In light of the somewhat surprising popularity of our last post (Fifteen Helpful Google Search Operators), we figured we’d continue with the Google theme by revealing a few more not-so-secret Google-search-secrets. Read on to learn five (well, actually six – except the Kevin Bacon one can hardly be called ‘useful’…) other useful things you can do with/from Google Search – aside from searching for specific words of phrases on the World Wide Web.
Oh no…maths… but wait, maths is easy with Google Search: just type in your equation and let Google do its magic! For example, type “0.25*200*5*5” (without the quotes) and hit return to find out how much your average freelance translator makes each week (give or take about a thousand dollars).
Converting units is something that many translators have to do on a regular basis – and trying to remember conversion ratios can be a huge pain (not to mention something to make huge mistakes with). Luckily, once again, Google (or perhaps Wolfram Alpha?) to the rescue! Just type what you want to know into the search box. E.g. “18 Celsius in Fahrenheit” or “8 stones in kg”, etc.
Check the weather
Not all that relevant to translators but still quite interesting, type “weather:” followed by a city of your choice to find out the weather there. Or alternatively, if you happen to be in said city, take a quick look out of the window…
Find the time of today’s sunrise/sunset
At first glance, this one might seem even more irrelevant to translation than the last one, and, well, so it is… So rather than try and argue something as absurd as translators might like to know what time the sunrises in their city (by typing “sunrise:london”, for example) so they can get up early enough to see it (as if!), let’s move on to something altogether more germane: converting currencies.
So how much is 1250 dollars in another currency? Once again, let’s ask Google – by typing “1250 dollars in [insert currency of choice here]”. Bingo.
Find out how far removed another actor is from Kevin Bacon.
Why would anybody want to know this? Errr…not sure; however, nonetheless, should you wish to find out how far removed another actor is from Kevin Bacon, just type “bacon number” followed by that actor’s name (“bacon number Johnny Depp”, for example) into Google. No, really!
Know of any more not-so-secret Google-search-secrets?
Another great Google tool is their image search function. If you can’t find a term in a bilingual dictionary, search Google images. Now you can get an idea that can help you search in the right direction. One time I had a tool that I couldn’t find in any dictionary–Google images showed me hundreds of pictures of a flat-head screwdriver.
I tried this with colloquialisms too. Some Russian friends were trying to explain понтоваться (to show off, act macho) so I used Google images–got pictures of guys flexing muscles and a pimped-out Hummer! (So I taught them the word “bling.”)