How to Use the Glossary Search Interface Using Altavista

  1. Choose a language from the menu on the left, select a search technique (technique no. 1 is generally the most effective) and click on Find;

  2. In Altavista, replace keyword at the beginning of the search criteria with your own keyword in lower case (use " " for phrases);

  3. Do NOT touch any other part of the search string;

  4. To refine your search later on you may replace keyword as follows:


    A) backbone AND internet
    [to avoid medical glossaries]

    B) (backbone NEAR internet)
    [with brackets; more restrictive than A)]

    C) backbone AND NOT medical
    [to exclude medical glossaries]

  5. To increase results:

    A) break down phrases. Example: instead of internet backbone, use A) or B) above.

    B) Use the Boolean OR or the wildcard (*) (*=0-10 characters) to cover more options. Examples:

    (outperformer OR out-performer)
    [with brackets]

    [=> finds singular and plural]

  6. BEWARE: Sometimes Altavista automatically sets a language filter, restricting your search to pages in a specific language (which may be the reason for your obtaining very few or no results). If this happens, set the filter to All Languages.


Tip: If you can't find your term, try search criteria in another language, for example English.

If you like, you may try a guided search using the English search criteria.


Want to find out more about how these search interfaces work and gain insight into other tricks of the trade?
Sign up for my Internet Search Techniques for Translators course

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