cfcuil Search Engines and Web Browsers





Translation Journal
Caught in the Web

Web Surfing for Fun and Profit

Search Engines and Web Browsers

by Cathy Flick, Ph.D.
Héctor Gayón says to use this url as your home page instead of just if you are outside the US but want the main home page rather than the localized versions. The url usually automatically re-directs to a local version of the Google page (e.g.,, but the ncr code (ncr = no country re-direct) overrides that.
Kirill Sereda says, "This search engine can search for exact character strings. For example, you have an abbreviation, in which you remember the words the first two letters stand for, but you cannot remember the third word. Example: I wanted to know what the letter D meant in the abbreviation VFD. I knew that V = variable, F = frequency, but no matter how hard I tried, I could not remember what D meant. Typing 'variable frequency d' in EReK produced 'variable frequency drive'."
Kirill Sereda suggests this "specialized search engine for life sciences" which can turn up detailed material not found on Google. Also a nice collection of lab-oriented comics... (mobile phone version)

Michelle Asselin found this relatively new but cool search engine that insists it isn't one: "Wolfram Alpha [is] a computational knowledge engine. It generates output by doing computations from its own internal knowledge base, instead of searching the web and returning links." Clear as mud, perhaps, but this just means that when you enter key words in a query, if it knows about it then you get back an organized bit of information rather than a set of links to explore. Hit the Examples link at the top to see how it works. You can also insert a Wolfram Alpha box on a Google or Yahoo desktop or your own website. Before you ask--there's an app for it (iPhone and iPad). And yes, if you type in the query:
answer to the universe and everything
then it indeed returns the answer "42"...
Tanya Harvey Ciampi maintains this site with many useful tools, information, and links for translators in the cyberage. See links at the top of the home page: Tools, Search Interfaces (e.g., for finding glossaries on the net), Dictionaries, Search Engines, etc.
More google tricks:
define:keyword to get a definition of the keyword
weather:zipcode to get weather info in the USA

Ruud Harmsen offers a way to get around Google's usual refusal to pay attention to diacritical marks: "If you don't want that, add a + (plus) before the search argument, meaning "written exactly like that". Note that a minus sign (hyphen) will exclude a term from the search.
Paul Gallagher suggests this "Google cheat sheet" to make your searches more efficient.
Michael Burns says this is "A light and fast search engine that searches multiple medical dictionaries, journals and other things at one go. English, with a link to a Korean version."
Nice review of eight mac-friendly web browsers, particularly with a view toward how well they deal with some law sites. Compares features, has links to developers' websites for more information and free trials.

Margaret Kane Savage suggests this trick for French-English translators looking for Rosetta Stones: "Entering a French or English word or expression into Google, followed by (no spaces) will produce a listing of the Government of Canada websites (all programs, services, departments, ministries and organizations) in which it appears. With few exceptions, the page will have a link to the corresponding page in the other official language, right at the top."
Michael Roehrig found this new time-saving option on linking to the excellent LEO German-English online dictionary ( "By entering anyword de-en or: anyword deutsch-englisch for the translation into English or anyword en-de or anyword englisch-deutsch for the translation into German in the Google search field, the first hit Google returns is a link to the entry in LEO marked with a dictionary symbol, and a reference to ''. By clicking on the link you will be taken to the LEO results page. anyword is a placeholder for any word you may want to look up in our dictionary. You can also search for more than one word (e.g. katzen grau de-en)."
Paul Frank pointed out this new Google search engine feature: "Google Scholar enables you to search specifically for scholarly literature, including peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, preprints, abstracts and technical reports from all broad areas of research. Use Google Scholar to find articles from a wide variety of academic publishers, professional societies, preprint repositories and universities, as well as scholarly articles available across the web." You can also alert Google to your own article (instructions in the "About Google Scholar" link).
John Wilcock found a new trick for Google: "Just enter any calculation into a normal google search box ... and it gives you the result. I'm particularly impressed by the unit conversion function - just use the word 'in' and a target unit, e.g. '10 litres in imperial gallons', '1 15/64 inch in cm', or even more esoteric conversions like '1 light year in furlongs'!" See second general link for other google tricks.
Margaret Schroeder found this multilingual "online dictionary of nearly everything... Another nice feature of this dictionary is that it includes lots of phrases as well as individual words". I've run into it accidentally on occasion during bilingual google searches, but Margaret says it can be unaccidentally accessed on google by entering this into the search box: [word] site:
Margaret Schroeder says this Reverse Dictionary is "for anyone who writes in English...You can use it like a thesaurus, entering a single word. Or for those tip-of-the-tongue moments, a whole phrase. Another technique is when I have two overlapping words, but the one I want (and can't think of) is in the intersection of the two."
Amy Taylor points that Google has some new tricks: locating patents (search for "patent 5123123" for example), track Fedex, US postal service, or UPS packages, air flight status, UPC codes, US area codes. Look for the Search by Number section on this help page for details.

