Google Images Exercise, Level I


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I. Introduction

You are probably already familiar with many of the Web searching functions offered by the Google search engine. (If you wish, you can consult the other Google tutorials listed above.) You may not know, however, that Google offers searching not only of Web pages and similar documents, but also of resources such as images. Google allows you to search for images (photos, diagrams, etc.), which may be useful for example if you want information about an object and its appearance or structure. 


II. Getting ready

  1. Open the browser of your choice (e.g. Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox) by double-clicking on the icon on the desktop, or from the Start menu.
  2. Type the address of the Google home page (www.google.ca) into the address bar of the browser, or click on the link. The Google Web home page appears. 


III. Searching Google Images

  1. Click on the Images link at the top of the window. The interface is almost identical to the Web search interface; however, the search button now reads Search Images.
  2. Enter Ottawa transitway and click the Search Images button.
    1. Browse through the results. Do most of them match the query?
    2. Try clicking on one of the hits. You will be taken to the Web page that contains the original image. The frame at the top of the window provides a thumbnail version of the image and a link back to the results. (see note 1)
  1. Scan the page to find the image. Why might it be useful to see the Web page that contains the image?
  1. Return to the Image search. Perform a new search for highway 401. Take a look at the thumbnail results. (see note 2)
  2. Click on the Advanced Search link to the right of the Search button. These features are similar to those of the advanced Web search and include the following.
    1. The Find Results fields correspond to the operators outlined in the Google Search Engine tutorial (implicit AND, quotation marks, OR and minus).
    2. Content Types allows you to choose e.g. any content, news content or faces. If news content is selected, news-related Web pages will be searched. The faces option allows you to search for images of people.
    3. Size allows you to specify the size of images you would like, e.g. any size, small, medium, large or specific sizes.
    4. File types allows you to search for images in any one of four image file formats –JPG, GIF, PNG or BMP, or to search for all of them at once.
    5. Coloration allows you to choose the coloration of images to be found – any colours, black and white or full colour.
    6. Domain allows you to search for images from a specific domain (e.g. site).
    7. Safe Search allows you to choose the level of filtering (for adult content) to apply to the search.

For more information, you can click on the About Google link on the Advanced Image Search page.

  1. Repeat the image search for highway 401, this time searching only news content.
    1. What news-related Web pages have images of highway 401? How can you tell what kinds of sites the search has found?
  2. Go back to the Advanced Image Search and adjust the preferences to search for all images tagged highway 401 on the Government of Canada’s Web pages.
    1. To do this, enter gc.ca in the Domain field and search using the any content option.
    2. Browse the first page of results.Which government departments have the most results?
    3. What other information is given under the thumbnail of an image? How can this information be useful when you are searching for images?

These are just a few of the search options that Google offers. You can find out much more about Google tools by exploring the home page and the more > even more links that appear at the top of the page.


IV. Solving a translation problem with Google Images

In this section, we will work on solving a translation question using images to help us understand what a term refers to, and to identify its potential equivalent(s). We will work with the term poisson-globe, as seen in the text below:


Le fugu, ou encore poisson-lune ou poisson-globe est un luxueux mettraditionnel particulièrement apprécié au Japon. ... Ce poisson de la famille des tetraodontidés est quasiment un symbole. (http://www.clickjapan.org/Cuisine/Fugu.htm, accessed 31 July 2008)


How do you think the term poisson-globe could be translated in this text?

  1. Let’s begin by finding out about potential equivalents using “traditional” resources of your choice, such as dictionaries and term banks. (see note 3)
  1. What kinds of terms do you find? Do you find any more synonyms of the French term, or learn any more about those you find in the text above?
  2. What about English equivalents for the term(s)?
  3. What do you learn about the fish in question? 
  1. From what you have seen, why do you think the poisson-globe might be a symbol? Do you think it might be important to understand what this “symbol” might look like, in order to understand the text, or others?
  2. Do a search using Google Images, to find some photos or other images of the poisson-globe.
    1. Enter poisson-globe into the Google Image search field, and click the Search Images button.
    2. What kinds of images do you find? Have you seen this kind of fish before? Is it now clearer to you what the term refers to?
    3. Can you better picture the symbol that the author above was referring to?
    4. Do you know other names for this fish? What name would you spontaneously use to talk about it?
  3. Do Google Images searches for the other French terms identified in the text as synonyms of poisson-globe.
    1. From the images, do you think that these terms refer to the same kind of fish? Why or why not?
    2. Does this information reflect what you found in the other resources you checked?
    3. Do you find any more useful information about the terms when you go through the search results?
    4. How can the information you have found help you as a translator?
  4. Do Google Images searches for the English equivalents you found in your research.
    1. From looking at the images found, are you confident that the terms you found refer to the same kind of fish as the original French term poisson-globe?
    2. What equivalent(s) do you think you might use to translate the text above?
    3. Would you avoid using any of the terms you found, on the basis of what you have seen?
  5. When you search for the different synonyms or quasi-synonyms in English and in French, do you tend to find different kinds of images? If so, how are they different? Can this tell you anything about the choice of term for use in a given context?
  6. After looking at the results, do you think that you might find it more appropriate to choose one synonym or quasi-synonym in either French or English over another in some specific contexts? What kinds of differences might you identify? (see note 4)











NOTE 1: A thumbnail is a smaller version of a larger image. Thumbnails are used to reduce the amount of time it takes to download multiple images and to easily display numerous images on one page. 


NOTE 2: You may find as you go through several results that some do not really appear to correspond to your search. This may be because the keywords you searched for appeared on the same page as the image displayed, but do not directly refer to it.  Because of this possibility, it is always a good idea to go see the page itself to confirm important information.     































NOTE 3: In addition to your own preferred resources, you may want to consider consulting monolingual electronic dictionaries such as Le Nouveau Petit Robert or the Trésor de la langue française (http://atilf.atilf.fr/tlf.htm)  and term banks such as the Grand dictionnaire terminologique (www.granddictionnaire.com) and Termium Plus (www.termiumplus.com). You may also wish to consult bilingual electronic dictionaries such as the Hachette Oxford.  

















NOTE 4: Another possibility for evaluating potential differences is studying regional variation in the use of synonyms. One tool that can help you to do this is Diatopix, a web searching tool. You can learn more about this tool by accessing the Diatopix Exercise: Level I.


V. Questions for reflection

  • What are your first impressions of the functions and functioning of Google Images?
  • Google is not the only search engine available. Some other search engines are: Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com), Ask (www.ask.com) and Alta Vista (www.altavista.com). Take a look at one or all of these other search engines. Do they offer the same kinds of resources or searches?
  • Did you find the Google images helpful for finding out what the terms in the text above referred to, and choosing equivalent terms in English?
  • Can you think of other examples of cases in which searching for images could help you solve translation problems? If so, what are they, and how do you think images can help? 
  • How reliable do you think the information you found online is, compared to what you found in other resources? How can you try to ensure that you evaluate the reliability of information properly?


Tutorial developed by Cheryl McBride and Elizabeth Marshman  (2008)