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Google is getting TOO smart
Thread poster: CristinaPereira

CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Aug 6, 2007

I don't know if this is the right topic, but Google is surely a translation resource. And a wonderful one! However, I think it is getting so smart that sometimes it difficults one's task rather than helps.

Just now I run a search with an institution's name and the acronym I thought should be right in Portuguese, in this case MAAP. It returned all the results with that name and the word "map", probably because it thought I am dumb and don't know how to spell map. More surprinsingly, I really mean "map" in English because in Portuguese the word is "mapa"!

Just thought of sharing... I would like to know if I'm not the only one feeling this. Or if there are some techniques to fool Google in this respect

Rergards,

Cristina


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Narcis Lozano Drago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:15
Member (2007)
English to Spanish
+ ...
One solution Aug 6, 2007

Actually there was a forum about the same subject some time ago. To solve this problem you should have typed "MAAP", with quotation marks, even if it's just one word. This way google will search the word exactly as you type it and will not try to find spelling variations, plurals, etc.

Hope it helps.


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 03:15
Spanish
+ ...
+ Aug 6, 2007

I hate it when Google jumps to its own conclusions, machines (or whatever the hell Google is) shouldn't be allowed to think Just add a plus sign before the word, i.e. +maap. The 'plus sign' trick is useful also to avoid combining plural and singular words in the same search, for instance: a google search of 'map' will include also 'maps, but '+map' won't.

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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Nice tips Aug 6, 2007

Thanks, Narcis and Claudia! These are really nice tips.

I used to type the plus sign some years ago and I still use quotation marks but I guess I haven't been doing my homework

Thank you very much!

Cristina


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Yongmei Liu  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:15
English to Chinese
+ ...
Hear, hear! Aug 6, 2007

And thanks for the tip, too. The plus sign seems to work better than the quotation marks.

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Anne Goff  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:15
French to English
+ ...
In defence of Google... Aug 6, 2007

I have had the same problem and agree that it is very frustrating. On the other hand, when I have to search for something in a less "intelligent" search engine than Google I find myself getting much more annoyed.

Haven't we all used Google's smart search feature when we're looking up a term that we think may have been a typo to begin with? I know Google's suggestions for alternatives have helped me many times.

Unfortunately sometimes you have to take the bad with the good.


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Alan R King
Local time: 10:15
Basque to English
+ ...
The point is... Aug 6, 2007

...that Google is not really intended as a translation tool (or not primarily), which doesn't stop us from using it as one, and benefitting from its use too. Google is meant as a tool for looking for INFORMATION, i.e. CONTENT. Perhaps someone should come up with another tool to meet our specialist needs; no doubt it would work somewhat differently. We may sometimes find Google inconvenient in the way that a spoon is inefficient as a cutting instrument - yet may be handy when no knives are available!

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Taner Göde
Local time: 11:15
English to Turkish
+ ...
Googleing Aug 6, 2007

Yes, you can use the " ........ " quotation marks as well as the plus "+" and minus "-" marks. But what I like most is to write the word "define:" in the search bar and then the word in the specific language. I am baffled with the huge load and amount of information that is being returned to me by Google... FOR FREE...!!!

Oh yes, how did we do translations without Google, or even without the Internet...??? Didn't we use dusty dictionaries, took thousands of notes and shares words as if these were secret (I remember to have sold the word "impeccable" for $10 and "exquisite" for $20 cash).

Oh yes, we were translators, then! Now we are merely a link in a chain. We get paid, and we can go home. Mechanic moments to think about I would say.

Love all,

Taner


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Robin Salmon  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:15
German to English
+ ...
Another technique Aug 7, 2007

If I know part of the translation, I put the source word in inverted commas, the plus sign and then the part of the word I am sure of, in inverted commas again. A simple example in German:

"Bücherschrank"+"book". Your Google answers on "Search the Web" will bring up the word "bookcase".

Anyone know any more techniques?


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Rafa Lombardino
United States
Local time: 01:15
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Google.com.pt Aug 7, 2007

Google has dedicated homepages and domains for major languages. Have you tried to access the Portuguese Google?

If you go to Google.com.pt and choose the option Páginas escritas em Português (if you're not looking for contents from a Portuguese-speaking country in particular) or Páginas de Portugal (pretty much self-explanatory: Portugal only), you'll most likely find better results and filter the bad ones out.


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Jande  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 18:15
Danish to English
+ ...
you can use the advanced search Aug 7, 2007

The google advanced search can be used to restrict searches to particular languages or countries. Not to mention words etc.

You can type in the search domain for a country. for example Domain only return results from the site or domain .pt

This is the same as typing site:.pt in the search line

I find this is better than choosing the language, because I have found this option doesn't work.

It is also useful because you can use the one google page to search different countries.


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Alan R King
Local time: 10:15
Basque to English
+ ...
Tricks Aug 7, 2007

One of my "tricks" is, if for example I need to translate "goblinfly" into Spanish, or "tidal fracture" into German, I write this on the search line:

goblinfly español
"tidal fracture" Deutsch

Normally bilingual or multilingual websites will have a link containing the name of the alternative language (either "Español" or "Esta página en español" or something similar), so [goblinfly español] is likely to find pages in English (because of "goblinfly", assuming this were an English word) and Spanish.

Doesn't always work, but it often results in finding glossaries and other translators' resources covering the subject you're translating. That was actually how I discovered (and got into the habit of using) ProZ.com!!

Alan


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:15
French to English
+ ...
Or, better still, use IntelliWebSearch Aug 7, 2007

... which automates all that for you.

To quote Jost Zetzsche (hope he won't mind):
"This humble little application copies highlighted text from any Windows application with a number of user-definable shortcut keys; strips the text of paragraph marks, line breaks, or any customizable characters; opens your default browser and sends the copied text to up to 10 customizable search engines or on-line dictionaries. Once you have your search engines and dictionaries for your language combinations set up, it's incredibly easy to use and I promise that your fingers will think in IntelliWebSearch-terms from now on. (Mine automatically go Ctrl+Alt+Shift+B if I see something that I need to check on German Google, and I'm always terribly disappointed when I am doing something on someone else's computer that may not have it installed.)"

www.intelliwebsearch.com

Jost shouldn't really be terribly disappointed if it's not installed as it only takes a few seconds to do and it's freeware.

Regards,
David Turner


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CristinaPereira  Identity Verified
Local time: 09:15
Member (2005)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, everyone Aug 7, 2007

For all your different tips and advice. I think this "secrets sharing" is already helping other people as well.

I already restrict my searches to google.pt but when I find no result, then I broaden it to google.com to get the help of the global Portuguese community

My tip (which probably is not new to anyone): when I have a difficult foreign term to translate, I type it in google.pt, in my case, and the Portuguese word I think could be the translation. Sometimes it works because a lot of this words have the original expression in parenthesis.

When I don't have a clue into what a foreign word means, I type (in google.com) "XXX means". At least I get an explanation. Or I type "XXX or" - sometimes this provides me with a synonym or another term used for the one I'm searching (and sometimes much more used than the previous one).

Nothing new, I guess

I'll have to try David's IntelliWeb Search too - thanks for that!


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David Turner  Identity Verified
Local time: 10:15
French to English
+ ...
Google scholar Aug 7, 2007

... is another option which provides more "academic" lookups with no commercial entries or advertising, more like being in a library.

http://scholar.google.com

Regards,
David


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