated Feb 26, 2014

Elizabeth Adams wrote: What I usually do is open two windows

Image search is integrated in my CAT tool, and I've been using it since I started using that tool in 2010. I admit however, that my first thoughts on "image search" were "Why on earth do I need this? Images? I'm a man of the words". Until I started using the feature.

Mao.png

I admit to cheating. The Chairman wasn't in my source text, but the results for "industry" were depressing, and because of Phil being the OP, I wanted something Chinese.

Cheers,

Hans


 

Phil Hand  Identity Verified
China
Local time: 02:17
Chinese to English
TOPIC STARTER
Search terms/search images Feb 26, 2014

JL01 wrote:

How does one search "images"?

In my post I was just talking about the standard image search function in Google/other search engines, where you put a word or words into the search engine and it comes back with relevant images.

Of course there's a fairly new search function where you can capture an image, either by copying it off the web or by taking a picture with your camera phone, and use the image itself as your search term. I have never used this version, and I'm not sure how it would be helpful yet, but if anyone has any experience, then please do share.


 

Jennifer Barnett  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 20:17
Dutch to English
+ ...
Safari extension: Google search by image. Feb 26, 2014

I could not do without Google images!

For Mac users there is the Safari extension 'Google search by image'.
"This extension allows you to initiate a Google search using any image on the web."

https://extensions.apple.com

I have not yet installed it because "the developer server appears to be busy", but it sounds very useful.


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 01:17
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Automator Services Feb 26, 2014

Jennifer Barnett wrote:
For Mac users there is the Safari extension 'Google search by image'...but it sounds very useful.

We Macs, we avoid the Thieves of Mountain View whenever we can, but apart from that, I doubt this extension is useful for translators. As I read it, you start your search with an image, and we translators, we start with words. And we can easily initiate a search for pics from within our CAT tool or text editor using Automator Services. Select a word, hit a keyboard shortcut, and a window will open with the results of the search engine of your choice. Pics, in this case. I wrote about the (very easy) process here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2184204/Create%20Your%20Own%20Search%20Engines.pdf

Cheers,

Hans


 

Luca Tutino  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 20:17
Member (2002)
English to Italian
+ ...
Which CAT tool? Feb 26, 2014

Meta Arkadia wrote:
Image search is integrated in my CAT tool,
Hans


Nice interface! Can you tell us which CAT tool is it?
Luca


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 01:17
English to Indonesian
+ ...
CafeTran Feb 26, 2014

Luca Tutino wrote:Nice interface! Can you tell us which CAT tool is it?
Luca

CafeTran, Luca. It's cross-platform, stand-alone, very light (less than 10 MB download), and feature-rich like the big boys, if not more so. And the interface can be customised in just about any way. And cheap at that, only € 80.

Cheers,

Hans


 


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