Googling For Translators

Google Operators: The use of the * Asterisk Placeholder

Time to start our #GooglingForTranslators Series!

This series offers valuable hacks for translators to increase their ‘Feeling Lucky‘ translation results while boosting their googling skills (linguistically-wise).

A) The * Asterisk Operator:

Helpful in “finding the right collocation”. How?

– The * is used ‘to fill in the blank in search phrases’

– A Collocation is ‘the company that words keep’

(Related! Right?)

e.g. 1:

– Write on google “* Accident” or “Accident *”

– Results in bold: Compulsory accident – Report an accident – Concerned in the accident etc.

PS: After updating the Google algorithms, it is better to use the * sign inside a long-quoted sentence/ phrase to receive better results.

Also, remember that you can use more than one * sign in a single search attempt but add a white-space after each of them. Every * represents just one or more words as Google treats it as a placeholder for a word or more.

e.g. 2:

– Write on google “* with the law”

– Results in bold: comply with the law – in accordance with the law – The court agreed with the law – in conflict with the law …etc.

The * helps us also in finding the right proverbs, quotes & idioms + any Biblical and/or Quranic verses.

Even in finding headline variants for our marketing purposes; the * can be an asset to get a bunch of rewarding results.

e.g. 3:

– Write on google “Helping you * * *” and the results in bold will be rewarding!!

For more please stay tuned!



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