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Translation Advice

The following advice is from Erik Hoy who translated Google Guide into Danish, bibliotek.kk.dk/soeg_bestil_forny/googleguide.

  • Before translating anything, read Google Guide as if you were a novice.
  • Check all the examples on your local version of Google. Some features work only on the US version and other features work differently from the US version. For example, queries with accents match more results on Google.dk (the Danish version of Google) than on the English version (Google.com)
  • Localize your examples. The examples in Google Guide are intended for US and English speakers. Change the examples to appeal to your audience.
  • Consider separating “need to know” from “nice to know.” When I made the Danish Google Guide, I first described what users need to do and then why. In the Danish version, what’s nice-to-know, appears in sections entitled “Understand, ” e.g., “Understand News-Search,” “Understand Image-Search,” “Understand Google.”
  • Though Google Guide focuses exclusively on Google, there are great features in other search engines, e.g., Yahoo for searching news (at least in Scandinavia) and Teoma for clustering. In your translation, mention superior features available in other search engines. Hopefully Google will soon offer comparable or even better capabilities.
  • Select examples that will not go out of date.
  • Since the web and Google’s algorithms and features constantly evolve and Google doesn’t publicize all their enhancements, keep abreast of new features and capabilities by reading Blogs and websites written by search engine experts, such as Tara Calishain’s Research Buzz, Gary Price’s Resource Shelf, and Search Engine Watch.

Web Mastering

  • If you don’t have screen-capture software, consider using Irfan View. It’s free and easy to use.
  • Consider including navigation menus on both the left and the right sides of each page. I use left menus for keeping the overview and navigating and the right menus for “fun stuff”, including helpful links, explanations, and dictionary definitions.
  • Make a list of the different examples of links to search results that you use in the guide, similar to the links included in Linking to Search Results. It’s easier to copy a link than to create a link. There are a lot of examples and you may forget how to create them.

After You’ve Translated Google Guide

  • Encourage your colleagues and friends to review your guide to find typos and mistakes and make suggestions for improving its readability and accuracy. Create an acknowledgments page with the names of the people who were helpful to you.
  • Get novices to check whether your guide is understandable to new Google users. If they don’t follow what you say, others probably won’t either.
  • Publicize your guide. Issue a press release, mention it on your websites, tell libraries and other Google oriented sites about it.

If you tell us about your translation, we may be able to add a link from the googleguide.com home page to your translation.

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This page was last modified on: Friday February 2, 2007

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By Nancy Blachman and Jerry Peek who aren't Google employees. For permission to copy & create derivative works, visit Google Guide's Creative Commons License webpage.

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