How to Use the Abbreviation Search Interface Using Altavista

  1. Choose a language from the menu on the left and click on Find;

  2. In Altavista, replace keyword at the beginning of the search criteria with your abbreviation;

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

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

    A) GPRS AND mobile
    [=> restricts your search to mobile-telephony-related abbreviations]

    B) (GPRS NEAR mobile)
    [with brackets; more restrictive than A)];

  5. To increase results:

    A) Try lower case (Example: unesco finds: Unesco, UNESCO, UNesco, unesco etc.)

    B) Insert full stops (Example: instead of mtbf, try: m.t.b.f.)

  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.

Alternatively, you could try using the glossary search interface.


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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