How To Find Rosetta Stones

Dominik Kreuzer has this tip for finding "Rosetta Stones" (sites with the same material in more than one language): "The hit list in Google and some other search engines shows the exact URL of each listed page hit. Webmasters often put the different languages of their multilingual website in separate subdirectories, which are usually called something like eng, ger, esp, etc. (or en, de, es/e, d, es...). This makes it quite easy to identify many multi-language sites just by looking at the path information in the page address. If the page turns out to contain the terminology or information you're looking for, you can either go back to the website's homepage and retrace your steps to that page in the target language, or (useful for complex sites) take a guess at the name of the corresponding target language directory and substitute it in the URL in the browser's Address field. This also works with filenames, especially of PDFs, which sometimes have _en, _de, etc. or similar suffixes in their name."
Susan Larsson found a way to get back to a saved link that no longer exists: the Wayback Machine. No, not the one with the dog and his boy.... "The Internet Archive is building a digital library of Internet sites and other cultural artifacts in digital form. Like a paper library, we provide free access to researchers, historians, scholars, and the general public.... The Wayback Machine makes it possible to surf more than 10 billion pages stored in the Internet Archive's web archive."
Carol Shaw suggests taking a look at this new search engine.
Michael Molin says this site "gives wonderful results as a clustering search engine."
Birgit Laursen points out this glossary feature of Google that is worth looking at: "Google gives definitions of terms found on the web and reduces the 'noise' from an ordinary search."
Not a new url, but a useful tip from Martin Purdy: " While in regular searches, even using quote marks, words such as "in", "at", "on" etc. are ignored, you can force Google to include them by prefixing a "+", e.g. "traffic +to your website" .... Likewise you can instruct it to ignore terms by prefixing a minus sign, which can be extremely useful."

See Fun! section for more about this Google search engine game....
Radek Pletka suggests taking a look at this helpful site that helps narrow down broad searches in Google with useful pop-up menus for organizing your search results. It advertises itself as "the most user friendly search engine in the worldē. There is a demo at the site.
Steven Geller says this "Dutch language the best Dutch language site ever".
Robert Stoll passed along a find by Willem Witteveen. Scirus is a scientific search engine that "enables scientists, students and anyone searching for scientific information to chart and pinpoint data, locate university sites, and find reports and articles in a clutter-free, user-friendly and efficient manner.... It currently covers the Web, the ScienceDirect database (containing 1,200 journals), BioMedNet, ChemWeb, Neuroscion and Medline."
Manon Bergeron found this: " lets you search the Web for sound effects and sample sounds. ... More than searching text labels, allows you to search for audio files based on how they sound. You can even create your own sounds and use them to find similar sounds on the Web."
Paul Makinen says: "The best search engine for Croatia is CROSS... The Croatian government actually has most of its regulations online now, and they're all indexed here." CROSS stands for Croatia Search Service, and it searches documents on WWW servers in Croatia.
Susan Larsson points out this source for kid-friendly search engines, "from Search Engine Watch: links to articles, search engines, children's guides". Susan picked out some of the best (with quotes from Search Engine Watch) below.
Yahoo for kids, designed for ages 7 to 12. Sites are hand-picked to be appropriate for children.... Additionally, adult-oriented banner advertising will not appear within the service."-Search Engine Watch
"Ask Jeeves is a unique service where you enter a question, and Ask Jeeves tries to point you to the right web page that provides an answer. At Ask Jeeves For Kids, answers have been vetted for appropriateness. Also, if Ask Jeeves cannot answer a question, it pulls results from various search engines in its metacrawler mode. At Ask Jeeves For Kids, no site that is on SurfWatch's block list will be listed."-Search Engine Watch!/
"Backed by librarians, KidsClick lists about 5,000 web sites in various categories."-Search Engine Watch



Harald Rebling suggests giving this fast shareware web browser “Opera” a try.
Igor Vesler (via Konstantin Lakshin) recommends this one as a Russian search engine—it works in all the standard Cyrillic encodings (Win, Mac, DOS, KOI, ISO, ENG). Very nice features.
Elliott Urdang recommends this trio of useful Russian search engines. The first is a multiple gateway that will get you to others.
Jane White suggests giving this free web browser for the mac, WannaBe PPC, a try for those times you need to surf but don't need graphics. It's text only and fast, and shows fully clickable links. This version will work in OS 7.5 to 9.2.2 Classic
Steve Dyson says this search engine is "the best of them all. In addition to being powerful, it stores and manages lists of links plus allowing you to export such lists or attach them to an e-mail. Overall it's very powerful and very reliable." It also has an interface in several different languages.
Elliott Urdang says it's worth trying the local versions of search engines when looking for non-English terms—they index pages that the English-based search engines don't. He recommends the French versions of AltaVista and Lycos in particular, but you can always just put the proper domain name ending for the country to pick up more.

Metasearch Engines (using more than one search engine at a time):

The Internet Sleuth


Savvy Search
"The Guide to Effective Searching of the Internet" is like a handbook for search pages."-CH, WebToday. The first link is for an html version with hyperlinks, the second link is for a downloadable pdf.
David Bean on FLEFO pointed out this interesting multiple search engine. “If you enter, the machine will search through most of the known search engines.” This is a painless way to find out which search engine works best for which kind of searches—just enter your term once, and see how many hits you get with the different engines. Clear interface also.