- Enter the word or phrase (use quotation marks (" ") for phrases) that you wish
to translate in the search box next to your translation language pair, select a search
techniqe and then click on Find (Google is automatically opened and the search string
inserted in the search box).
- Remember that Google does not accept the wildcard
"*" for parts of a word, so you will have to run separate searches for singular
(e.g. colour), plural (e.g. colours) and any orthographical variants (e.g. color) or case
variants (German genitive: Hauses).
- Google does however allow the use of the wildcard * to replace an
"US president George * Bush"
where the * can stand for nothing or Bush's middle name/initial.
- Of all the techniques for
each language, technique no. 1 is generally the most effective.
techniques "SL in URL" find a web page containing your keyword and having a URL indicating your SOURCE LANGUAGE as the language of the document (parallel texts on
separate web pages). This presupposes that the text is available in other languages,
too, possibly in your TARGET language.
The techniques are arranged in order of effectiveness.
|WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR:
1) When sifting through the results, look for pages whose address indicates your SOURCE LANGUAGE;
Ignore pages whose
address contains no indication of your SL, in other words pages
whose addresses (URLs) contain "en", "de", "it", "fr", "french" etc. indicating NOT the page language but instead...
|A) a domain name denoting the
country in which the website is registered, as in:
|www.site.fr/page.htm (fr=France, not "French")
B) a different meaning,
|www.site.ch/la_vie_en_rose.htm (en=French preposition)
3) Once you have opened a page from
the results list, locate your search term on the page with CTRL-F
(do not use quotation marks!);
4) Open a new browser window with CTRL-N. In a pdf file, you may
need to place the cursor in the address bar at the top of the page
for this to work.
5) Look for a
link to a page in your TARGET language (in the form of a flag or a text link). If there is
none, then try changing the language code directly in the URL (try various codes and various
languages, e.g. for German; de, ge, deu, ger, germ, deutsch, german, tedesco,
The language code may need to be changed in more than one location (directory name,
filename prefix/suffix), e.g. http://www.ept.de/deutsch/pc104/pc104_d.htm
6) Alternatively, you may need to go back to the website's homepage (cut the URL
down as follows: "www.site.com/xy/z/page.htm" => "www.site.com") and seek a language link there. Once you have figured out the
website's structure for denoting various languages (e.g. a directory named "/fr/", "/french/" or "/francais/" or a filename prefix/suffix
such as in "page_f.htm" or "fr_page.htm"),
you can change the address accordingly (try various codes and various languages).
7) Sometimes the actual file name might change, too (e.g. "produits.htm" in French and "products.htm" in English): in that case
all you can do is browse the site's TL pages based on the location of the SL file.
"SL in URL & site=..." finds a page containing your
keyword and having a URL indicating your SOURCE
LANGUAGE; the page is from a country speaking your TARGET LANGUAGE, therefore it is highly likely that the page is available in
your target language, too (parallel texts on separate pages).
Search technique "Your
keyword on a page in ... (TL)" finds a page in your TARGET LANGUAGE
containing your keyword: you may find a translation of your term nearby (parallel texts
on same page).
"Your keyword on a page in TL country"
finds a page registered in a country speaking
your TARGET LANGUAGE that contains your keyword:
you may find a translation of your term nearby (parallel texts on same page) or a
link to a translation on another page. Several such techniques indicate different
countries where the same language is spoken (e.g. Germany, Switzerland and Austria for
- To increase your results:
A) Check your spelling;
B) Consider alternative spellings, e.g. ä/ae, bluechip/blue chip/blue-chip;
C) Try both singular and plural (e.g. electron gun / electron guns) (use of * is not
permitted in Google);
D) Try case variants (e.g. German genitive: Hauses)
E) Break your phrase down, e.g. instead of internet backbone as a
phrase, search for both words internet and backbone not
necessarily as a phrase. To do so, remove the quotation marks (" ") around your
- To limit your results/fine-tune your search:
If you are obtaining many irrelevant results, create a context by adding another keyword
that you would expect to find on the same page. To do so, enter another word after your
keyword and remember to remove the quotations marks!
e.g. .... security deposit (finds a page containing both words, not necessarily
as a phrase). This is useful when your keyword (security) has many
meanings: "deposit" helps define the correct field.
- Once you have opened an interesting page, open a second browser window and change the language designation in the URL
to locate the page in the other language. Try different variants (e.g. for English: en,
eng, engl, english, inglese, uk, us, etc.).
NOTE: Sometimes changes have to be made in more than one place, e.g.
will become: http://www.ept.de/english/pc104/pc104_e.htm.
Sometimes you will be lucky and find a link on your page to a page in your TARGET
LANGUAGE. In that case click on the language link!
- Always assess the authority of the texts found (Original text or translation?) before
using any terminology.
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