How to Use the Parallel Text Search Interface Using Altavista

  1. Choose a language from the menu on the left, select a search technique and click on Find;

  2. In Altavista, replace keyword at the beginning of the search criteria with your own keyword in lower case (no need for " " 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: (examples)

    A) backbone AND internet
    [to avoid medical glossaries]

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

  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, plural and, in other languages, other variants such as genitive, dative etc.]

  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.


If you like, you may try a guided search for German-English (source->target) parallel texts.


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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