Termprofile.com was a multilingual comparative terminology checking tool initially based on a Google API, later on a Bing API. It was operative from 2007 to 2018.
This press communication from 2007 gives an impression of the ideas and logic it was based upon:
Google’s “bikini zone”, or: better translations with Termprofile.com
Web 2.0 application for translators and interpreters
Based on Google search results, Termprofile.com ( http://www.termprofile.com ) is now offering free support in checking whether terms have been translated correctly. The target user group for Termprofile.com is translation and interpreting professionals.
If a translator or interpreter is not sure whether a certain expression really exists in the target language or in their own native tongue, they can simply look it up in Google. However, using search engines for translation work often leads to fatal errors. The use of this “method” of checking terminology has led to a situation in which “false friends” spread in the Internet at a pace never experienced before. One example: translating the German term “Bikinizone” into “bikini zone” in English. You double check by entering the term into Google and get a decent number of hits, almost 65,000! So it must be right, right?? But what if most of these hits were penned by non-native speakers?
This is where Termprofile.com kicks in.
You can simultaneously search for the term “bikini zone” and compare it with “bikini line” (“guessing” the alternatives is still up to the language professional) as well as the source language term “Bikinizone”. Search for the English terms in the USA, Great Britain and just for the hell of it in Germany too. Search for the German term only in Germany (if your curiosity is boundless you could also search for the German term in Austria or in the main English-speaking countries or in the United Arab Emirates…).
This is the result you get.
At a glance you can see that a grand total of 20,000 of the 63,600 hits worldwide for “bikini zone” originate in Germany, i.e. one third (1st column, lines 3 and 5). The share of worldwide hits for the alternative “bikini line” is much lower at 1,523 (column 3, line 3). The total number of hits for “bikini line” worldwide is much higher than for “bikini zone” (both in column 1, at the bottom).
Then there is the question whether 115,000 German hits are comparable with over 250,000 in the US and the UK? The figure relative frequency can help us here. Just enter a second “control term”, a word that comes up very often in the respective language, e.g. “unter” or “under”. The term you are looking for will then be set in relation to this (2nd column). Only then can we see that in relative terms, both “bikini line” and “bikini zone” are used much less frequently than the German word “Bikinizone”, which – statistically speaking – produces 250 hits for each hit of the word “unter” (English “under”). It also becomes evident now that in relative terms, “bikini line” is used more often than “bikini zone”.
On the basis of Google, Termprofile.com provides much more precise and meaningful data than if you simply enter the term into search engines. And this data is tailored to the needs of language professionals. If you work with Termprofile on a regular basis, you will also develop a feeling for hit volumes in various languages, areas of expertise etc. The tool becomes almost like a toy you can play with to discover ever new dimensions and relations.
Of course Google is not a dictionary or encyclopaedia and the Internet is anything but a reliable reference source in all cases. We can all write what we want, how we want. By identifying the origin of hits, you can however considerably increase the probability of reliability.