Tips for Translators: How to Use Google as a Research Tool (Part 2)

Jan 30, 2012   //   by Sergio Guillen Rodriguez

Listed below are some tips on how to use Google effectively as a research tool. Here, you will find advanced search operators and other operators which you can utilise to help accomplish your translation work in a more timely fashion. Read on to find out exactly how.

This is the second of two articles related to this topic; the first post on how to use Google as a research tool was released last week. With this article, it is our hope that you will find the information on advanced and other search operators useful in your research as a translator. In your line of work, time is money, and we want to help you work as efficiently as possible using these tips on how to use Google effectively as a valuable research tool:

Advanced Search Operators:

  • Website operator — [site:]
    The use of this operator tells Google that you want only results that can be found in the specific site you specify. Basic search operators can also be used in conjunction with this operator. For example, the search [ “computer terminology”] will yield results from the site ‘’ that contain the phrase ‘computer terminology’.
  • File type operator — [filetype:]
    A file suffix can be added (e.g. ‘pdf’ or ‘doc’) and Google will show only results which contain pages that end in those specific suffixes. For example, the search [recycling glossary filetype:pdf OR filetype:doc] will yield results related to recycling glossaries in ‘pdf’ or ‘doc’ formats.
  • In title operator — [intitle:]
    The in title operator lets Google know that you are looking only for pages that have the term added after the operator in their title. For example, the search [genome intitle:glossary] will yield results that contain the word ‘glossary’ in their titles, and the word ‘genome’ anywhere within the document (regardless of whether it is found in the title).
  • In URL operator — [inurl:]
    When this operator is used, Google restricts results to sites that contain the term specified after the operator in their URL. For example, the search [printer site: inurl:troubleshooting] will yield results from the Samsung site that contain the word ‘troubleshooting’ in the URL and also mention the word ‘printer’ anywhere within the text.

Other Search Operators:

  • Define operator — [define:]
    This operator is quite useful for looking up word, sentence or acronym definitions. The operator simply needs to be placed in front of the word you wish to look up. For example, the search [define:article] will yield results for the definition and synonyms of the word ‘article’.
  • Unit conversion operator
    This simplifies unit conversion. All you need do is type in the conversion unit you are looking for after the unit that you already have: e.g. [25 miles in km] or [370 Fahrenheit in Celsius].

These are only some of the many search operators you can use to help conduct your research via Google much more efficiently and effectively. Feel free to leave a comment and share with other readers any search operators that are not mentioned and that you find useful.

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